Gameday Viewing and Ames Music Festival
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Produced in partnership with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
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Get up close and personal on the field, meet up with friends at your favorite bar, or tune in from the comfort of your living room couch. How are you watching the game this year? Photo: Emily Kestel.

Where to Watch the Big Game

Everyone and their grandmother is preparing for Saturday’s iconic football faceoff between the Iowa State University Cyclones and the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. If you don’t already have tickets to watch in person, you can check out some last-minute resale ticket prices, or find a local tailgate party streaming the game live. Regardless of where your loyalties lie, here are some places around Iowa hosting CyHawk viewing events.

Des Moines: In the capital city, Des Moines Performing Arts is hosting its Touchdown Tailgate event from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Cowles Commons (221 Walnut St., Des Moines). Fans from both sides can watch the game live on two Jumbotron TVs and enjoy bites from local food trucks and craft beers from area bars. Other live entertainment and music will round out the pregame party.

Waterloo: The Waterloo Bucks baseball team will host a CyHawk game watch party in their Riverfront Stadium (850 Park Road, Waterloo). The game will be displayed on their 474-square-foot LED video board, and guests can bring chairs and blankets to set up in the field. The concession stands will also be open. Gates open right before kickoff at 2:30 p.m.

Pella: If you’re looking for neutral ground to gather your friends from both teams, head to Smash Park in Pella (1000 Fifield Road, Pella) for a tailgate party. There are perfect TV views from any seat, so you won’t miss a single play. Plus, enjoy $4 breakfast burritos from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., $1 tacos until 3 p.m., and yard games on the outdoor patio.

Fort Dodge: Starting bright and early at 8 a.m., Koozies (16 N. Seventh St., Fort Dodge) will host a game day party featuring a tailgate cook-off, classic yard games and prizes. The party even continues after the game with a live musical performance. Tickets cost $5.

Click to watch how and why the new Nile Kinnick documentary was produced. Photo courtesy of Goldfinch Films.

Iowa Filmmaker Scores Big Win for Home State

By Michael Morain
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

No matter what happens during Saturday’s big game, the new film about Hawkeye football legend Nile Kinnick is a clear winner.

Produced by Scott Siepker, “Kinnick: The Documentary” draws upon personal journals, family letters and a first-person account that might have been lost forever if not for a Greenlight Grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The 90-minute film is a compelling, Ken Burns-y portrait of a man who grew up in Adel, tore up the football field, studied law and hinted at political ambitions before his life was cut short, at 24, during a training flight in World War II. (Carroll journalist Doug Burns recently speculated about a Kennedy vs. Kinnick presidential campaign in 1960.)

“Kinnick” premiered last month at the Palms Theatre in Waukee with impressive ticket sales, prompting Fridley Theatres to announce a 17-city blitz of across Iowa. You can also watch it right now on Vimeo.
During Apfelfest in Amana, stop by Millstream Brau Haus to try one of their alcoholic ciders, along with German-style pub food and locally brewed beers. Photo courtesy of Amana Colonies.

Fall Festivals Begin Around Iowa

September is here and fall is right around the corner. Along with pumpkin spice lattes, that means an abundance of fall festivals and harvest-time celebrations. Start the season off right with two upcoming events on Sept. 17.

Check out the charming town of Maquoketa, nestled right in the middle between Davenport and Dubuque, during the fourth annual Maqtoberfest. From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., enjoy music, food and other fall fun throughout downtown. Visit the Maqtoberfest Facebook page to find information and updates on food and craft vendors, and performance schedules.

Go a bit farther west to the Amana Colonies and experience Apfelfest, a day dedicated to all things apple. Find fresh pickings and crisp cider from Allen’s Orchard, or take part in the Apfelfest Sampling Stroll to taste a variety of apple-inspired bites from local businesses. Click here for more information.

This isn't your run-of-the-mill grilled cheese. The Drift's "grown-up" version includes avocado and tomato with homemade garlic aioli, and even includes an option to add roast beef. Photo: Duane Tinkey.

Dining Destination: The Drift

Unless you’re one of the 5,000 or so residents of Winterset, you probably think of the town as the birthplace of John Wayne rather than a dining destination. But the Drift, which opened last December, just might change your mind.

The taproom serves an enticing mix of food for dinner Wednesday through Friday and lunch and dinner on Saturday. Expect classics with a slightly upscale twist. Case in point: farm-fresh deviled eggs topped with pico de gallo; a grown-up grilled cheese with avocado, tomato and homemade garlic aioli (pictured); and a walnut brownie served a la mode and made with spent grain from their branded beer. Check out their full menu here.
The Fisher Art Museum's painting "Poppet" by Augustus John, shown before, during (under black light) and after a recent cleaning at the Conservation Center of Chicago.

Marshalltown Reopens Cultural Center

By Michael Morain
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

First, a tornado in 2018. Then, a derecho two years later.

Next, a grand opening on Sept. 18 for the recently renamed and renovated Marshalltown Arts and Civic Center. The $8 million transformation of the former Fisher Community Center is funded in part by an Iowa Great Places grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

The building houses both the Martha-Ellen Tye Playhouse and the Fisher Art Museum, which boasts a notable collection of impressionist work by Mary Cassat, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse and others. By a stroke of luck, 44 pieces were carted off to the Conservation Center of Chicago just three weeks before the 2020 derecho tore into their Marshalltown home. The artwork recently returned after a $200,000 restoration.

During the opening celebration, visitors can take guided tours of the new space or linger outside to enjoy food-truck fare and live music.
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Community artists interpret the theme “Roots & Wings” for their displays, from the literal (like a winged owl) to the metaphorical.

See an Art Exhibit on the Prairie

Visit the Wallace Farm in Orient for a unique art experience. As you wander through 9 acres of restored prairie, a surprise painting may appear. About 80 art pieces are scattered along the farm paths, all created by community artists of varying ages and skill levels.

Each work is inspired by this year’s theme, “Roots & Wings.” The theme connects back to the flora and fauna of the prairie, like birds, butterflies, bees, native plants, or even cultural roots and heritage. The exhibit is free to view and open dawn until dusk until Oct. 1.
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Now in its 10th year, Maximum Ames takes over the college town with live music Sept. 15-18. Catch acts like Bleujack (pictured) among the more than 40 acts scheduled to perform.

Maximum Ames Music Festival Takes Over the City

Looking to hear Brother Trucker, Courtney Krause, the Indigo Monks and other Iowa bands in one music-filled weekend? Ames has you covered in its 10th Maximum Ames Music Festival.

The Sept. 15-18 event runs at venues throughout downtown and elsewhere in the city, including the Angry Irishmen, Alluvial Brewing, KHOI, Ames City Auditorium, London Underground and Della Viti.

The festival is also partnering for the first time with the Goldfinch Room, the songwriter spotlight concert series at Stephens Auditorium on the ISU campus. The Goldfinch Room hosts songwriters Elizabeth Zimmerman and Liv Carrow on Sunday, Sept. 18.

Most shows are free to attend. Get more information, including a schedule of events, at

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