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This monster locomotive is on track to arrive in Des Moines Wednesday, July 31, for free public display Thursday, Aug. 1.


After a two-year restoration, the world's largest production steam locomotive will puff into Des Moines this week for public display. Union Pacific steamer No. 4014 is scheduled to arrive at 3201 E. Court Ave. at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 31. It will be on display from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1.

The visit is part of an extended celebration of the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad’s completion.The locomotive is described as a Wasatch Class "Big Boy," the name given to a group of massive steam engines built during World War II to haul military equipment over the steep grades of the Wasatch Mountains. No. 4014 is the only working example of this class. The last one in service stopped in 1959.

The free display includes an "Experience the Union Pacific" rail car, a renovated baggage car holding
a multimedia walk-through exhibition that provides a glimpse of the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading. Due to the train's historic nature, it is not accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For precise information on the train's location and updated schedule, visit


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The former site of the Mad Meatball on South Fifth has been pillaged and plundered to be converted into Skøl, a Norsk-themed pub.


By Wini Moranville

Jeff Bruning — one of the partners in Full Court Press (the beer-centric restaurant group behind such venues as Truman’s, High Life Lounge, Buzzard Billy’s, Hessen Haus, El Bait Shop and the Royal Mile), is driving the bus on another good-time joint. Skøl: A Pub of Pure Imagination has settled into the spot formerly occupied by Mad Meatball. Partners in this venue include some of Bruning’s Full Court Press and Beer Inc. colleagues.

In a recent interview, Bruning described the theme as "all the things I like in one place." There’s beer, of course (but "only" 26 tap handles, he says). Whiskey (one of Bruning’s more recent passions) will also be a focus; in fact, a launch party for metal band Slipnot’s new line of whiskey will be held at the venue on Aug. 9. Beverage options even include mead, the nectar of marauding Vikings.

The decor swings Viking, too: Touches include all kinds of reclaimed wood (think invading longships), an antler trophy (think reindeers) and Viking shields sporting various Nordic crosses (think pillagers named Gunnar, Rollo and Ragnar).

Food, too, will highlight the Middle-Ages/Nordic theme. Each day, the menu will feature a big-batch-made "meat of the day" cooked in massive convection-steam ovens and served open-face-taco-style in lefse — Norwegian flatbreads made of mashed potatoes, flour, milk and butter. Also on the menu: house-made beef jerky, house cold-smoked salmon and something called "rum ham," which was inspired by Danny DiVito’s character in "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

As for the latter’s tie-in to the Viking theme, your guess is as good as mine. Skøl is, after all, "A Pub of Pure Imagination." And isn’t it always fun to see what springs from the never-a-dull-moment minds of Bruning, et al.?

Furthering the fantasy/Medieval angle, the pub is scheduled to open tomorrow, July 31 — Harry Potter’s birthday.

Skøl is at 401 S.E. Fifth St. Find out more on the Skøl Facebook page at Skoldsm.

Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.

Country music artist Emily Ann Roberts developed a fan following on television's "The Voice."


"Art" is the word of the day Saturday, Aug. 3, at the District at Prairie Trail in Ankeny. Visual and performing artists will be featured from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Country singer Emily Ann Roberts will headline the event, called Color My World, in the new Town Square park, an acre of green space and tree-lined walkways connecting retail, entertainment, residential and offices spaces. It is located at 1500 S.W. Main St., Ankeny. Admission is free.

Visual artists will include muralist Jenna Brownlee, chalk artist Kathy Roling, a
showcase of art by area students and an on-site "yarn bomb" art project. Artists will be painting on-site, too.  

Main Stage acts include Ballet Des Moines, Foy Irish Dance, Eshan
jali Dance Academy, Gateway Dance Theatre, Valley High School Bakers Dozen Mime Troupe, Heartland Youth Choir and others.

highlights include performers from Cirque Wonderland, board breaking demonstrations from Dojo’s Martial Arts, and an instrument "petting zoo" from the Des Moines Symphony. In addition to evening headliner Emily Ann Roberts, music includes opening band the Candymakers, featuring old-school R&B and funk. 

Curated pop
-up market specialists Market Day will feature quality, original artists and collectors, Tiny Acre Farms will have tiny flower bouquets available for purchase, and AR Workshop will have make-and-take crafts. 

For more information and a complete schedule, visit

The Maytags perform Aug. 15 at the Des Moines Botanical Garden's Social Irrigation series of summer concerts.


Social Irrigation, the summerlong Thursday-night concert series at the Des Moines Botanical Garden, continues its season (ending Sept. 26) with some local favorites, including the Maytags Aug. 15, Parranderos Latin Combo Aug. 29, Kevin Burt Sept. 12, and Max Wellman Sept. 26.
Each Thursday the Garden's Trellis Cafe is open from 5 to 8 p.m. Musicians play from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m.

Learn more
about the Social Irrigation events at

Chris Wimmer has joined the rapidly expanding field of podcast productions, focusing his work on American history.


Des Moines native Chris Wimmer created his first podcast about the American West as a side project. It quickly grew into the most popular show of its kind in the world. Wimmer, 41, is the writer, host and producer of the "Legends of the Old West" podcast. The show carefully researches and creates cinematic tales of Old West history.

"For the first six months, while I was researching and writing the early episodes, I was also working at a small newspaper," says Wimmer, a graduate of Valley High School and the University of Iowa, who worked in the film industry in Los Angeles before moving to Texas and then Arizona. "Two months after the first episode came out, I knew there was no way I could do both. So I took the plunge and went to work on the podcast full time."

With listeners in all 50 states and nearly 80 countries, "Legends of the Old West" is the most popular show about the American West in the podcast medium. Notable productions include the story of Tombstone, Arizona, and the gunfight at the O.K. Corral; the life and career of Jesse James; and Red Cloud’s War, the little-known precursor to the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

In addition, Wimmer is the host and producer of "Infamous America," which focuses on historical true crime. It launched with the tale of the Salem Witch Trials and returned this summer with back-to-back seasons featuring some of the most polarizing people and events of the early 20th century.

To support the show, Wimmer is teaming up with an old friend and classmate from Valley High School, photographer Ben Easter, a frequent contributor to dsm magazine. Both podcasts can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and TuneIn, among others.

The films are as local as the popcorn at a screening of the movies from the 48-Hour Film Project.


Results of the annual 48-Hour Film Project will be screened this week at Fleur Cinema. These movies were created by local teams over a single sleepless summer weekend. The films are always interesting, given the constraints of time.

Filmmakers are given wide latitude in their creations, with a few random requirements. This year those included a bookkeeper character named Ray or Rihanna Hilton, a water bottle and the line "Something isn't right."

Tickets are $10 for any of four groups of films. A final "Best Of" screening will be Aug. 15. For details, click here.
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