Apres Bar Co., Des Moines Pride, Arts Festival
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June 22, 2021  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE
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The 2020 festival may have been sidelined, but a special Des Moines Arts Festival exhibit continued Des Moines' tradition of supporting the arts, take a moment to look back on last years DMAF Curated: Emerging Horizons.
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The S'moretini is one of the summer cocktails Apres Bar Co., a mobile bar service, can create.


Writer: Karla Walsh

Let’s raise a glass to the fact that we can finally, at long last, reconnect with old friends (and make new ones) in real life!
And the metro area is now home to a business that can make it easier than ever to do that.

Apres Bar Co. launched in March after Des Moines-based Jillian Harrington took ownership of a mobile bartending service. Anyone and everyone can tap Apres to shake up their soirees, who will create a custom drink menu for weddings, block parties, charity dinners and more.

Harrington's cocktail adventures began at 23. She had just lost her job and picked up a part-time gig at a bar.  
“I didn't really develop anything spectacular at that time, but I enjoyed making drinks, and the interaction I was able to have with people really grew my passion," Harrington says.

Even when she worked full time in the insurance industry, Harrington kept bartending on the side. And what was once a way to pay the bills eventually evolved into a passion. This was especially true after she moved to Vail, Colorado, and began weaving in her personal inspirations—including a love of the mountains—and thinking of mixology as a craft. That’s also where the name comes from. “Apres is French for ‘after,’ and ‘apres ski’ is an exciting time in Colorado after the mountain closes for the day. Essentially, happy hour,” Harrington says.

Her craft cocktails are inspired by her clients and the scenery. So far, the majority of Harrington’s events have been hosted at Plant Life Designs (including pizza picnics, which now have tickets available throughout the summer).

“At Plant Life Designs, I’m fortunate enough to have fresh herbs readily available, so I’m sure to incorporate those,” she explains. “Otherwise, if I have an event that requires fresh ingredients during the summer months I source them from local vendors at the Downtown Farmers' Market.”

If you have a private event for which you’re hoping to add drinks to the menu, you can contact Harrington and her team at Keep up with their latest creations on Instagram @apresbarco or on
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    Capital City Pride will celebrate Pride Month with plenty of events through Greater Des Moines. Photo: Catch Des Moines


    June is Pride Month, and Capital City Pride, a local LGBTQ+ nonprofit organization, has a full lineup of events planned over the next few weeks as a part of its 30 Days of Pride celebration. The packed schedule is headlined by a concert and parade on Sunday.

    At 6 p.m. tomorrow, Noce will host a free Broadway Sing Along event. Domita DeBaun Sanchez, Katy Merriman and the Noce crew will perform popular Broadway tunes. The club also will serve a special Pride cocktail. On Friday, the Science Center of Iowa will stay open later than normal, until 8:30 p.m., and screen Disney Pixar's "Coco" on the south lawn afterward. Admission is $11.

    A drive-through parade and concert will take place at Water Works Park on Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. Patrons can drive through the designated parade route, which will have a number of vendors showcasing their pride displays. The event ends with a drive-in concert at the Lauridsen Amphitheater, featuring local musicians.

    Find a full list of events here. You can also see dsm's honorees for the 2021 Legacy Leader Awards, which we announced earlier this month.
      The Des Moines Arts Festival was canceled last year due to the pandemic. But it's back this year, scheduled for this weekend. Photo: Des Moines Arts Festival


      We're sure excited about this: One of Des Moines' most anticipated events is back! The free-to-attend Des Moines Arts Festival, showcasing local artists, music and more, kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday at Western Gateway Park.

      The juried art fair features 160 visual artists from across the nation, who will show and sell their works, including pottery, paintings, drawings, mixed media and more. A group of emerging Iowa artists will also display their work.

      On the two music stages, local and regional bands will perform, including lovelytheband, Here Come the Mummies and Elizabeth Moen, among others. The Des Moines Public Library will also host the Interrobang Film Festival, screening 44 movies from 10 countries. Find the full festival lineup online.
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        Two-man British band Squeeze will perform at Hoyt Sherman Place on Aug. 25. Photo: Hoyt Sherman Place


        Concert announcements have been coming fast and furiously from Hoyt Sherman Place. Not only is the venue gearing up for its first 2021 in-person performances in July, but its schedule for the rest of the year has been taking shape in recent weeks. Here are a few shows to mark on your calendar.

        Squeeze: The Nomadband Tour: English band Squeeze will stop in Des Moines on Aug. 25 as a part of its nationwide tour. The group rose to prominence in the late 1970s but split in the early '80s before reuniting in 2007. Tickets are $39, $49, $69 and $89.

        Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real: This acclaimed and popular ensemble has wowed audiences with their fiery stage performances and singular sound, which straddles rock and roll, country, soul, folk and R&B. They'll perform Sept. 22; tickets range from $35 to $49.50 and go on sale this Friday.

        Whitney Cummings: Touch Me Tour: Lauded comedian Whitney Cummings will perform on Oct. 15, poking fun at current culture and the return to touring after the pandemic. Tickets range from $38 to $48.

        Together in Concert: Acclaimed singer-songwriters Mary Chapin Carpenter, Marc Cohen and Shawn Colvin will share the Hoyt Sherman Place stage on Nov. 5. They'll mix sounds of blues, soul and country throughout the show. Tickets are $60, $70 and $80.
          Enjoy tea, snacks and a tour of the Salisbury House and Gardens next month. Photo: Catch Des Moines


          After three virtual versions, Salisbury House and Gardens is bringing back a favorite event, Tea at the Castle, in person at 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, July 24, featuring tea, snacks, tours, speakers and more.

          First, guests will hear from Lynn Halldorson, owner of local Kettle/Black Teahouse, who will speak about the tea they're drinking. Jaime Nicolet-Rutan, Salisbury’s curator, will then give a brief lecture on the building's history before leading a tour. Guests can expect sandwiches and cookies for snacks, along with a "few surprises," Director of Events Lynn Halldorson says. Tickets are $45. Register here.
            The Greater Des Moines Partnership posted this clue yesterday for its nine-day scavenger hunt called Tweet Week. Local artist Diane Hayes created this bird. Photo: Greater Des Moines Partnership


            Local artists have been placing handcrafted birds around downtown Des Moines for the first-ever Tweet Week, put on by the Greater Des Moines Partnership. The nine-day scavenger hunt, which includes 90 birds, started over the weekend and runs through Sunday. To participate, check out @downtownDSMUSA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram each morning for clues. If you find a bird, it's yours to keep.

            Here are some upcoming dates, artists and locations:

            • Diane Hayes: June 22 (Historic Court District)
            • Marion Nehmer: June 23-24 (Historic East Village)
            • Linda Lewis: June 25-26 (Central Downtown)
            • Judy Goodwin: June 27 (Central Downtown)

            Find more information here.
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