5 fun things to do in and around Ames this weekend
Whether you're in the mood to shop at farmers' markets, listen to music or attend a plant sale, there's plenty going on in Ames and Story County this weekend to suit your cravings.
Reiman Gardens holds its annual Plant Sale Extravaganza this weekend, with a members-only event Friday and open-to-the-public event Saturday and Sunday.
Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market begins season Saturday
The season kicks off for the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the 300 and 400 blocks of Main Street.
Opening day will feature live music by Ace Jones, and Joyful Colorz will provide free face painting.
The market will run every Saturday through Oct. 15. Hours will remain the same through October, when the times change to 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The market has expanded this year to include more vendors.
“We are thrilled to open our 12th season of the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market this weekend,” Lojean Petersen, market manager, said in a news release. “We are expanding again with 20 new full-time and occasional vendors joining the market this year. We are also excited to bring back the Annual Farm to Table Dinner in July. After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, we are eager to bring community together again for this fan-favorite event.”
The farmers’ market will offer “fresh local produce, baked goods, wine, cheese, meats, eggs, jams, cut flowers, handcrafted artwork, delicious prepared food and so much more. The market will also feature live music, local entertainment, free children’s activities and other special events during the season,” according to the release.
Special events are planned each week, with a variety of children’s activities and live music.
Maxwell's Market in the Park starts on Sunday
Maxwell’s Market in the Park kicks off its season from noon to 2:30 p.m. Sunday. As its name implies, the market is held at the Maxwell City Park, which is on Trotter Boulevard in Maxwell.
Maxwell's Market in the Park started in May of 2020, near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the pandemic, or perhaps because of it, the market quickly became a force in the farmers’ market arena.
Now with about 70 vendors attending each week, food trucks and live entertainment, the market is held every Sunday from the beginning of May through the end of September.
See a list and map of vendors here.
The market was started by Maxwell resident Lauryn Myers, who was inspired by an abundance of green beans from her garden. She wanted to find a home for the extra produce, and that thought became a big idea – a community farmers’ market.
Lauryn’s sister-in-law, Casady Myers, joined her in the project, and it’s now owned and operated by the duo.
“The market offers its platform for small businesses, showcasing some of the best baked goods, homegrown produce, handcrafted art, crafts and so much more,” the market’s website states.
Lee Klett of Sigourney will perform live music.
The Whimsical Wine Trailer will be on hand with sangria and craft beer. Other food and drink vendors will include B&K BBQ with pulled pork and chicken; Comfort Foods with wraps, pizzas and sandwiches; Flame with tacos, burritos and burgers; The Coffee Box smoothies; and Frozen in Time ice cream.
Xylophone soloist to perform at Central Iowa Symphony's season finale
Central Iowa Symphony celebrates its season finale at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Ames City Auditorium, 515 Clark Ave.
The soloist featured at the concert will be percussionist Daniel J. Krumm with a concerto for xylophone.
The program includes “Andante moderato for string orchestra” by Price, “Concertino for Xylophone and Orchestra” by Mayuzumi and ”Symphony in D Minor” by Franck.
“Our season finale offers gleaming treasures not often encountered on symphony programs. Florence Price’s stirring Andante moderato for strings provides a glimpse into the world of a brilliant composer whose work is enjoying renewed enthusiasm, while Cesar Franck’s Symphony in D minor presents a rare excursion into the symphonic domain by a French composer,” Central Iowa Symphony said in a Facebook post. “Percussion soloist Daniel J Krumm rounds out the program with a concerto for xylophone, an instrument scarcely heard at the front of the orchestra.”
Tickets are $20 for adult general admission; admission is free for children and students. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at cisymphony.org.
Ames Town & Gown premieres composition for Chinese zither at concert Sunday
The final concert of the season is Sunday for Ames Town & Gown’s Chamber Music Association and will feature the premiere of “Quintet for Guzheng and Strings.”
The 7:30 p.m. concert will be held at the Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, Simon Estes Music Hall at Iowa State. Don't miss the premiere of Quintet for Guzheng and Strings.
“The concert exemplifies our season's motto, ‘Global Connections Through Music,’” said Paula Forrest, artistic director for Ames Town & Gown.
“The Quintet for Guzheng and Strings” by California composer Michael Gordon Shapiro blends sounds and musical traditions of East and West, according to a news release. A guzheng is a Chinese zither, “one of Asia’s most ancient instruments,” according to the release.
The featured artists for Sunday’s concert are the Telegraph Quartet of San Francisco and guzheng player Anwei Wang of Boston.
The Telegraph Quartet is the winner of two prestigious chamber music competitions, the Naumburg and the Fischoff. The group’s members are artists in residence at the San Francisco Conservatory. They performed for an Ames Town & Gown concert in 2018.
Tickets are $30 for general admission adult seating. Admission is free for children and students through college age. Tickets are available online at amestownandgown.org or in person Rieman Music in Ames, Chocolaterie Stam in Ames and the Iowa State Music Department office on campus.
Reiman Gardens' Plant Sale Extravaganza is Friday through Sunday
Rain or shine, Reiman Gardens will hold its annual Plant Sale Extravaganza this weekend in Reiman’s parking lot.
On Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., the sale is for members only. Memberships start at $40 per year if you want to sign up to qualify as an early plant shopper.
The extravaganza opens to the public on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Plants for sale include perennials for sun and shade, herbs and vegetables, Iowa natives, woody plants including trees, shrubs and Buck roses, specialty evergreens, container annuals, hanging baskets, All-American Selection (AAS) winning vegetables and herbs, and prefinished mixed containers,” Reiman Gardens’ website states.
The plant sale supports a number of Iowa State organizations, including the Department of Ecology, Evolution & Organismal Biology Graduate Student Organization; the Graduate Student Horticulture Society; the ISU Horticulture Club; Reiman Gardens; and the Story County Master Gardener Association. All plant purchases directly benefit each group’s programming.
There’s no admission fee for the plant extravaganza. Plants can be purchased using a credit card, check or cash.