515 Day celebrates community in downtown Ames this weekend
There's a block party downtown this weekend as Ames Main Street celebrates May 15 with a 515 Day Weekend party.
"It's spring and people are ready to get out," said Sarah Dvorsky, executive director of Ames Main Street. "It looks like we are going to have some nice weather this weekend, so it should be a great time for people to come to Main Street. We're excited to get people downtown in a different capacity."
It's the second annual occasion for the 515 Day celebration, and this time it's set to last for three days.
"We did this on a smaller scale in 2021, and this year we're expanding past May 15 for a whole weekend celebration in downtown Ames," Dvorsky said.
Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., a beer garden will feature a performance by local rock band Burnin' Sensations.
"They're such a great band with a great local following," Dvorsky said. "515 Day Weekend will be celebrating the community, so having Burnin' Sensations perform is one way we're doing that."
Admission to the 515 Day celebration is free, and beer will be for sale in the beer tent, Dvorsky said. The beer tent will be located on Douglas Avenue between Main and Fifth.
"We'll have beer from our local Torrent Brewery and some domestic beers too," Dvorsky said.
There will be family-friendly activities, including a mobile escape room and an inflatable slide and obstacle course.
All weekend, businesses will be running various promotions centered on the 515 theme — like 5.15% off Iowa-made products at Life Distilled or a loaf of fresh baked Farmhouse White or Honey Whole Wheat for $5.15 at Great Harvest Bakery & Cafe.
For a list of participating businesses, visit the Ames Main Street website, amesdowntown.org.
"Saturday we're encouraging people to come downtown to the farmers' market," Dvorsky said.
Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market will be open from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the 300 and 400 blocks of Main Street. The market features dozens of local vendors, live music and this week the special activity will feature Hovick Family Farm Petting Zoo.
Area authors will be making appearances at Dog-Eared Books:
- 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday, Denise Williams, author of the rom-com novels "How to Fail at Flirting" and "The Fastest Way to Fall."
- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Genevieve Gornichec, author of the Nordic mythology novel "The Witch's Heart," which will soon have a sequel.
- 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Shannon Evans, author of "Rewilding Motherhood," a guiding, encouraging study of female spirituality.
- 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Rachel Mans McKenny, author of "The Butterfly Effect," the romantic fiction story about an "anti-social butterfly" entomologist who prefers the company of bugs to people.
Shoppers to downtown Ames businesses can bring their receipts to Tom Evans Park to be entered in a drawing for $515 in Community Cash, which can be spent at about 30 participating businesses in Ames and Story County.
"Come find us at the park and put your name in the bowl. We'll draw a name at 5:15 p.m. Sunday, which we will do live on Facebook," Dvorsky said. "We'll call the winner, so you don't need to be present to win."