Are you one of those people who looks forward to lounging by the pool all summer? Not me. Some of my favorite activities involve the multitude of festivals that take place during the warmer months. Here in Iowa, we have to cram as much of that goodness into the summer months because the other half of the year is too cold.
If there’s something you are interested in, chances are there is a festival or fair of some sort to attend. A few years ago, we attended an event focused around the success of American Pickers. Their original shop, Antique Archeology, is a stone’s throw from here and the stars of the show are graduates of our local high school.
If you enjoy food, crafts and livestock, then you’ll want to hit the county or state fair. As a former 4-H member, I still enjoy stopping by to see what kind of projects the kids have completed. There are some pretty talented kids out there. It’s also pretty amazing to see how mature they are about raising and preparing their livestock for show. It’s a lot harder than you might think. Of course, I’m always a sucker for a cool gadget that’s being displayed at the fair. And who can resist the smells of funnel cake wafting through the air? Not me.
In addition to fairs, we attend cultural festivals as well. Our favorite is the Celtic Heritage festival where the kids get to partake in historical activities like pseudo sword fighting. We divide our time watching sheep-herders, listening to the music and cheering on the athletes as they launch bails of hay and logs through the air.
One of my favorite tents to stop at is the depicting my maiden name: Robertson. Whenever I visit, they insist on a customary welcoming toast. Was that really a shot of Whiskey they were sharing at 10:30 in the morning? Yes, it was.
Of course, we can’t forget about our native history. Pioneer Days is a showcase of candle making, one-room schoolhouses and a wild-west shootout. They even have a makeshift jail, barber and post office. Oh, and a saloon serving up root beer and sarsaparilla.
No worries that these events often take place at remote rural locations. We’re still able to get service through U.S. Cellular’s high quality network. Good thing, too, since we like to share our adventures with our family via our social networks.
We enjoy events in-town as well. Parades are fun but the traffic to get there is often a pain. We’re thrilled that Uber is now in our city so we can take advantage of the service and not have to battle for parking.
It’s also a great option for those festivals that have beverages of the adult variety. Nobody should be drinking and driving. Nobody. Just like you ask your kids to agree to driving rules, so should you. Ask a sober friend for a ride, use public transportation or grab your phone and schedule an Uber pickup. With U.S. Cellular’s service, you shouldn’t have any problem connecting and watching your ride as it pulls up to the curb.
One of our favorite events for the summer is the Bix Beiderbecke festival. It’s a huge extravaganza here with the Bix 7 road race being the signature event. A 7-mile road race that pushes runners to go up (and down) some major hills taking on some of Davenport’s historic cobblestone roads. The night before the big event, our girls participate in Jr Bix, an abbreviated race ranging in length depending on the child’s age. The weekend event includes races, a street festival, foods of all kinds and of course, music honoring the event’s namesake.
You can also use your phone to find events and activities happening that you weren’t aware of. Bandsintown app locates nearby concerts based on your phone’s music library. Just want music but no concert? Join the other 45% of smartphone users and tune in to music on your phone. Spotify and IHeartRadio are awesome options.
No matter what you’re planning to do during the summer, staying connected is important to making the most of your time.
What types of fairs and festivals do you look forward to each summer?