Friday Fest and other summer events return across Dallas County

Allison Ullmann and T.K. West - Editor and Correspondent
Local residents listen to RUKKUS perform during Friday Fest in 2018 at Pattee Park. The band will return to Perry on June 4, performing from 6-9:30 p.m. in the band shell.

Local towns across the Dallas County area are preparing for the return of their annual festivals and celebrations.

June 4 will see the return of Friday Fest at the Pattee Park Band Shell. Perry Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lynsi Pasutti said RUKKUS, a local favorite, will provide live music from 6-9:30 p.m. June 4.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets, baskets and yard games. Beer and wine are allowed, but no glass. Food vendors include the Perry Fire Department and the Perry High School Class of 2023, who will be serving brownie sundaes. 

The next Friday Fest is set for Aug. 6 with live music by Lil Red & the Medicated Moose Band. Watch for updates on the Perry Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

A new event will come to Perry on June 5. Atelier at 1109 will host Artists in the Courtyard from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Soumas Court. The event will feature a variety of artists showcasing everything from fiber to photography, ceramics, stained glass and more. Artists will have items for sale and the event will also feature demonstrations and kids activities.

Atelier at 1109 will launch the first Artists in the Courtyard event on Saturday, June 5. The event will feature artists, demonstrations and kids activities in all three shops as well as Soumas Court.

Jenny Eklund, with Atelier at 1109, said the shop is looking to “constantly build the arts in our community.” The shop is split into three parts, featuring printmaking, fiber and stained glass. Ashley Anderson, also with Atelier, said all three shops open onto Soumas Court.

Artists will be located in Soumas Court as well as in all three shops. The stained glass side isn’t officially open but it will pop open during the event with a few glass artists set up inside.

The shops will also feature different stations with demonstrations and kids activities, as well as in Soumas Court.

“We’re hoping a lot of kids come out, kind of get introduced to art,” Anderson said. “We definitely want to focus on the youth and get up-and-coming artists involved and get their name out there. That’s kind of what our shops are about so we want to make the event like that too.”

Woodward Friends and Neighbors Day will kick off at 5 p.m. on June 4 and will include live music, a parade, a tractor show, food trucks, fireworks and more. The Woodward Friends and Neighbors Committee said it is looking forward to bringing fun and festivals to their community once again and wants its attendees to create memories with others that they will talk about for years to come.

“Events like ours are important to keep the community connected. It’s an opportunity for everyone to visit with old friends and meet new friends, keeping old traditions alive, and making new traditions as well,” the Woodward Friends and Neighbors Committee said.

Candy is thrown from a Woodward Community Fire Department truck during the Woodward Friends and Neighbors Day parade in 2018.

The Van Meter Raccoon River Days will also bring back a lot of its traditions on Saturday, June 5, including a fun run, pie contest, bags tournament and auction. In addition to all the activity taking place downtown, this year will include a water parade that anyone can take part in. The parade will start at 10:30 a.m. sharp with participants lining up at the Van Meter East High School Parking Lot at 10 a.m.

“This festival has been one of our biggest events for our town,” Rona Jacobs of the Van Meter Community Betterment Committee said. “This year we need it after the COVID year we have had. This event started as a day for the kids and is now something everyone in the community can enjoy.”

For the town of Dallas Center, the Seasonal Fun Committee is ready to get back on track with their usual schedule of events. The committee hopes that this year’s Art & More will have the best turnout ever. The event will be longer, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 5, and will include music, vendors selling original and handmade items, a sidewalk chalk competition, and many other art and creative focused events throughout the day.

“We believe the community is ready for an opportunity to come together, listen to music, see and buy some art, have some beer or wine, let their children be entertained with art activities, be outdoors and enjoy the company of their community,” Jill Woodward of the Seasonal Fun Committee said. “It is satisfying to host an event that the community appreciates. We believe that our seasonal celebrations are even more important this year, to bring people together for some fun.”

Sue (left) and Emma Brown look at art at Art in the Park in Dallas Center during a past event. Art & More will be held on Saturday, June 5 on Walnut Street.

The city of Grimes will close out a week of community events with its Governors Days celebration taking place Thursday, June 10 through Saturday, June 12. The theme for this year’s event will be decades, with community members self-identifying which decade they wish to celebrate. There will also be a variety of vendors, sidewalk art, a fun run, a bags tournament, live music and more.

Grimes Chamber and Economic Development President Brian Buethe said one of the things he is most looking forward to about this year’s event is just having it. Buethe said that while it can at times seem overwhelming to organize an event of this magnitude for staff, volunteers, and their many partners, when it all comes together most recognize it is a great thing for the local community.

“Memories are being made. Community is being built. Neighbors are meeting neighbors. People are discovering new local businesses via our many sponsors," Buethe said. "So many people and organizations are cooperating, which builds relational trust that manifests itself in a greater long-term good. And hopefully, a lot of people are just having some good old-fashioned fun."

Those interested in learning more regarding updates and schedules for their local events can visit each committee or event Facebook page.