Resources Along the Cedar Valley Trails

Blog Trail Resources family bikingNo matter how you connect with the Cedar Valley Trails, whether for hiking, biking or commuting, we have resources to help you along your way.

The Cedar Valley Trails is a series of small and large loops, each with their own mileage. So, it’s easy to calculate your miles for a lunchtime stroll, an after-work workout or a weekend bike ride. Stop by our visitor center on Hudson Road and pick up a trail guide (it also includes a map of our water trails).

These might look familiar. Our trail system is dotted with over 70 Prairie Pathways Signs to help you get to know Cedar Falls with historic photos and information.
Blog Trail Resources Prairie Pathways

Blog Trail Resources bike repair stationHave you seen the public bike repair stations? We now have four repair stations located throughout the city and they’re conveniently located adjacent the trail as well as parking lots. They’re located at the Cedar Falls Public Library, Prairie Lakes, Gateway Park and Pfeiffer Park. We also have three public water fountains with pet waterers located in Washington Park, Lookout Park and Pfeiffer Park.

You may have seen one of these on the trail adjacent Blain’s Farm & Fleet. Fitness Zones are located at this location and on the Prairie Lakes Loop. They make your hike or bike ride a full workout by offering you a place to do pull-ups, steps and other exercises.

For the safety of others and for your own safety, be aware of your surroundings and always follow the rules of the trail. If an accident should occur, emergency signage is posted along the trail so that emergency services can be directed to your location. Members of our Trail Patrol are also on the trails. They are trail ambassadors, providing location information and basic mechanical and first aid assistance to riders and hikers.
Blog Trail Resources emergency location trail-marker
Blog Trail Resources trail patrolNeed more information? Here are a few local resources:
Cedar Trails Partnership
Bike Tech
Europa Cycle & Ski
The Runner’s Flat
Cedar Falls Visitor Center


College Hill in Cedar Falls has Changed

College Hill Evening Cedar Falls TourismThat’s right. If you haven’t visited College Hill in a while, it’s worth checking out to see what’s new!

Located in the heart of the University of Northern Iowa campus, College Hill is a vibrant neighborhood with an eclectic blend of restaurants, nightclubs and shopping.

Sidecar Coffee College Hill Cedar Falls TourismSidecar Coffee is more than a coffee shop. They serve sandwiches for breakfast and lunch and they brew some unique blends of coffee. Have you heard of a Frank Sinatra? A Van Fleet? Maybe a cucumber basil lemonade would hit the spot this summer.

After coffee, visit University Book & Supply or shop at Mohair Pear. Mohair Pear has the flair for vintage clothing, vinyl records and body jewelry.

When it’s supper time,it’s hard to beat a good slice of pizza! Check out the selection at The Other Place or Chad’s Pizza. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, stop in at Beck’s Sports Grill for a craft beer and burger, at La Calle Latin American Bistro for a Latin American burger or brat or grab a quick and delicious sandwich at Sub City.

If it’s nightlife you seek, look no further than the live entertainment available on The Hill. Octopus offers a venue for all music lovers and features regional Blues, Rap and rock bands at their club. Gingers Pub also has Live Summer Sundown Sessions (and you’ll want to keep an eye out for regular appearances by local rock band, The Pork Tornadoes!)

Have a hankerin’ for a late night snack of freshly baked cookies? Call on Insomnia Cookies. They specialize in delivering warm, delicious cookies right to your door!

In the summer, visit the College Hill Farmer’s Market on Thursday evenings from 4 – 6 pm. And, mark your calendar for the College Hill Arts Festival held every June on the corner of College and 23rd Streets.

Octopus College Hill Evening Cedar Falls TourismFor more information about College Hill and attractions in the Cedar Valley, give us a call at the Cedar Falls Visitor Center at 1-800-845-1955 (319-268-4266) or stop by and see us. We’re open M-F, 9 am – 5 pm, Saturdays, 9 am – 4 pm and Sundays, noon until 4 pm at 6510 Hudson Road. Do you have questions about the College Hill Partnership? Visit their website.

RAGBRAI is Nearly Here!


Can anyone else believe we are less than one week away from RAGBRAI® visiting Cedar Falls? The big day is Wednesday, July 22!

At the Cedar Falls Visitor Center, we’ve been answering a variety of questions about RAGBRAI’s (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) stop in Cedar Falls.

Here are five commonly asked questions:
1.     Where can I get a Cedar Falls RAGBRAI® t-shirt?
Through Monday, July 20, t-shirts can be purchased at the Cedar Falls Visitor Center, University Book & Supply, Scheels, Scratch Cupcakery, Bike Tech, Europa Cycle & Ski and the Hawkeye Community College Bookstore. After Monday, the shirts will be sold at the Cedar Falls RAGBRAI® grounds at UNI (and cash only). A 2015 Cedar Falls RAGBRAI® t-shirt is your ticket for a free shuttle ride and ticket to the evening concerts on July 22!
RAGRAI t-shirts 20152.     Will there be parking at the UNI-Dome?
On July 22, community parking lots will be available after 5 pm at no cost. Riders, volunteers and residents are welcome to take a shuttle to the UNI-Dome. There will be three shuttle routes available on July 22: Campground shuttle will operate 10 am – 8 pm and will be free; College Square shuttle will operate 10 am – Midnight (cost is $2 one way); Downtown shuttle will operate 10 am – 2 am (cost is $2 one way). Each shuttle will have more than one stop on their route so please plan your time accordingly. A map of the Cedar Falls RAGBRAI® grounds and shuttle routes can be found at the Cedar Falls RAGBRAI® website.
RAGBRAI CF UNI Dome3.     Where do I find information when I get to the RAGBRAI® grounds/UNI-Dome?
You’ll find an information booth at the heart of all the activity – between the campgrounds and the UNI-Dome/McLeod Center.

4.     Will it be easy to see the entertainment?
There will two stages of entertainment. The Afternoon Stage will be located south of the McLeod Center. Karla Ruth, Joe and Vicki Price and Dylan Sires and Neighbors will perform between 12:30 and 5 pm. At 5 pm, entertainment will switch to the Evening Stage located west of the UNI-Dome and will feature Bob Dorr and the Blue Band, The Devon Worley Band and The New Black 7.  Headliner band, Hairball, will perform 9:30 – 11:45 pm.
RAGBRAI CF hairball-photo5.     What roads will be closed?
On July 22, College Hill and 27th Street will be closed. Riders will also be on several streets (especially along designated Bike Routes) so drivers will need to be careful and take extra time to get around Cedar Falls. Riders will be arriving before 8 am and until 6 pm on Wednesday. On Thursday, July 23, riders will leave Cedar Falls along designated Bike Routes and then south on Hudson Road. Some riders will leave before 5 am and some as late as noon. But the heaviest bike traffic will be between 5 am and 8 am.

And, RAGBRAI® will not be the only event taking place in Cedar Falls on July 22.
* The Bicycling Comedian, Tom Snyders, will appear at the Oster Regent Theatre on Main Street with shows at 4 6, and 8 pm.
* Octopus College Hill, Sidecar Coffee and all of College Hill will be closed to traffic after 2pm Wednesday, but businesses will be open and celebrating RAGBRAI®.
* 139th Annual Iowa State Shoot will take place July 21-26 at 6138 W. Cedar Wapsi Rd in Cedar Falls.

Stay up-to-date and follow Cedar Falls RAGBRAI® on Facebook and Twitter!

Because the Cedar Falls Visitor Center is located at 6510 Hudson Road, we hope travelers will find us a good place to stop, cool off and pick up information about Cedar Falls. Come see us or give us a call at 1-800-845-1955 or 319-268-4266.

Welcome RAGBRAI®!
RAGBRAI 2015 logo

20th Annual Cedar Falls Garden Tour


We all need a reprieve from our busy schedules and time to ignite our senses and creativity. We think we have just the ticket – a walk in a garden. Now imagine your stress drifting away while strolling through FIVE beautifully landscaped gardens.

On Sunday, July 12, from 1 to 5 pm, five homeowners will share their yards and gardens as part of the Cedar Falls Historical Society’s Annual Garden Tour. If you’ve ever attended previous garden tours, you’ll know that any and all of the gardens are HGTV-worthy. They’re that beautiful!

2014 Cedar Falls Garden Tour

2014 Cedar Falls Garden Tour

This year’s garden tour is particularly special as it’s their 20th anniversary. At no extra cost, workshops will be held at the Victorian Home & Carriage House Museum and will be provided by the Seed Saving Library at 1 pm and at 4 pm by the UNI Tallgrass Prairie Center. This special tour will also feature a prize drawing for perennials, garden accessories, floral themed décor and more.

2014 Cedar Falls Garden Tour, UNI Botanical Center

2014 Cedar Falls Garden Tour, UNI Botanical Center

2014 Cedar Falls Garden Tour

2014 Cedar Falls Garden Tour

Tickets for the garden tour are only $5 per person and can be purchased in advance at the Victorian Home & Carriage House Museum at 308 W. 3rd Street in Cedar Falls. On July 12, tickets can also be purchased at any of the homes on the tour.

For more details on workshops, ticket information and a list of homes on this year’s tour, please visit the Cedar Falls Historical Society website.

2014 Cedar Falls Garden Tour

2014 Cedar Falls Garden Tour

Would you like a sneak peek at this year’s gardens?
Click HERE to view an article by The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.

If you live in Cedar Falls, watch Currents: Garden Tour on local CFU Channel 15. Master gardeners will give you a preview of this year’s gardens. Their program will air on Thursday, July 9, at 7 pm and 10:30 pm, Friday, July 10, at 3 pm and 9:30 pm and again on Saturday at 11 am.

2014 Cedar Falls Garden Tour, UNI Botanical Center

2014 Cedar Falls Garden Tour, UNI Botanical Center

Visiting from out of town and looking for information about Cedar Falls? Stop by the Cedar Falls Visitor Center at 6510 Hudson Road. We’re open Monday – Friday, 9 am – 4 pm, Saturdays, 9 am – 4 pm and Sundays, noon – 4 pm.  Or, give us a call at 1-800-845-1955. Click HERE to visit our website.

Celebrate the 4th of July!

On the heels of the Sturgis Falls Celebration comes 4th of July activities! Take your pick of the Cedar Valley Jaycees’ Fireworks Festival at National Cattle Congress or one of the celebrations taking place in nearby communities.

All the celebrations have a fireworks display at 10 pm on the 4th of July. But, be sure to check all the schedules of events since several celebrations have activities during the day.

Independence Day Celebration, Riverwalk Parks in Independence, Iowa
July 3 – 4
Blog 4th IndependenceThe Independence Day Celebration was named one of “10 Great Events” by the Des Moines Register and includes live entertainment, a 4th of July parade, FunZone, Poker Walk and more! The festivities begin at 4 pm on July 3 with live entertainment at the Band Shell. July 4th activities include the parade at 9 am followed by the Reading of the Declaration and live entertainment throughout the day, culminating in their fireworks display at 10 pm.
Be sure to check their website to find out more:

Shell Rock Iowa 4th of July Celebration, 214 N. Cherry in Shell Rock, Iowa
July 2-4
Blog 4th Shell RockThe Des Moines Register featured Shell Rock’s 4th of July Celebration in their article, “10 Unique Ways Iowans Celebrate the 4th of July.” Their festivities kick off on Thursday, July 2, and continue through July 4 with live entertainment (including Urban Legend, Skin Kandy and Farm Rock), a carnival, kiddie parade, Duck Races, Cow Chip Bingo and more.

Reinbeck Iowa 4th of July Celebration, Elmwood Park, Reinbeck, Iowa
July 3 – 4
Their festivities kick off Friday night with the Fireman’s Dance at 9 pm. Saturday activities include their 5K Walk/Run, bake sale, car show, kiddie parade, Grand Parade at 1:30 pm, Hawkeye Pedal Pull, live music and lots of vendors for food and shopping! Be sure to check out their Facebook page for a look at all the activities taking place before the fireworks display at 10 pm.

Were you wondering about Cedar Falls and Waterloo? This year, the Cedar Valley Jaycees have organized a Cedar Valley event…
Fireworks Festival, National Cattle Congress grounds, Waterloo, Iowa
July 4
Blog 4th WaterlooThe Cedar Valley Jaycees invite everyone to come and celebrate our nation’s independence! Gates open at 4 pm on the 4th of July and admission is free. The Chocolate Crackers perform 4 – 8 pm and The Wicked Andersons perform 8pm – midnight with fireworks taking place at 10 pm. Be sure check out their webpage to find out more about all the family-friendly activities taking place before the fireworks!

We’ve just seen that Dysart has a 4th of July Celebration. Check out Club Dysart’s Facebook page for more details:

We’ve also found out that the Waterloo Bucks will also have post-game fireworks on July 3. The game starts at 7 pm against Battle Creek!

If you need additional ideas about how to spend the upcoming long weekend, stop by the Cedar Falls Visitor Center at 6510 Hudson Road. We’ll be open Friday, 9 am – 4 pm, Saturday, 9 am – 4 pm and Sunday, noon – 4 pm.

The Cedar Falls Visitor Center and the Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau wish you a safe and happy 4th of July!

5 Events You Don’t Want to Miss During the 40th Annual Sturgis Falls Celebration

Sturgis Falls Celebration 2015We’ve waited 12 months and we can hardly believe it’s arrived. It’s time for the annual Sturgis Falls Celebration June 25-28! Sturgis Falls is one of those Iowa festivals that truly has something for everyone!

Sturgis Falls Parade – local floats, bands and the Budweiser Clydesdales. Saturday, June 27 starting at 9:30 am

Budweiser Clydesdales – they call this the 2.0 Experience and you can visit the Clydesdales in Gateway Park. June 26 from 1 – 6 pm, June 27 from 1 – 7 pm and June 28 from 1 – 7 pm

Four Stages of entertainment
Sturgis Park – the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival begins at 5 pm on June 26 with Saints Dixieland Jazz. (check out the full schedule at Cedar Basin Jazz Festival)

Gateway Park – Catch Brazilian 2wins, Dylan Sires & Neighbors, Sixteen Candles, Arch Allies, Daphne Willis and more! The fun starts June 25 at 7 pm.

Overman Park – this is where you hang out, enjoy the vast array of entertainment and grab some great food from vendors! Entertainment begins June 26 at 11 am with the Cedar Valley Jazz Club.

Kidsway Tent (next to Overman Park) – the magic begins with Eric Michaels at 12:30 pm on June 26 (catch a pre-show at 11:30 am).

Classic Car Show – over 100 cars are already registered for this event on Sunday, June 28 at the Police Officers’ Memorial Park. Visit Sturgis Falls Classic Car Show for more details!

Arts and Crafts Fair – have you been to this event? It’s heavy in arts and style.
June 28 from 10 am – 4 pm.

Kidsway tent, parade and activities – this is where Sturgis memories begin!
Events begin June 26 at 11:30.

Gateway Market – find a unique item to purchase! The market opens June 26 at 1 pm.

Ice House Museum, Little Red Schoolhouse and Victorian Home – all have free admission on June 27 and June 28. Check out the other events taking place next to the celebration: Sturgis Falls Around Town

There is so much more to see and do…and it’s all free! Find out more about activities, entertainment, vendors, parking and more at The site is comprehensive and user friendly!

If you have any questions, stop by or give us a call at the Cedar Falls Visitor Center. Our phone number is 319-268-4266 or 1-800-845-1955 and we’re located at 6510 Hudson Road.
Sturgis Falls Celebration brochures are also available at the visitor center.
Website: Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau

Do You Want to Travel With Your Pet?

Pet-Friendly Hotels in Cedar Falls and Waterloo, IATraveling doesn’t have to mean leaving part of your family behind. There are hotels in the Cedar Valley that are pet-friendly so that you can bring your family’s furry companion along on vacation.

To find a list of pet-friendly hotels, turn to the Accommodations section (on page 60) of our visitors guide by clicking the photo. Or, drop by the Cedar Falls Visitor Center at 6510 Hudson Road to pick up a free copy of our Cedar Falls and Waterloo Visitors Guide.

We want your entire family to enjoy the time you spend in the Cedar Valley. And, because policies can and do change, we recommend that you call ahead to your hotel to double check whether pets are still allowed and to ask for all rules related to pets.
Visitors Guide 2015 coverIf you have any questions, stop by or give us a call at the Cedar Falls Visitor Center. Our phone number is 319-268-4266 or 1-800-845-1955.

Local Farmers’ Markets are OPEN!

Cedar Falls Farmer's Market

Little else says Spring like an early morning visit to the farmer’s market for farm-fresh produce, delicious baked goods, fresh-cut flower arrangements, plants and crafts made by local artisans. There really is something for everyone at our local markets.

The largest of our markets is the Cedar Falls Farmer’s Market located at 3rd and Clay Streets in Cedar Falls. It’s nestled under mature trees and between our local historical society and Overman Park. Not only will you find produce, plants, baked goods and crafts, this farmer’s market also has food and coffee vendors, a monthly customer appreciation day and live entertainment throughout the summer. Bike or drive to the market, grab a cup of coffee (and breakfast), stroll the streets, purchase your week’s produce and picnic in the park.
They’re open every Saturday, May through October, from 8:30 am until Noon.

Also in Cedar Falls is the College Hill Farmer’s Market at 2205 College Street. Visit every Thursday from 4 pm until 6 pm, June through October, for a variety of locally grown produce, locally roasted coffee, honey, hand-crafted items and baked goods. You’ll love The Hill!
Farmers Market wine

Several more markets are open in the Cedar Valley. We’ve listed them by the day they’re open:

Cedar Falls Farmer’s Market (see above)
8:30 am – Noon

Downtown Waterloo Farmer’s Market 
8 am – Noon, May through October
RiverLoop Expo Plaza (corner of W. 3rd and Jefferson Streets)
You’ll find seasonal produce, baked goods, glassware, soaps, jams, crafts and more.

Kimball Ridge Family Market 
8 am – Noon, May through October
Located in Waterloo at the NE corner of Kimball and Ridgeway Avenue
Crafts, baked goods, fresh produce, flowers, jellies and more can be found here!

Kimball Ridge Farmer’s Market 
3:30 pm – 6 pm, May through October
Located in Waterloo in the parking lot behind the Cancer Treatment Center and KFC off of Kimball Avenue
Seasonal produce, baked goods, eggs, crafts and more.
Farmers Market fall produceWEDNESDAY
Evansdale Farmer’s Market
2:30 pm – 5:30 pm, June through October
3524 LaFayette Street
Organic food, fruits, vegetables and local specialties available.

College Hill Farmer’s Market (see above)

Downtown Waterloo Farmer’s Market 
3:30 pm – 6 pm, May through October
RiverLoop Expo Plaza (corner of W. 3rd and Jefferson Streets)
Seasonal produce, baked goods, glassware, soaps, jams, crafts and more.

La Porte City Park Farmer’s Market
4 pm – 6 pm, mid June through mid October
City Park in the open air shelterhouse
Seasonal produce and baked goods.
Farmers Market cutting boards

Visit our website or stop by the Cedar Falls Visitor Center at 6510 Hudson Road for a brochure of Buy Fresh, Buy Local markets in Black Hawk County and surrounding counties. There are over 15 markets to choose from!

No matter which market is convenient for you, you will find a vibrant mix of local products!

Questions? Feel free to call the Cedar Falls Visitor Center at 1-800-845-1955.

It’s Bike Month – 15 Tips to Keep You Safe on The Roads and Trails


We’ve just enjoyed the first weekend of National Bike Month and the warm temps brought lots of people outside to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. With that in mind, we’d like to share some tips (and reminders) to help keep you and your family safe on Iowa’s roads and trails.

        While on the roads…

  • ALWAYS wear a bicycle helmet!
  • Ride in the right lane except when passing another vehicle, preparing for a left turn or to avoid hazards on the road.
  • NEVER ride against traffic, always ride WITH the flow of traffic.
  • Obey ALL traffic signs and signals. Use Hand signals to advise motorists or other bicyclists you plan to turn, change lanes or stop.
  • MAKE EYE CONTACT with motorists and NEVER assume a motorist sees you or that you have the right-of-way (even if you do).
  • Expect the unexpected such as Parked vehicles pulling into traffic, vehicle doors opening into your path, and debris or other hazards on the road.
  • At night (and at dusk) use a headlight (or 2), taillight and reflectors.
    (the rules above were adapted from the Iowa Department of Transportation brochure)

    While on the trails… 

  • Observe all posted signs.
  • Use your head and wear a helmet.
  • Go with the flow and stay to the right side of the trail.
  • Stay clear of the trail when you’re stopped.
  • Signal turns or stops.
  • Announce to others on the trail
  • Show respect for adjacent property.
  • If you cycle with your dog, please remember they must be on a leash.

As National Bike to Work Week approaches (May 11-15, 2015), we’d also like to suggest that you have your bike serviced after the long winter. A well-maintained bike will help ensure you have an enjoyable and comfortable experience on the roads and trails. The following bike shops in Cedar Falls can help you. Or, ask them what classes are available to help you maintain your own bicycle.
Bike Tech, 319-266-5979,, 217 Washington Street

Europa Cycle & Ski, 319-277-0734,, 4302 University Avenue #E

Scheels All Sports, 319-277-3033,, 402 Viking Road

The Cedar Falls Public Library will offer a free clinic by the Cedar Valley Bike Collective called Get Your Bike Ready for Summer, on Saturday, May 16. The class will start at 2pm at the library. No need to bring your bike into the library, materials will be provided for this hands-on class.319-273-8643,, 524 Main Street

As always, if we can help, give us a call at the Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-845-1955 or 319-268-4266.

Time to Vote! 2015 Cedar Valley Tourism Awards

American flag VOTE! Text

It’s time to vote! No. No. Not a political vote. Every year, The Cedar Valley recognizes outstanding businesses and organizations that excel in their commitment to customer service and enhancing the quality of life in our community. Because of this dedication, they have contributed to the local tourism industry by significantly increasing the number of visitors to The Cedar Valley. You have an opportunity to vote for a local business or organization who you think has achieved this in 2014.

The difference that tourism-focused businesses and organizations make to our community is substantial. The average Iowa travel party of 2.5 people spends $285.47 daily. In 2013, visitors spent $338.51 million in Black Hawk County. That spending generated $52.53 million in payroll, employment for 2,810 people, generated $13.83 million in state tax receipts and $4.47 million in local tax receipts.  (Source: U.S. Travel Association)

Our electronic ballot (at the link below) lists the nominations in each of five categories: Attraction of the Year, Event of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Lodging Establishment of the Year, and Business/Organization of the Year. Below are photos of last year’s award recipients and a description of each category.

Please make a difference and cast your electronic ballot before April 29!
Ask your friends to vote,too!

Trail and bikers 3Attraction of the Year: A local attraction that substantially contributed to the local tourism industry by bringing in a significant number of visitors and enhanced the quality of life in our community.

My Waterloo Days Balloon from MyWlooS FBook page 3

Event of the Year: A hallmark event or festival that created significant economic impact, attracted substantial out-of-town visitors, generated positive media attention, and/or positively promoted the Cedar Valley as a visitor destination.

Brown Bottle Waterloo 3

Restaurant of the Year: A restaurant that exhibits excellence in service, a positive attitude and attentive staff, quality menu items, ambiance, and ability to provide visitors with a memorable dining experience.

Hampton Inn Waterloo 3

Lodging Establishment of the Year: A lodging establishment that exhibits excellence in service, a positive attitude and attentive staff, an availability of outstanding facilities, ambiance, innovation, and the ability to provide visitors with a memorable stay.

Cedar Valley STEM Festival WCF Courier 3Business/Organization of the Year: An organization that offers a unique product or service that contributes to the local tourism industry. The organization excels in product and service innovation, quality of product experience, and supports higher quality of life and tourism-related goals.

Mark your calendar! Everyone is welcome to attend the Cedar Valley Tourism Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 7, at the RiverLoop Amphitheatre in Waterloo.

Questions? Feel free to call the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau at 319-268-4266 or the Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau at 319-233-8350.


Stellar Craft Beer Close To Home

Single Speed Brewery window logo

SingleSpeed Brewing Co.

I think if you have ever wondered what beer touched with a bit of vanilla, mango or honey would taste like, you have the venturesome spirit that SingleSpeed Brewing Co. in Cedar Falls talks about. Today, flavor pairings seem limitless if you’re a craft brewer.

As a consumer, the only problem is that you may have to wait for a certain time of year or a certain day of the week to try a one-of-a-kind brew. The brewing process takes time, care and attention. We’re talking about the small-scale, single-batch breweries and mom and pop shops located just down the street from your home. Wouldn’t the fresh flavor of a jalapeno beer be just the right ticket for grilling out on a summer evening?

Single Speed Brewery inside LM fall 2014

SingleSpeed Brewing Co.

SingleSpeed Brewing Co. is a locally owned brewery operating in downtown Cedar Falls. Their focus is on small-batch unique beers. In operation since 2012, they are community-minded, partnering with other local businesses such as Sidecar Coffee Roasters, Cedar Falls Food Coop and the Prairie Rapids Project (they will donate $1 from each sale of their Whitewater Black Beer to the whitewater project). Check out their blog for a weekly beer list or show up on a Wednesday evening from 4-6 pm for their Brew Debut.

Guerrilla Brewing guerrilla logo

Guerrilla Brewing Co.

Guerrilla Brewing Co. in Waterloo may be one of our best kept secrets. Their microbrewery is located on Falls Avenue in Waterloo in the same building as Rudy’s Tacos and the Lava Lounge. Is there a more fitting location for such a unique brewery than next to a great food locale and the funky vibes of the 60’s lounge? We think not. For now, the Lava Lounge and Rudy’s Tacos are the only places serving their fresh take on beer. They tap a new keg each Thursday (and only on Thursday), so be sure to stop and try a pint before the keg runs dry.

Beck's Sports Brewery choices

Beck’s Sports Brewery

Whether you decide to take a growler of Beck’s Craft Microbrew home or drink it with your favorite burger or Big Time Tenderloin, you won’t be disappointed Beck’s Sports Brewery. Ask about their seasonal brews or just forge ahead with a Panther Pale Ale, Hawkeye Golden Wheat, Cy’s Clone Ale or their Black Hawk Braxator!

Broad Street Brewing Company

Broad Street Brewing Co.

One of our nearby communities also caters to local drinking establishments. Broad Street Brewing Co. in Reinbeck is making a name for themselves with their beer on tap at 26 locations throughout northeast and central Iowa. You have to like a place that serves a Coo Coo Cachoo, Chipper Sipper or a Sticky Wicket!
Hops on Main logo

Not sure you want to drive to all the breweries? Sample a variety of our locally brewed craft beers at the 10th annual Hops on Main held on Thursday, April 9, in downtown Cedar Falls. Samples will be available at select bars and restaurants in downtown Cedar Falls. A limited number of tickets are available from Community Main Street (319-277-0213) or at SingleSpeed Brewing Co. for $20. The event will run from 5:30 pm until 9:00 pm.

Kitchen Wines & Brew Shop

If you want to save a few pennies, create your dream craft brew or just wrap yourself in the brewing experience, you may want to brew your own beer. It’s easy and the experts at Kitchen Wines & Brew Shop in Cedar Falls can help. Their unique store has all the supplies and books you need to get started. If you’re still not sure whether you want to give it a try, just ask about their next brewing demonstration.

Single Speed Brewery horizontal behind the counter

SingleSpeed Brewing Co.

Our local brew pubs go beyond your basic ale and their brews beg for you to give them a try. Whether you brew your own or shop local, it’s time to be a fearless beer drinker!

There a lot of fine breweries in northeast Iowa. If you know of another brewery operating in The Cedar Valley and supplying to stores in our area, let us know.

The Cedar Valley is Seeking Tourism Month Award Nominations

Trail and bikers 3

With the start of spring, The Cedar Valley begins preparations for National Tourism Month in May.

You can participate by nominating an outstanding local business, organization, event or attraction for The Attraction of the Year, Event of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Lodging Establishment of the Year and/or Business/Organization of the Year.*

Nominating a business is quick and easy! Simply email the name, contact information and a short description of 25-50 words to by MARCH 31, 2015.

You may nominate more than one business or organization and in more than one category. Your business can also nominate itself…and that’s encouraged!

My Waterloo Days Balloon from MyWlooS FBook page 3

Honorees will be selected through a three-step process, beginning with nominations. In April, the public will be invited to vote online using a ballot produced with the nominations we receive. If your event, attraction or business is not nominated, it will not appear on the ballot. In May, our honorees will be announced at our annual Tourism Month celebration.

Here is a description of each of the categories:
Attraction of the Year: A local attraction that substantially contributed to the local tourism industry by bringing in a significant number of visitors and enhanced the quality of life in our community.

Event of the Year: A hallmark event or festival that created significant economic impact, attracted substantial out-of-town visitors, generated positive media attention, and/or positively promoted the Cedar Valley as a visitor destination.

Restaurant of the Year: A restaurant that exhibits excellence in service, a positive attitude and attentive staff, quality menu items, ambiance, and ability to provide visitors with a memorable dining experience.

Brown Bottle Waterloo 3

Lodging Establishment of the Year: A lodging establishment that exhibits excellence in service, a positive attitude and attentive staff, an availability of outstanding facilities, ambiance, innovation, and the ability to provide visitors with a memorable stay.

Hampton Inn Waterloo 3

Business/Organization of the Year: An organization that offers a unique product or service that contributes to the local tourism industry. The organization excels in product and service innovation, quality of product experience, and supports higher quality of life and tourism-related goals.

Cedar Valley STEM Festival WCF Courier 3

Call the Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau at 319-268-4266 or the Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau at 319-233-8350 if you have questions.

*Nominations should recognize outstanding attractions, events, restaurants, lodging establishments, and businesses/organizations for calendar year 2014.

10 Ways to Enjoy Spring Break

10 Ways to Enjoy Spring Break
Spring is in The Air and it’s Time for a Break!
Here are just 10 ways you and your kids can enjoy the week together.

worlds greatest spring break
1. It’s the World’s Greatest Spring Break!
Thanks to the McElroy Trust, every year our Waterloo museums celebrate the World’s Greatest Spring Break by offering $1 admission to kids and accompanying parents March 16-20. Be sure to check out all the other activities surrounding the World’s Greatest Spring Break.

Kidabaloo Waterloo 2015
2. Kidabaloo in Waterloo March 21
Country K98.5 will host a kids’ jamboree at the Waterloo SportsPlex with activities, live entertainment and games for the entire family.

UNI Botanical Center kids
3. Soak in the warmth and the green surroundings of the UNI Botanical Center
Pack a lunch and take a self-guided tour of the UNI Botanical Center in Cedar Falls. The UNI Botanical Center is free and open Monday – Friday. Call ahead to 319-273-2247 to confirm hours over spring break.

Palmers Family Fun
4. Palmer’s Family Fun!
Nothing seems more summer-like than mini golf and go-karts! Weather permitting, Palmer’s will be open Monday – Saturday, 11 am – 7 pm. If it’s below 50 degrees and breezy, you’ll need to call ahead to 319-232-9384 to be sure they’re open.

Hearst Center for the Arts spring 2015 classes
5. Create some Art
Next week, classes for adults and kids begin. Be sure to check out Spring Break Camp Creativity Five-Day Sessions that begin March 16. Call ahead to check availability and to register at 319-273-8641.

KTs Inflatable Park
6. Inside bouncing fun for the little ones
Inflatables are all the rage. Check out KT’s Inflatable Park in Cedar Falls or Thorp Family Fun in Waterloo.

Hansens Farm Fresh Dairy
7. Visit Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy
Tour a working dairy farm one mile southwest of Hudson.  Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy is a family owned and operated farm and creamery with 150 milking Holsteins on 440 acres. Visitors can view the entire process of getting the milk from the cow to the table. Tours are by appointment only so you’ll need to call ahead to 319-939-2187.

Cedar Falls Library Seed Library
8. Plan a garden or kick back and enjoy a movie
Stop by the Cedar Falls Public Library and watch Super Hero 6 with your family on Thursday, March 19 at 6 pm and enjoy complimentary popcorn and beverages. Come early to read a good book in the solarium or plan your garden using the Seed Library. At 2 pm on Sunday, March 22, join Greg Houseal of the UNI Tallgrass Prairie Center for a prairie planting workshop.

Pursuing Picasso 2
9. Pursue Picasso and create a work of art
Would you like to create a masterpiece? Paint your own pottery at Pursuing Picasso in Cedar Falls. Paint your piece and pick it up after it’s been fired. Walk-ins are welcome!

Cedar Falls shelter on trail
10. Picnic on the trails
Throw a few drinks and sandwiches into your backpack and hit the trails! The Cedar Valley has an extensive trail system and shelters can be found along the way for breaks and enjoying your lunch.

Be sure to check out our Things To Do section on our website for a variety of attractions open throughout the week.

If you’re driving outside The Cedar Valley for your spring break, be sure to visit our Travel Tips board on Pinterest for ideas of how to keep your little ones busy while in the car.

Have a great week!

A Day in Cedar Falls With Your Valentine

It’s easy spending a romantic evening in Cedar Falls, but what about the entire day?
Coffee, shopping and treats are just the start for your Valentine this Saturday….here are a few ideas!

Valentine wishes start a day early with The Proud Image Chorus. Surprise your special someone (or your colleagues) with a singing Valentine. Packages start at $50. (319) 291-2806
The Proud Image Chorus Singing ValentinesGood Morning
It’s Saturday morning and you have the entire day with your Valentine. What better way to start your day than a perfect cup of java at a local coffee shop? Good idea!

Cup of Joe cupThe Cup of Joe in historic downtown Cedar Falls serves up breakfast pastries in a unique atmosphere.
(319) 277-1596 | 102 Main Street

Sidecar Coffee Tim DoddAt Sidecar Coffee on College Hill, you can have your latte served up in a variety of ways. Have you heard of the Frank Sinatra? This Valentine’s Day you’re in for a treat. They’re serving up brunch with waffles, mimosas and quiche from 10 am until 2 pm.
(319) 242-7278 | 2215 College Street

What next? Whether you’re celebrating the day with a significant other, enjoying a Saturday to yourself or out with friends, shopping might be in order. Explore downtown Cedar Falls, discover the new shops in the Cedar Falls Industrial Park or visit College Square Mall.

Downtown Cedar Falls
Downtown CF couple Tim Dodd

Viking Plaza, Cedar Falls Industrial Park
(photo by Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier)
Viking Plaza Waterloo Courier photo

College Square Mall
College Square Mall

Jiva Valentine special

Need a quiet day just for yourself or with a few close friends? We suggest a day of pampering at Jiva Salonspa in downtown Cedar Falls.
(319) 268-0772 | 223 Main Street

Sweet Treats
All that shopping or pampering deserves a sweet treat. Main Street Sweets or Scratch Cupcakery are good ideas. Yes, yes and yes!

Main Street Sweets
(319) 610-4500 | 210 Main Street
Main Street Sweets Valentine

Scratch Valentines Day

Scratch Cupcakery
(855) 833-5719 | 315 Main Street

It’s time to relax and enjoy dinner out together. Be sure to call ahead since many of your favorite restaurants are taking reservations for Valentine’s Day. They may also have a special offer for you. Here are a few specials that we’re aware of.

Brown Bottle Valentine special

Cafe Due Valentine special

Ferraris Valentine special

Bourbon Street Valentine special

Texas Roadhouse Valentine special

The day is beginning to wind down, it’s after dinner and you would like to do a little something before heading home. May we suggest a couple of hot spots in downtown Cedar Falls with relaxing entertainment?

Cup of Joe
Dave Malam, 8 pm – 10 pm
(319) 277-1596 | 102 Main Street
Dave Malam

Luna Art + Wine
Brad Myers, 8pm – 11 pm
(319) 277-7956 | 107 Main Street
Brad Myers

You’re not tired yet? Make a full day of it and let loose at night!
Jokers Valentines Day

If you’d like to check out more things to do in the Cedar Valley, please visit our website for Things To Do and Wine & Dine: Waterloo also has several events taking place as well as several options for nightlife. Visit their Valentine’s Day events at:

We do our best to make sure all the information we share with you is accurate. Because specials, hours and events can change, you may want to call ahead to your destination to ask about reservations and any changes.


The 2015 Visitors Guide Has Arrived!

Our 2015 Visitors Guide and our Cedar Valley Calendar of Events (January through May) have arrived!

2015 Visitors Guide cover Blog2015 Calendar of Events winter cover Blog

These are your resources for what’s happening and what to do in The Cedar Valley. Whether planning for a week, weekend or a day trip to The Cedar Valley, you’ll easily find what you need in our guides. Sections in our visitors guide include Attractions, Museums, Arts and Culture, Shopping, Parks & Recreation and more.

2015 Visitors Guide Museums 1 Blog2015 Visitors Guide Museums 2 Blog

Looking for places that may be particularly well-suited for families? Just look for our Family Friendly symbol:

2015 Visitors Guide Family Friendly symbol Blog

2015 Visitors Guide Parks Rec Blog

Our Parks & Recreation section also has symbols to help you find the perfect place to camp or hike.

2015 Visitors Guide Dining Blog

Need to find a restaurant during your stay? Our dining guide has options for every budget and taste – Thai, pizza, American, Chinese and deli are all on the menu. We even have a cupcake shop!

2015 Visitors Guide CFVTB logo Blog

Let us help you find the options that suit you best. Our visitors guide and calendar of events are just samples of how we can help. Browse for more travel ideas, give us a call, send us an email or stop by our visitor center and chat with one of our knowledgeable travel counselors. 

The Cedar Falls Visitor Center is open seven days a week:
9 am – 5 pm Monday – Friday
9 am – 4 pm Saturday
Noon – 4 pm Sunday
Our email address is:

Ring in the New Year in Cedar Falls!

2015 Header for New Year's Eve Blog

We’re sure to have an event for you to celebrate with family, friends or that special someone. We have a family-oriented Noon Year’s Party, live music, champagne toasts at midnight and an evening out with Bob Dorr & The Blue Band & Friends. Choose an event and come celebrate the start of 2015!

Phelps Youth Pavilion logo for blog
Noon Year’s Party
December 31, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
You’re invited to a New Year’s party for KIDS and their families! Ring in 2015 a little early with family crafts, snacks, games and watch the Noon Year’s ball drop at noon.
Members: free
Non-members: $5/person (includes same-day admission to the Pavilion)
Please register by December 29
Phelps Youth Pavilion/Waterloo Center for the Arts
225 Commercial Street, Waterloo

Bob Dorr New Year's for blog

Happy Blue Year Cedar Valley
December 31, 8:30 pm – 12:30 am
Hilton Garden Inn, Cedar Falls
An evening of entertainment…
Lounge Stage
6:30 pm – 7:20 pm Phil & Travis
7:30 pm – 8:25 pm Dave & Cricket
9:30 pm – 10:00 pm Phil & Travis
Ballroom Stage
7:35 pm – 8:20 pm Bryce Janey
8:20 pm – 8:25 pm Pinkstuff (standup comedy)
8:25 pm – 9:30 pm Bob Dorr & The Blue Band & Friends
9:30 pm – 9:35 pm Pinkstuff (standup comedy)
9:40 pm – 9:55 pm Dave & Cricket
9:55 pm – 10:25 pm Blue Mississippi
10:30 pm – 11:20 pm Bob Dorr & The Blue Band & Friends
11:35 pm – 12:30 pm Bob Dorr & The Blue Band & Friends
Hilton Garden Inn
7213 Nordic Drive, Cedar Falls

New Year's Eve in Wonderland for blog
New Year’s Eve in Wonderland
December 31, 8:00 pm – 1:00 am
Isle® Casino Hotel, Waterloo
Celebrate 2015 as the casino floor is transformed into a storybook setting – complete with free party favors, DJ, champagne toast and a balloon drop at midnight. There will be live entertainment in The Lone Wolf® and at 1:00 am, they will give away a 2015 Camaro®.
777 Isle of Capri Blvd, Waterloo

Voodoo Lounge New Year's Eve for blog

New Year’s Eve Bash
December 31, 7:00 pm – 2:00 am
Voodoo Lounge, Cedar Falls
Kicking off the New Year right – serving $10 bottles of champagne all night. Bottle services are filling up fast so call in to reserve your spot for this spectacular night.
314 Main Street, Cedar Falls

Wildcard New Year's Eve for blogNew Year’s Eve with Wildcard
December 31, 7:00 pm – 1:00 am
National Cattle Congress,
Pepsi Pavilion, Waterloo
Welcome the New Year with Wildcard!
Free dance lessons from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm, Bucky Doran from K98.5 takes over as DJ until 9:00 pm when Wildcard takes the stage. Prizes throughout the night and champagne at midnight!
257 Ansborough Avenue, Waterloo

Beck's Sports Brewery New Year's Eve for blogNYE WIGS & WAGG
December 31, 6:00 pm – 2:00 am
Beck’s Sports Brewery
Ring in the New Year with Beck’s and WAGG. Come in your best 80’s gear or keep it casual and come as you are. WAGG takes the stage at 8:00 pm and the Rockstar Contest is at 11:00 pm with a balloon drop and champagne toast at midnight.
Dinner & WAGG $25/person
Just WIGS & WAGG $8/person
Advance tickets at
3295 University Avenue, Waterloo

Joker's New Year's Eve for blog

NYE Electric Candyland
December 31, 8:00 pm – 2:00 am
Prepare for the New Year with DJ Reverie until close and gift bags for the first 100 people through the door.
401 Main Street, Cedar Falls

Faythe Kubik New Year's Eve for blogNew Year’s Eve Celebration with Faythe Kubik
December 31, 7:30 pm – 12:30 am
Electric Park Ballroom
310 West Conger Street, Waterloo
Faythe Kubik Productions

Never The Less logo New Year's Eve for blogScreaming Eagle logo for New Year's Eve for blogNever The Less at Screaming Eagle American Bar & Grill
December 31 at 9 pm
Experience 80’s music with a modern edge.
228 E 4th Street, Waterloo

Higher Ground at Jameson’s Public House & RestaurantJameson's logo New Year's Eve for blog
December 31 at 8 pm
This is the party of the year! You won’t want to miss this one…don’t stay home and watch the ball drop on TV! Start 2015 right with some awesome rock music from Higher Ground, dancing, drinks and the awesome staff at Jameson’s!
Jameson’s Public House & Restaurant
310 E 4th Street, Waterloo

The Pump Haus logo for New Year's Eve for blog

The Pump Haus New Year’s Eve
Free champagne toast with a balloon drop at midnight
Kitchen 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, bar open 5:00 pm – 2:00 am
311 Main Street

Holiday Hoopla Brings the Magic of the Holiday Season to Downtown Cedar Falls

Holiday Hoopla header for blog 11.26.14Guest post by Emily Yaddof, Community Main Street in Cedar Falls

‘Twas just days before Hoopla, and all through downtown, the HooHerd was scurrying to make final preparations for Santa’s big arrival in downtown Cedar Falls! In its 6th year, Holiday Hoopla continues to dazzle children of all ages with a week-long calendar of events to celebrate the holiday season.

Each year, Holiday Hoopla kicks off on Black Friday with the highly anticipated arrival of the jolly man himself. In year’s past, Santa has appeared from a magic book, ridden in on a jumbo sleigh, flown in via helicopter, arrived by train and even rappelled down the side of a building. His arrival is always a surprise, so be sure to join us on November 28th from 6-8 pm to see how he’ll appear this year!

Holiday Hoopla Santa and Mrs for blog 11.26.14

Prior to Santa’s arrival on Friday evening, there will be a large stage at the corner of 4th and Main featuring the band WAGG and other local singers performing your favorite holiday music. Enjoy special appearances by Alvin and the chipmunks and several of your other favorite holiday characters and visit Mrs. Claus at Santa’s Workshop while you wait for Santa to arrive.

After Santa’s big arrival, make sure to join Santa and Mrs. Claus in the “Magical March Down Main Street” to the Hoopla Tree at 1st and Main where Santa will light the tree and conclude the evening with a grand winter fireworks finale over the Cedar River.  The Hibbs Memorial Bridge (North Main Bridge) will be open to the crowd, providing a spectacular view of the tree lighting and fireworks. You’ll love the energy of the evening so bundle up and come join the fun!

Holiday Hoopla tree for blog 11.26.14The fun continues through Christmas with events each Thursday and Saturday in downtown Cedar Falls. Shop til you drop during Jingle & Mingle on December 4th from 5-8 pm. Then, join Santa and all his holiday friends for an amazing feast of pancakes and sausage during Breakfast at the North Pole on December 6th from   8-11 am at the Cedar Falls Community Center. Tickets are just $6 and available online at, at Sassy Chic and World’s Window in downtown Cedar Falls or at the door the day of the event.

The bars and restaurants will also be spreading the merriment during the Hoopla Cheer drink contest on December 11th from 6-10 pm. Stop by participating establishments to taste various holiday drink specials and text vote for your favorite! Then, don your best holiday costume and join us for Santa’s Snow Shuffle Fun Run/Walk on Saturday December 13th at 8 am in downtown Cedar Falls. Registration is now open at

Holiday Hoopla Santa Shuffle for blog 11.26.14

The streets will continue to be alive with magic during the final week of Hoopla. Watch as ice sculptors transform blocks of ice into beautiful works of art during Baby, Its Cold Outside on December 18th from 6-8pm. Plus, enjoy the soft glow of hundreds of ice luminaries that will line the sidewalks as you stroll down the street to shop dine and greet your favorite holiday characters. Holiday Hoopla concludes with a free showing of Santa Buddies at 10am at the Oster Regent Theatre on Saturday December 20th.

Holiday Hoopla Santas Workshop for blog 11.26.14Make memories with the little ones as you enjoy several other fun activities that will be taking place throughout the month of December.  Follow the spectacular music and light show to Santa’s Workshop located at the corner of 4th and Main Streets where children can visit Santa and his elves on Thursdays, December 4th, 11th and 18th from  6-8 pm and Saturdays November 29th, December 6th, 13th and 20th from 11 am-2 pm. Snuggle up with a loved one to enjoy free horse-drawn trolley rides leaving from the Cedar Falls Public Library Thursdays December 4th, 11th, and 18th from 6-8 pm. A Live Nativity will be open at 6th and Main Streets outside Richardson Funeral Home on Thursdays from 6-8 pm as well.

Holiday Hoopla ice sculpture for blog 11.26.14Once again, this year’s Holiday Hoopla celebration also includes a Coloring Contest just for kids! Coloring contest forms can be picked up at the Cedar Falls Public Library and Farmers State Bank in downtown Cedar Falls or they can be found online at Winners are announced at Movie Magic. And don’t forget to write your letter to Santa and drop it into the red mailbox at the corner of 4th and Main. Be sure to include your return address so you can receive a response from Santa!

Visit for a complete list of events and activities. Bundle up and soak in the magic of downtown during Holiday Hoopla in Cedar Falls!

Holiday Hoopla girl fun for blog 11.26.14

Step Back in Time at the Old Time Power Show

AntiqueAcres50th nniversaryIt’s the 50th Anniversary of the Old Time Power Show. Help celebrate Iowa’s tradition of farming and agriculture as you step back in time August 15th thru the 17th. Antique Acres is located at 7610 Waverly Rd. in Cedar Falls. Gates open at 7 am each day and are packed full of fun and excitement for all ages.

“Founded in 1964, Antique Acres is best known for its yearly Old Time Power Show in August, which is dedicated to the preservation and operation of antique machinery. Here you will find exhibitors displaying collections of farming equipment of all kinds, jelly being made on an old fashioned wood stove, or butter being churned. A “Parade of Power” from antique garden tractors to powerful steam engines, which put on a beautiful light show after dark, is only one of the 3-day show events.

A museum at the Acres houses many old time and valuable pieces which can also be viewed during one of the many tours conducted for out-of-town groups, schools or just someone stopping by. A campground with shelter and stage are also available as well as an air-conditioned hall with kitchen facilities to meet your needs.

Enjoy live demonstrations of steam engines, horse and tractor plowing, rock crushing, rope making, threshing, tractor pulls, parades, a huge flea market, plus live stage entertainment, museums, and great food! There are old-time games and prizes for the kids, sand art, pedal tractor pull and the Dean of Juggling. See history come to life as you step back to a simpler time,” according to Antique Acre, Inc.

93rd Annual Cedar Falls Bible Conference

CFBC logo

The Annual Cedar Falls Bible Conference, held July 26 through August 3, 2014, celebrates its 93rd year of preaching the Word. Enjoy nine days of inspired Bible teaching, concerts, worship, fellowship and fun that will change your life. Nationally and internationally known speakers for 2014 are:
Dr. Stanley Toussaint, senior professor emeritus at Dallas Theological Seminary
Dr. Mark Weeter, professor at Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Dr. Derek Thomas, senior pastor of first Presbyterian church, Columbia, South Carolina
Dr. Voddie Baucham, pastor of preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church, Spring, Texas
Pastor Joe Boot, senior pastor of Westminster Chapel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada and founder of the Ezra Institute for Contemporary Christianity
Pastor C. John Steer, senior pastor of Autumn ridge Church, Rochester, MN

Activities for nursery through high school are provided for most sessions except concerts.

Featured Musicians:
The Rick Webb Family will present a concert on Sunday, July 27 from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM. They are the featured platform artists during the first part of the week.
Robin Roewe from Houston, TX, is the featured platform artist doing the latter part of the week.
Sherry Anne, featured speaker at the women’s events, will also be featured as a platform artist.

Saturday night concerts: Steve Green on 7/26 and The Collingsworth Family on 8/2

Women’s Events with Sherry Anne
Wednesday, July 30, 12:30 PM, Wind Beneath My Wings Luncheon with Sherry Anne, Tickets: $20, purchase by July 29
Friday, August 1, 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM, Fun in the SON Women’s Tea with Sherry Anne, Tickets: $15, purchase by July 31.

For additional information, please refer to Riverview Ministries’ web page at

The 138th Annual Iowa State Trap Shoot


Wednesday July 22 – Sunday July 27, 2014
Cedar Falls Gun Club
6138 W Cedar Wapsi Rd
Cedar Falls

This century old event is one of the biggest state shoots in the nation, attracting trap shooters from as far away as Australia to test their skills against others and compete for top honors.

Over 1,000 gun enthusiasts will come together at this year’s Iowa State Trap Shoot, located at C57 and Waverly Road north of Cedar Falls. Competitions for cash and prizes will take place along with food vendors available.
Visit for more details.

July 22-27, 2014
Tuesday – 100 Singles* – 100 Handicap*- 100 Doubles*
Wednesday – “Hall of Fame Day” – 100 Charles Moen Singles – 100 Bill Stuve Handicap – 100 Butch & Bev Dominacki Doubles
Thursday – 100 Hawkeye Singles – 100 President’s Handicap (Sponsored by Pioneer HiBred) – 100 Directors’ Doubles
Friday – 100 Championship Doubles (Sponsored by Crow Shooting Supplies) –
100 Class Singles – 100 Preliminary Handicap
Saturday – 200 Championship Singles (Sponsored by White Flyer)
Sunday – 100 Championship Handicap (Sponsored by Farmers National)
*Not Part of HOA

Contact: Debra Oelmann
Camping cost is $140.00 (plus sales tax) including water and electricity and MUST BE MADE IN ADVANCE.
The cost for primitive (including pickups & tents) is $40.00 (plus sales tax).
Vendor spaces are $130 minimum with electricity and $105 minimum without electricity.

Praise Fest July 14th thru the 19th


This six day event will be held July 14-19, 2014. The concerts start at 7:00 pm Monday through Thursday; and 10:00 am Friday and Saturday. Comedian, emcee, and motivational speaker, Tim Lovelace, will bring humor to each of the event’s concerts. Spoken 4, well-known quartet from Branson, MO, will be in concert Monday. Tuesday, will feature returning favorites, Forgiven Quartet and The Morgan Family. Newcomers, Beyond the Ashes, will join the Allen Family on Wednesday for a powerful night of gospel music. A love offering will be taken along with a non-perishable food donation to the NE Iowa Food Bank, for the Monday through Wednesday evening concerts.
Women’s events include: “Cooking, Creating, and Pampering” on Wednesday will feature exciting sessions; including lunch with instruction from a five star chef, crafts with local artists, and spa treatments and products . Tickets are available for $15 for the lunch. Admission to the craft and spa show is free. “Leaving a Lasting Legacy” will feature Dixie Phillips, singer, songwriter, author, and speaker, at the Women’s Brunch on Thursday morning, 10:00 am. Tickets are available at the Riverview Office for $15 each.
The 7:00 pm Thursday concert spotlights returning favorites, Keepers of the Faith, who will be joined by newcomers, Southern Raised. Tickets for Thursday night are $15. Most of the weekly groups will be joined by Higher Power and other artists for a series of concerts in the day-long Sings on Friday and Saturday. Featured Friday evening artists are The Browns, Master’s Voice, and Stillwater Quartet. Saturday evening concert will spotlight The Taylors, Paul’s Journey, and Soul’d Out Quartet. Reserved seat tickets for Thursday, Friday and Saturday are $70 for the package. All other seats for Thursday are $15 and Friday and Saturday are $20 each day. Contact Riverview Conference Center for ticket details.
439 N. Division St., Cedar Falls

Get ready for a picture perfect weekend with the Sturgis Falls Celebration and Cedar Basin Jazz Festival!


Get ready for a picture perfect weekend with the Sturgis Falls Celebration and Cedar Basin Jazz Festival!

Sturgis festivities begin Thursday, June 26th, in Gateway Park with carnival rides starting at 5pm and live stage performances starting at 7pm.

The Cedar Basin Jazz Festival starts with Dixieland Jazz on Friday, June 27th in Sturgis Park featuring the St. Louis Rivermen, New Red Onion Jazz Babies, Barehanded Wolfchockers, Raiders of the Lost Art, Claim Jumpers and the Saints Dixieland Jazz Band. At 8pm the stage converts to Sturgis Park after Dark on Friday and Saturday featuring Nashville sensation Drew Six and Beatles tribute Rubber Soul. See for details.

Sturgis Falls events in Overman Park get underway Friday at 11am. Enjoy live stage performances, the kidsway, great food vendors and more. Take advantage of free shuttle service between the parks. Parades, Street Fairs, Car Show, Vendors in Gateway, and so much more! Come for one, stay for another! Details regarding the Celebration can be found at Or download a free app and access everything on your mobile device.

College Hill Arts Festival


The College Hill Arts Festival will take place in a few short days celebrating their 36th anniversary! On Friday, June 20th from noon until 8 PM and Saturday, June 21st from 10 AM until 5 PM enjoy the shady corner of UNI located at 23rd and College Streets. With no admission charge and free parking, this event is accessible for all with a full list of activities and entertainment sure to fit everyone’s wishes.
This festival entails several of the best artists from around the country, contributing artwork that is innovative, original, rare, and exceptional. With a total of seventy five artists, selectively chosen, there is a wide range of artwork including: photography, ceramics, glass, painting, jewelry, wood, fiber, graphics and sculpture.
The Young Art Collector’s Gallery, for youth ages 14 and under, is a very well-liked part of the Festival, also including artwork that is unique and of high worth, being priced up to $10. The aspect of this event is striving to inspire youth to make independent choices regarding art.
Skillful musical groups will be present to entertain on stage, alongside other numerous activities for the youngsters with sponsors including: Hearst Center for the Arts, Fantasy Face Painting, Balloon Creations, Symphony Petting Zoo and the Young Art Collectors Gallery. A variation of food venders will also be available – all making for a fun family-friendly event!
Artists to hit the stage on Friday include: Greg Herriges, Sleepy Bones, Zoot & Newt, Uncle Chuck & His Imaginary Band and The 3rd Street Band with Saturday’s performers consisting of: Blue Suede Cruze, The OK Factor and Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz.
Every summer, College Hill Arts Festival is eager to purchase the official poster of the Event being created by the one and only Gary Kelley. Kelley is known internationally as both an artist and instructor, honored with 27 gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York. Kelly was welcomed into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in New York in June of 2007. His inventive and extraordinary poster will be offered for purchase via a silent auction. The 2014 Limited Edition Collectors Poster “An Amazing Array of Artistic Endeavors” signed by Kelly, will be for sale at the Festival as well as a signing by Kelley Friday evening from 5PM until 7 PM.
Be sure to stop at the University of Northern Iowa’s corner of College and 23rd Streets to enjoy and be a part of such a diverse festival in the Cedar Valley area! See you there!

Refer to for more information and details on this event! Krista Pelzer
Destination Marketing Intern
Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau


The James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts is pleased to announce a two-day Twenty-fifth Anniversary celebration will take place at the Hearst Center on Friday, May 16, 2014, from 5–7 pm and Saturday, May 17, from 10 am–2 pm. In addition to celebrating James & Meryl Hearst’s legacies, the Hearst Center for the Arts wants to thank the community itself for the innumerable ways in which it has generously supported the Hearst Center’s mission of “inspiring passion for the arts.”

Friends of the Hearst will be hosting an after-hours reception on Friday, May 16, from 5–7 pm at the Hearst Center. Then, on Saturday, May 17, from 10 am–2 pm, guests will enjoy barbequed pork sandwiches courtesy of the Black Hawk County Pork Producers, plein air painting by the Thursday Painters, strolling actors, balloon sculpture by Mr. Nick’s Entertainment, and jugging and stilt-walking with Dean Franzen. Here’s What’s Poppin’ will also be in attendance. Guests will enjoy art activities in the R. J. McElroy and Ella Rownd classrooms, and informal talks throughout the afternoon. Loree Rackstraw will converse at 11:00 am, with a talk titled “Jim Hearst: As I Knew Him,” Barbara Lounsberry will lecture at 12:00 pm with a presentation titled “Jim Hearst in His Own Words: The Autobiography,” and George Day will address the audience at 1:00 pm with a talk titled “Jim Hearst, Poet and Friend.”
Loree Rackstraw – An alumna of the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop, Loree Rackstraw holds a BA in Philosophy from Grinnell College and an MFA in English from the University of Iowa. She taught fiction writing, composition, literature, mythology, and humanities at the University of Northern Iowa for 30 years, where her specialty was literary criticism. Rackstraw is the author of numerous works, including the book Love As Always, Kurt: Vonnegut As I Knew Him, and critical essays “The Paradox of ‘Awareness’ and Language in Vonnegut’s Fiction,” and “Dancing with the Muse in Vonnegut’s Later Novels.” Rackstraw also served as a fiction editor and reviewer for the North American Review. Essayist, critic, and memoirist Loree Rackstraw is an Emeritus Professor of English Languages & Literatures at UNI’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Rackstraw currently resides in Grinnell, Iowa.

Barbara Lounsberry – An Emeritus Professor of English Languages & Literatures at the University of Northern Iowa, Barbara Lounsberry holds a BA and an MA in English from UNI, and a PhD in English from the University of Iowa. A native of Cedar Falls, she taught in UNI’s Department of English Languages and Literatures for 32 years, specializing in creative nonfiction and Virginia Woolf studies. She was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award in 1994 and the Outstanding Teaching Award in 1998. Lounsberry is the author and editor of a number of books. Her latest book, Becoming Virginia Woolf: Her Early Diaries & the Diaries She Read, will be released in June. Lounsberry’s other works include The Art of Fact: Contemporary Artists of Nonfiction and The Writer in You. Lounsberry co-edited Writing Creative Nonfiction: The Literature of Reality, and The Tales We Tell: Perspectives on the Short Story. Lounsberry is President of the Ruth Suckow Memorial Association and on the Board of Directors of the Norman Mailer Society. She has been awarded Distinguished Service Awards from the City of Cedar Falls for her service on the Cable Television Commission during the franchising stage, and from Humanities Iowa, the state council of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
George F. Day – An Emeritus Professor of English Languages & Literatures at the University of Northern Iowa’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences, George F. Day holds degrees from Dartmouth College, where he was a Rufus Choate Scholar; Harvard University; and the University of Colorado, where he was the first William Fullmer Reynolds Scholarship recipient. He has taught at Punahou School, Honolulu; the University of Colorado; and the University of Northern Iowa. Day taught at UNI for 28 years, specializing in American Literature. Day is the co-editor of Literary History of the American West, co-author of Anglo-Scottish Border Ballads, and author of The Uses of History in the Novels of Vardis Fisher. Day is past-president of the Western American Literature Association and the Ruth Suckow Memorial Association, where he is currently a member of the Board. He is also on the Board of Governors of the Willa Cather Foundation and on the Cather Scholarship Committee. George F. Day has been awarded the Wylder Award for Distinguished Service for the Study of Western American Literature, and he was the first William Fullmer Reynolds Scholarship recipient at the University of Colorado. Originally from Superior, Nebraska, Day currently resides in Cedar Falls.

The lecture series will continue with lecturer Michael Borich on Thursday, August 7, at 7 pm, Jeremy Schraffenberger will address the audience on Thursday, September 18, at 7 pm, and the series will conclude with a discourse by Roy Behrens on Thursday, October 23, at 7 pm. All writers will speak about James Hearst and his body of work.

The cover of the Spring 2014 Issue of the North American Review, one of the country’s longest-running literary magazines, will feature a portrait of James Hearst, created by local artist Gary Kelley. In addition, the NAR will have a four-page, full-color center spread featuring four of Hearst’s well-known poems alongside works of art by artist Gary Kelley, who has interpreted the poems. This commemorative issue marks forty years since James Hearst graced the cover of the 1974 NAR. Magazines will be available for purchase beginning on May 8, at the Hearst Center, the University of Northern Iowa, and online.

The Hearst Center’s twenty-fifth anniversary celebration is made possible by the Rotary Club of Cedar Falls, the Cedar Falls Art & Culture Board, and 93.5 The Mix. If you are a relative, friend, acquaintance, student, or colleague of the late farmer-poet and University of Northern Iowa Professor James Hearst, the Hearst Center for the Arts wants to hear from you! Please submit a paragraph or two via email for their Facebook page. Kindly consider the unique contribution that you alone can give to this vital conversation. Contact: Vicki Simpson at 319-268-5501 or email her at for more information.

Farmer-poet James Hearst bequeathed his home to the City of Cedar Falls in 1983 and asked that it be used as an arts center for the community. In 1986, as a result of this gift, the Cedar Falls Art & Culture Board was established by the City of Cedar Falls to oversee the operation of the City’s Cultural Division, which includes the James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts. The Art & Culture Board raised funds and in 1988-1989, the poet’s home was reconstructed into what is now the community’s own 12,000 square-foot arts center, complete with two galleries, three classrooms, a sculpture garden, two meeting rooms, and a performing arts facility. More than two million visitors have walked through the doors of the Hearst Center for the Arts since they were opened on May 13, 1989.

All twenty-fifth anniversary events are free and open to the public. More information is available on the Hearst Center website at, by calling the Hearst Center at (319) 273-8641, or by liking our page on Facebook. The Hearst Center is located at 304 West Seerley Boulevard in Cedar Falls. Information on the James Hearst commemorative issue of the North American Review can be found here:

Hearst Center Gallery Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday & Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


The Kids & Cadets National Folkstyle Wrestling Tournament in the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls April 4th thru the 6th.

This USA Wrestling Tournament has youth from all over the country traveling to the UNI-Dome and the Cedar Valley. This is the final USA Wrestling individual event of the folkstyle season and is the last opportunity for wrestlers to ascend up USA Wrestling’s Future Olympian Rankings as a part of the Ultimate Challenge series. The tournament is a fun event for wrestlers and audience members alike. Here is their schedule for the weekend:

Thursday, April 3
Bronze Certification Coaches Clinic
McLeod Center – Alumni Suite; 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Junior & Cadet Registration
McLeod Center; 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Friday, April 4
Junior & Cadet Registration and Weigh-ins
McLeod Center; 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM

UNI-Dome Doors Open 8:00 AM

Junior & Cadet Session I
UNI-Dome; 10:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Junior & Cadet Session II
UNI-Dome; 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Saturday, April 5
Kids (Bantam, Intermediate, Novice, and Schoolboy) Registration and Weigh-ins
McLeod Center; 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM

UNI-Dome Doors Open 7:30 AM

Copper Coaches Clinic
McLeod Center – Alumni Suite; 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Junior & Cadet Session III
(Semifinals, Consolations, 3rd, 5th, and 7th Place Matches)
UNI-Dome; 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Junior & Cadet Session IV
(1st Place and True 2nd Matches, and awards)
McLeod Center; 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Kids (Bantam, Intermediate, Novice, and Schoolboy) Session I
UNI-Dome ; 2:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Veterans Registration and Weigh-ins
Tunnel between UNI-Dome & McLeod Center; 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Sunday, April 6
UNI-Dome Doors Open 7:00 AM

Non-denominational Christian Service
7:30 AM

Kids (Bantam, Intermediate, Novice, and Schoolboy) Session II
(Includes Medal Matches and Finals for all brackets with 9 or more wrestlers)
UNI-Dome; 9:00 AM – 2:30 PM

Veterans Competition
UNI-Dome; 9:00 AM – Conclusion


2014 Northeast Iowa Paddlefest


On March 22nd from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Black Hawk County Conservation Board and Hartman Reserve Nature Center will be holding the first annual Northeast Iowa Paddlefest at River Hills School in Cedar Falls, IA.  The goal of the Paddlefest is to educate people about the paddling opportunities available in the state of Iowa and around the country.  The keynote speaker for the event is Ben Hoksch.  Ben will be talking about his solo paddle trip down the Mississippi River. Ben started his Mississippi River adventure on the 21st of July, 2012 at Lake Itasca, MN, and ended on the 3rd of December 2012 in the Gulf of Mexico, a total of 134 days. 

Other sessions that will be offered are wilderness trip planning, standup paddle boarding, whitewater in Elkader, IA, updates on the proposed Black Hawk Creek paddle trail from Gundy Center to Waterloo, IA, and more.  The cost for the event is $10 for adults and $2 for youth (17 & under). Lunch will be served.  You must be registered by noon on Thursday, March 20th to be eligible for lunch.

If you would like to register or have any questions about this, or any other programs at Hartman Reserve Nature Center contact Chris Anderson; Program Coordinator at or call (319) 277-2187.  You see all the upcoming programs offered through Hartman Reserve Nature Center by visiting by clicking on the “Events” hyperlink and selecting the desired program. 

Guest Blogger Chris Anderson; Program Coordinator
Hartman Reserve Nature Center/Black Hawk County Conservation Board

Take in a Show at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center


Take in a show or two at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center this month. There are several to choose from:

Notes from the Balcony                  March 7; 7:30 pm
Dinosaur Train Live                        March 8; 1 pm & 4 pm
Million Dollar Quartet                     March 11-13; 7:30 pm
SFJAZZ Collective                          March 27; 7:30 pm
Tom Cotter                                    March 29; 7:30 pm

For those interested in musical performances, check out Notes form the Balcony, Million Dollar Quartet, and SF Jazz Collective! Notes from the Balcony tells the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet, but focuses more on the musicians. Featuring familiar music by Kabalevsky, Prokofiev, Bernstein, and Elvis Costello, the Boston Brass in collaboration with the Enso String Quartet and percussion tell the story in their own unique way through some of the finest and most familiar pieces written about Romeo and Juliet. Highlights from the concert are to include arrangements of Prokofiev’s “Romeo & Juliet” Concert Suite in Seven Parts, Op. 64 and Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story.”

On December 4, 1956, four young musicians who went on to become music icons gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever. Million Dollar Quartet is the smash-hit musical inspired by this famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins for the one and only time. Featuring a score of rock hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “That’s All Right,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Walk the Line,” “Hound Dog,” and more, this thrilling musical gives you a chance to be a fly on the wall of fame. Don’t miss Million Dollar Quartet! SFJAZZ Collective is a meeting of brilliant jazz minds, all stars in their own right, in a concert that celebrates this American art form. Since the Collective made its debut in 2004, the band has delivered jazz that both celebrates the past and looks forward to the future of jazz. This season the Collective will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a program of its greatest works from the past decade featuring the band’s fresh take on Horace Silver’s bop classic, “Cape Verdean Blues,” Coltrane’s classic “Africa,” a remarkable re-imagining of the Stevie Wonder classic, “Superstition,” and the Collective’s own original compositions. You simply can’t beat some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians playing some of the world’s greatest jazz music. 

For those with children interested in a fun, unique and educational show, check out Dinosaur Train-Live! Join Buddy, Tiny, Shiny, Don, and all of their friends and family in this upbeat, interactive trip featuring an original storyline, all-new music, and a cast of life-size puppets from Jim Henson. Led by the Conductor and a “live” human Paleontologist guide, audiences will travel on the real-life Dinosaur Train to the Mesozoic to learn about life science, natural history, and paleontology. The best part is it only costs a buck a kid!

Gallagher Bluedorn will also be featuring a comedian at the end of March. Tom Cotter has taken the comedy scene by storm as runner-up and the first comedian finalist on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Tom’s other television credits have included “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” his very own special “Comedy Central Presents…Tom Cotter,” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” Tom’s age-spanning and appropriate humor has subsequently taken him across the globe and brought him international appeal with audiences of all types and varieties. Cotter is sure to be a fresh breath of life in the comedy scene across the globe, and as Cotter always says, “If laughter is the best medicine, I yearn to be drugged.” Head to this show for a night of laughter and fun!

Visit or call 319-273-7469 for more information about each show as well as ticket prices.

Submitted by

Lauren Schmitt
Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau

Maple Syrup Time!


Are you ready for some pancakes? March is the perfect time to get a taste of real maple syrup. Hartman Reserve is hosting a Maple Syrup Festival on March 1-2 from 7 am-1 pm. Parking/shuttle bus service will be available from Cedar Heights Elementary School. This is an all-you-can eat pancake breakfast that also includes sausage, Starbucks coffee and Hansen’s milk & dairy! You can have fun while you eat and try and catch your pancakes in the air! There are all kinds of events to keep the whole family entertained. Some activities include demonstration of the maple syrup process and nature art activity by the Hearst Center in the Buckles building.

Save $1 per ticket if you buy advance tickets before the event. Advance tickets are on sale February 1-28 and are available at the Nature Center or by calling 319-277-2187. Advance tickets are $7 for adults, $4 for children ages 4-12, and children 3 and under are free. For more information about sponsoring the event, contact Connie at For volunteer information, contact Katie at You can also check out for details about the benefits of becoming a sponsor. Hartman Reserve is located at 657 Reserve Drive in Cedar Falls. All proceeds from the Maple Syrup Festival will be used to support the mission of Hartman Reserve, which is “dedicated to understanding our environment through education, recreation and community involvement and to the stewardship of a unique natural area.” Come out and enjoy some delicious food while contributing to the betterment of the natural environment in the Cedar Valley.

Lauren Schmitt
Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau

Discover Life Before William Sturgis!


You may know the history behind “Sturgis Falls.” Cedar Falls was originally named Sturgis Falls. William Sturgis was the first permanent resident of the Cedar Valley. He came from Michigan to make a name for himself and his family among the farmland. William settled among the banks of the Cedar River and others came when they heard about the abundance of food and building materials there.

What you may not know is what life was like before William Sturgis arrived. The Cedar Falls Historical Society is busy preparing a new exhibit for 2014 called “Before William Sturgis.”

You can visit this Carriage House Museum exhibit and explore the river valley before the Sturgis family settled on the banks of the Red Cedar River in 1845. There are a wide variety of activities that will entertain all members of the family. Some include talks about traditional skills and native plants, the prairie ecosystem and Oneota archaeology. They will also offer a flint knapping demonstration and a special story time program for children.

The exhibit opens February 13, at 4 pm with an open house. It is open until December 7, 2014. There are events happening every month to promote the exhibit and to learn something more about the culture of Cedar Falls.

The Cedar Falls Historical Society is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 AM-4 PM, and Sunday from 1 PM-4 PM. Hours of the Carriage House Museum vary, so visit House – Exhibitions before stopping by. The location is 308 W. 3rd St. Call 319-266-5149 or visit to learn more about this informative and interactive exhibit!

Lauren Schmitt
Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau

Cedar Falls One of the First Certified Blue Zones Communities®!


Join us to celebrate the good news!

Cedar Falls has earned the greatest well-being title across the globe as one of the first certified Blue Zones Communities®!
We couldn’t be more proud and we want to invite YOU to celebrate with us. Join us to celebrate our success, hear from leaders in the community, and recognize the hard work completed toward improved well-being Thursday, January 30 from 4:30 pm until 6 pm at the Cedar Falls Community Center, 528 Main St. in Cedar Falls.

Congrats for making Cedar Falls one of the first Blue Zones Communities in the country! All day Thursday let’s paint the town blue – wear your Blue Zones Project t-shirt or anything blue to celebrate.

Cedar Falls was selected as a Blue Zones Project® demonstration site in May of 2012 and began a well-being transformation. After a lot of hard work from so many community members, we’ve achieved all of the critical milestones associated with the worksite, school, grocery store, restaurant, community policy, and citizen sectors required to receive this honor. This certification is all thanks to your ongoing support for the Blue Zones Project and our community.

Join us Thursday, Jan. 30, to celebrate! Thanks for all you’ve done to make this happen.


Blue Zones Project Cedar Falls team

The Power of Movies: Visual & Verbal


ImageIllustration by Gary Kelley


Celebrated, local, Cedar Valley residents Scott Cawelti and Gary Kelley are collaborating with the James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts to bring you the exciting educational film series entitled “The Power of Movies: Visual & Verbal”. On consecutive Thursday mornings in January from 9:30-11:30 a.m., Cawelti and Kelley will show clips from a pair of films and examine the powerful meanings emerging from the films’ pictorial and vocal language.

The first screening is free and open to the public, and the following three screenings are ticketed at $10.00 per session, or three for $25.00 when purchased in advance. Refreshments will be served. Additional parking is available at Lampost Theatre, next to the Hearst Center, on Seerley Boulevard.

Scott Cawelti is a well-known writer and resident from Cedar Falls. A UNI graduate, he received his bachelor’s degree in vocal music education, master’s degree in English, and a doctorate from the University of Iowa in modern letters. He has been writing opinion columns and reviews for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier since the late 1970s. Cawelti is also an emeritus professor at the University of Northern Iowa, and has taught literature, writing, and film courses. For years, he’s played in a folk duo with Robert James Walker and can still be found performing regularly as a singer/songwriter and guitarist. You can hear his musical abilities on his album Landscape Iowa, where he sets sixteen of James Hearst’s most beloved poems to original music. More information is available at

Gary Kelley is also a resident from Cedar Falls and a UNI graduate. He received his bachelor’s degree in art, and has a studio located in Cedar Falls. He has done illustrations for clients such as The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Atlantic Monthly, Time, GQ, CBS Records, the National Football League, and major publishers and advertising agencies. His work has been honored by the New York Society of Illustrators, National Booksellers Association, Print, New York Art Directors Club Show, and the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators among others. He has also had exhibits shown at the James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts, and frequently collaborates with other Cedar Valley area artists. More information is available at

All films will be shown from 9:30-11:30 a.m. The schedule of films to be shown is as follows:

January 09, 2014: Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Psycho

January 16, 2014: Paths of Glory and Glory

January 23, 2014: The Searchers and Dances With Wolves

January 30, 2014: Fantasia and Grave of the Fireflies

Enjoy a total of eight film clips over four weeks, and explore the impact of cinema in January 2014 with Scott Cawelti, Gary Kelley, and the James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts. More information is available on the Hearst Center website at, by calling the Hearst center at (319) 273-5507, or by liking our page on Facebook. Additional parking is available at Lampost Theatre, next to the Hearst Center, on Seerley Boulevard.

Guest Blogger

Vicki Simpson, Hearst Center for the Arts (319) 268-5501

James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts, 304 W. Seerley Boulevard, Cedar Falls, IA 50613


Holiday Hoopla Kick-Off: “How Will Santa Arrive This Year?”


Santa Claus is coming to downtown Cedar Falls! Don’t miss his grand entrance on Friday, November 29th as he arrives to help us kickoff the Holiday Hoopla seasonal celebration in the downtown district! Shop and dine in downtown Cedar Falls, then join us on Main Street for live musical entertainment at 6:00pm. Our fifth anniversary is going to be the best yet, so mark your calendars to enjoy the magic of Christmas with us!

Prior to Santa’s arrival, there will be a large stage at 4th and Main with WAGG and other local singers performing your favorite holiday music, including new songs by “Alvin and the Chipmunks!” Sponsored by PIPAC and Cup of Joe. Also, visit Mrs. Claus in Santa’s Workshop and get your picture taken with her and your other favorite Holiday Characters.

In addition to the music on stage, there will also be is a special magic show performance by Las Vegas Magician and local native Kevin Barnes to help celebrate Holiday Hoopla’s 5th Anniversary [SEE MORE DETAILS about Kevin Barnes in other press release].  You won’t want to miss this professional act!!  Come early before the live music and magic show begins and dine in the many downtown restaurants or grab some tasty treats and hot chocolate from our street vendors.

After Santa’s big arrival, make sure to join Santa and Mrs. Claus in the “Magical March Down Main Street” to the Hoopla Tree at 1st and Main where we’ll “countdown” to light the tree and conclude the evening with a grand Winter Fireworks Finale over the Cedar River!  The Hibbs Memorial Bridge (North Main Bridge) will be open to the crowd, providing a spectacular view of the tree lighting and fireworks. You’ll love the energy of the evening so bundle up and come join the fun!

Thanks to the sponsors and volunteers of this evening’s events:  PIPAC, Bike Tech, Viking Pump, Cup of Joe, and all the musicians!

Holiday Hoopla events continue through the month of December in downtown Cedar Falls. Check the website at for a complete list.

Friday, November 29 – 6 – 8pm – BIG Kick-off Event – Main Street, Cedar Falls
Holiday Characters, Food, Fun
Live Entertainment & Music
NEW!  Professional Magic Show
Thursday, December 5– 5-8 pm – Jingle and Mingle — Merchant open houses
Saturday, December 7 – 8-11 am – Breakfast at the North Pole – Dine with Santa and Favorite Holiday Characters at the Cedar Falls Community Center
Thursday, December 12 – 6-9 pm – Hoopla Cheer Contest – Vote for your favorite Christmas Drink Concoction
Thursday, December 12 – 7 pm – Santa’s Beard Contest – Kate’s on Main
Saturday, December 14 – starts at 9 am – Santa’s Snow Shuffle 5K Fun Run/Walk — Starts at St Patrick’s School, 615 Washington Street
Thursday, December 19 – 6 to 8 pm– Baby, It’s Cold Outside—Ice carving demonstrations, luminaries, musicians on Main
Saturday, December 21 – 10 am – Free Movie Magic – “Prancer” at Oster Regent Theatre and announcement of four age group Coloring Contest Winners


NEW! Window Scavenger Hunt
November 20 – December 23 – Find items in Thirteen merchant windows. Entries put in $50 gift drawing.
Window Wonderland Contest
Window Competition in five categories, winners announced Nov 29 at Kickoff Stage
People’s Choice Award voting through December 16, announced Dec. 18
Coloring Contest
November 29 – December 16 – Four age-group winners announced at Movie Magic on Dec 21
Santa 50613 –Letters to Santa 4th and Main
Nov 29 – Dec 19 – Drop your letters off in Santa’s mailbox so they can be answered (MUST include NAME and RETURN ADDRESS!)
Salvation Army Toy Drive: Drop off new unwrapped gifts valued up $25, ages infant-18 years old by Mon., Dec. 9 at Cedar Falls Library or Spinutech
Horse Drawn Trolley Rides (THURS ONLY)
Thursdays, Dec 5, 12, 19 – 6-8 pm – Hop on for a FREE ride beginning and ending at the Cedar Falls Public Library parking lot
Live Nativity (THURS ONLY) – 6th and Main – Thursdays, Dec. 5, 12, 19, 6-8 pm
Santa’s Workshop
(THURS & SATURDAYS)– 4th and Main
Friday, Nov 29 – Starting at 6 pm – Mrs. Claus and elves at Santa’s Workshop
Saturdays, Nov 30, Dec 7, 14, 21 – 11 am – 2 pm – Santa’s Workshop Open
Thursdays, Dec 5, 12, 19 – 6-8 pm – Santa’s Workshop Open

Guest Blogger
Emily Yaddof
Events & Promotions Coordinator
Community Main Street . 206 Main St, Suite B
Cedar Falls, IA 50613 . 319-277-0213


It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the Sartori Memorial Hospital Auxiliary will be ushering in the holiday season with its 25th  Annual Festival of Trees celebration. The 2013 Festival, ‘Once Upon a Starry Night’, will take place the week of November 16 through the 24. This year’s Festival will feature all the traditional favorites and some new twists.

Silver Anniversary Gala Dinner & Auction          – Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Festival of Tees during the Silver Anniversary Gala Dinner & Auction. This celebration will be held on Saturday, November 16 at the UNI Commons Slife Ballroom. This night will feature silent auction items and conclude with the traditional live auction. This evening’s guests will be treated to hors d’oeuvres, a gourmet dinner and complimentary wine and beverages. Social hour begins at 6:00 p.m. at the UNI Georgian Lounge. Chair of the event this year is Ann Lyons.  The cost of the event is $55.00 per person.  Reservations are required.  Reservation forms will be available at the Sartori Health Care Foundation at 515 College Street in Cedar Falls. All reservation forms must accompany payment. Questions should be directed to the Festival hotline at 319-268-3161. 

A Morning Star Brunch and Program – Make your reservations for a delightful brunch among beautifully decorated trees. The Morning Star Brunch & Program will be held inside the beautiful Festival Gallery of Trees in the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. Plan to join us on Wednesday, November 20, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. for this popular event. Guests will enjoy a delightful brunch. Chairs of the event this year are Donna Cuvelier, Bev Michael and Gail Thornton.  Tickets are $15 and reservations are required. Reservation forms will be available at the Sartori Health Care Foundation at 515 College Street in Cedar Falls. All reservation forms must accompany payment. Questions should be directed to the Festival hotline at 319-268-3161.

Games in the Trees – New to Festival of Trees this year, the Games event will bring together friends to play cards amongst the beautifully decorated trees in the GBPAC Lobby.  The Games event is open to any organized table of four to enjoy fellowship, endless desserts & coffee, fabulous door prizes and fun.  Participants are asked to bring their favorite game & necessary materials, cards, scoring pads, dice or other items.  Chairs of the event this year are Molly Breneman and Sharon Wedeking.  Tickets are $40.00 for a full reserved table of four players.  Reservation forms will be available at the Sartori Health Care Foundation at 515 College Street in Cedar Falls. All reservation forms must accompany payment. Questions should be directed to the Festival hotline at 319-268-3161.

Starry Styles Fashion Show and Luncheon – A holiday tradition continues this year with one of the most anticipated events of the Festival, the luncheon and Style Show. Set for Friday, November 22 at 11:00 a.m. this year’s event will be held at the beautiful Park Place Event Centre. The style show event offers guest the opportunity for local Cedar Valley clothiers to display the latest holiday fashions. This show offers great entertainment for men and women of all ages. Cost is $35 per person and reservations are required. Reservation forms will be available at the Sartori Health Care Foundation at 515 College Street in Cedar Falls. All reservation forms must accompany payment. Questions should be directed to the Festival hotline at 319-268-3161.

Teddy Bear Tea – Festive fun is in store for children who attend the Teddy Bear Tea, one of the most popular events at the Festival of Trees. Children will be entertained and enchanted by UNI’s Orchesis Dance Company with a chance to join in the fun. Children will also enjoy a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus on Sunday, November 24 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at University of Northern Iowa Commons Ballroom. Refreshments and a special teddy bear will be provided for all children.  The afternoon will be sure to leave your little boys and girls with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads! All children must be accompanied by an adult. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras. Chairs of the event this year are Mary Brogan and Sue Will.  Advanced Registration is required for the Teddy Bear Tea. Cost is $15 for adults and $10 for Children under 8 years old. Reservation forms are available at Sartori Health Care Foundation at 515 College Street in Cedar Falls.

Please note: For all ticketed events, your reservation confirmations will be held at the event. Please arrive early and check in with a volunteer.   

Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen Bake Sale – A holiday tradition continues this year at the Sartori Memorial Hospital Auxiliary’s 25th Annual Festival of Trees. Bringing you tasty temptations, the Sartori Memorial Hospital Auxiliary’s tables are spread with the best in baked goods, fresh from the oven! Scheduled for Saturday, November 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the GBPAC. Cookies, cakes and confections from around the city! The gallery is filled with baked goods fresh from the ovens and hearts of the Sartori Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Traditional homemade favorites include fudge, spritz cookies, cut out sugar cookies, thumb print cookies and Christmas mice cookies. Grab a quick snack as you shop or take home enough to feed the family. Come early for the best selection. Chairs of the event this year are Dorothy Frank, Jean Hansmeier and Arlene Schwarzenbach. 

Santa’s Work Shop – Santa’s Workshop is a free event for children ages 3 to 10 while accompanied by an adult. Set for Saturday, November 23 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the GBPAC. Girls and boys enjoy an afternoon of creativity and excitement featuring holiday crafts, stories and special Christmas cookies. Even a special visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus – what more could a child want for the holidays?  Chairs of the event this year are Mary Brogan and Sue Will. 

Displays and Exhibits
Gallery of Trees and Festival Marketplace Gift Shoppe –
Our own crown jewel, the Gallery of Trees, showcases the talents of both amateur and professional decorators. The Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center’s main lobby is transformed into a spectacle of light and color. Ribbons are awarded in both the professional and amateur categories. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite in the People’s Choice award!

Wednesday, November 20: 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 21: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday, November 22: 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 23: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 24: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Sartori Coffee Shop – New in 2013! – Visit the Sartori Coffee Shop in the GBPAC Lobby.  During our public hours, the Coffee Shop will feature homemade caramel pecan rolls, orange rolls, extra chocolate chip cookies, ginger cookies & Snicker doodles.  For $2.00 enjoy a cup of coffee or a freshly baked treat.  Stop on by the GBPAC to view the wonderful holiday displays, and then take a seat in the Coffee Shop to visit with friends and enjoy a sweet treat. 

Gallery of Wreaths – Whether for the holiday or year-round enjoyment, these creative wreaths will inspire the inner-designer in each of us! Please note that several of these wreaths are available for bid at our various auctions.

Place Settings – Individuals and local businesses have created fanciful tables for you to admire! Themes ranging from elegant to exotic will provide inspiration for your next dinner party.

General Raffle – Items to be announced.  Donation – $1 or 6 tickets for $5. Raffle Drawing – November 24 at 4:00 p.m. Need not be present to win.

Festival of Trees has become a vital component for the wellbeing of Sartori Memorial Hospital.  This year Festival has a goal of raising $75,000 to enhance services at Sartori Memorial Hospital.  Festival is also gift to the community making the Cedar Valley a more festive place to be during the holiday season. Tickets are required for some events but all exhibits are free and open to the public. To learn more about the Festival events or to register online, please visit our website at

The Festival Council of Chairs is working with over 60 Festival “Elves” tending to their workshops and preparing for this year’s celebration.  Artist William Close donated a beautiful original artwork, ‘Once Upon a Starry Night’, an interpretation of the 2013 Festival theme. The original artwork will be available for silent bid auction during the Gallery of Trees, through Sunday November 24. 

If you are not yet involved, there are many opportunities to participate in this years’ Festival. Festival of Trees is still recruiting sponsorships for Festival events, trees and display.  For more information on how you can support this event, please call Christy Stolz (319) 268-3161 at the Sartori Healthcare Foundation.

Thank you to everyone for your dedication and attendance to this spectacular community event.  We appreciate all of the support from our sponsors and community members in making a successful Festival to benefit Sartori Memorial Hospital.

Guest Blogger
Christy Stolz
Sartori Memorial Hospital
Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Bluegrass at the Oster Regent Theatre

(Photo of Damascus Road)

The Cedar Falls Community Theatre presents a free will offering event to compliment the ongoing concert and movie series.  A Bluegrass Concert featuring the bands The Comfort Kings and Damascus Road will take place at the Oster Regent Theatre Saturday, November 9, at 7:30pm.  Admission price is free will offering.  The concert is sponsored in part by the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa.

The Comfort Kings are a contemporary acoustic band from the hills of the Cedar Valley in Iowa. They play a mix of old-time, Americana, indie rock and original work using a traditional bluegrass instrumental arrangement. All three members draw on the rich history of regional Americana melodies to create original songs with vivid, poetic lyrics that evoke bygone eras.  Their full-length studio release, “Prairie Fire,” produced by the Aquatic Noise label in Excelsior, Minn., was released in early 2013. “Prairie Fire” features a mixture of original tunes and timeless folk arrangements and has been featured on the Iowa Public Radio show “The Folk Tree.”  The group consists of Amie Steffen – lead vocals, guitar, percussion.  Cody Grimes – fiddle, mandolin, guitar, anything else he gets his hands on.  John Molseed – banjo, guitar.

“The Comfort Kings are the real deal, a Cedar Valley band with musical chops that would be right at home on a wider stage. The band’s bluegrass sound is relaxing and enthralling, world-weary and upbeat, a soulful vibe with wide appeal.”

-Aaron McNally, Pulse Magazine

Damascus Road is a talented band that includes the following members for this gig: Kim Sittig (guitar and vocals,) Raechel Sittig-Esser (lead singer,) Dave Stamp (guitar and mandolin,) Jeff Juhl (bass,) Paul Prescott (guitar and vocals,) Greg Holt (banjo and vocals.)

Sittig is a Spanish teacher, at AGWSR High School, who led her class to Costa Rica last summer.  She has acted in shows all around the area and is currently in production for The 1940s Radio Hour.  Sittig-Esser is a farmer’s daughter, like her sister, she grew up raising horses, donkeys and pigs. She has taught in many schools in the area and is married to Terry Esser – they are proud parents of one-year-old, Malichai.  Stamp is an attorney who also plays with the rock band, Sideshow Bob. He is married to Linda and they have three theatrical sons.  Dave just appeared in The Good Doctor and was once kicked out of the U.S. Capitol building for using the congressional restroom.  Juhl lives in Cedar Falls and works at UNI.  He is married to Jenny and they too have some theatrical children.  Jeff, who also plays with Sideshow Bob, will be filling in as the for this gig.  Prescott, originally from California, he grew up on a farm near Iowa Falls.  His uncle, Lynn, was a well-known studio musician who played steel guitar. Paul’s wife is Hannah and they have three delightful children between the age of 1 and 7.  He works as a superintendent for the Samuels Group.  Holt is the youth director at First Congregational and has acted and directed around the country.  He directs at CFCT, teaches a class at UNI and runs the Parabola Youth Theatre.  In his spare time he visits his wife, Michelle, and their three children.

John C. Luzaich – General Manager, Oster Regent Theatre & CFCT


Final Thursday Reading Series Returns to the Hearst Center



Final Thursday Reading Series has returned at the Hearst Center for the Arts for its Fall season. The series features regional authors and provides a forum for local writers and songwriters to share their own original work. A grand piano is provided by the Hearst Center if desired. Local writers/songwriters may sign up for open mic at 7 p.m. and it begins at 7:15 p.m. Share your best five minutes of your own poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or songwriting. Guests are also encouraged to enjoy the Hearst Center’s art galleries. The guest author takes the stage at 8 p.m. Upcoming guest authors include:

Thursday, October 24, Patrick Irelan **one week early due to Halloween**

Patrick Irelan is an author from Iowa City who attended school in a one-room schoolhouse and graduated high school in Bloomfield, Iowa. He received his BA and MA from the University of Iowa. Irelan has written and edited books of instructional materials before diving in to the world of creative nonfiction. He’s currently working on his latest book, The Miracle Boy (Ice Cube Press), a collection of short stories. He is also the author of Reruns, Central Standard: A Time, a Place, a Family, and A Firefly in the Night.

Thursday, November 21, Laura Farmer ** one week early due to Thanksgiving**

Laura Farmer is an author and the director of Cornell College’s Writing Studio. In the Writing Studio, students are offered tutoring services to aid in college success on such things as writing, test-taking, reading, studying, note-taking, and time management.

Farmer’s works have been published in The Iowa Review and The Summerset Review. She also has a weekly book review in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Farmer-poet James Hearst bequeathed his home to the City of Cedar Falls in 1983 and asked that it be used as an arts center for the community. In 1986, as a result of this gift, the Cedar Falls Art & Culture Board was established by the City of Cedar Falls to oversee the operation of the City’s Cultural Division, which includes the James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts. The Art & Culture Board raised funds and in 1988-1989, the poet’s home was reconstructed into what is now the community’s own 12,000 square-foot arts center, complete with two galleries, three classrooms, a sculpture garden, two meeting rooms, and a performing arts facility. More than a million visitors have walked through the doors of the Hearst Center for the Arts since they were opened on May 13, 1989.

Guest Blogger Vicki Simpson
Hearst Center for the Arts
(319) 268-5501

It’s ARTapalooza Time!!


The 8th annual ARTapalooza on Main fine art show will be held Saturday, September 7, 2013 from 9:00am-4:00pm on the street and sidewalks of downtown Cedar Falls. Held annually, the juried show brings many talented artists from throughout the region. In addition, there is something for everyone to enjoy as downtown is filled with artist demonstrations, entertainment and children’s activities.

More than 50 regional artists will display and sell their work at booths set up along the meandering Main Street. Artists hoping to showcase their work must pass a highly competitive process to be accepted into the show. Artwork will include ceramics, metal, paintings, glasswork, metal sculptures, fiber, jewelry, photography, drawing, printmaking and mixed media.

Numerous downtown stores, including PeekaBoo Baby, Runner’s Flat, Bike Tech, Vintage Iron, Main Street Sweets, PurseNality, World’s Window, Sassy Chic, Here’s What’s Poppin, Jiva Salonspa, Kitchen Essentials, Lyla’s Boutique and Sweet Basil Market, will have free children’s activities, such as tie-dye coffee filter butterflies and kid-friendly skewer treats, outside their storefronts. The Hearst Center for the Arts will also have face painting, watercolor painting stations and painter’s caps for children to decorate.

New this year is the free Pastel-A-Panel activity where budding artists, 15 and older, will be invited to pastel a small section of a Georgia O’Keeffe painting. The painting has been divided into squares, and each person will pastel one square. Once all the squares are complete, they will be put together to create the final pastel painting.

Other entertainment throughout the afternoon includes artists painting en plein air, the WCF Symphony Zoo, Thai Chi demonstrations, and Balloon Animals with Anna Love. Live music from the UNI Jazz Band, UNI Suzuki School of Music, The Channel Cats, Rick Vanderwall, Uncle Chuck, Bill Guernsey, and Jay Ramsey will be held on the corner of 4th and Main as well as in each block.

Sponsors are Regions Bank, HyVee, Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau, Mediacom and Friends of the Hearst Center for the Arts. Artapalooza is hosted by Community Main Street.

Here is the entertainment schedule:
Fourth and Main
9:30-10:30am – UNI Jazz Band
10:45-11:15 am – UNI Suzuki School of Music
12:00-1:45pm – The Channel Cats
2:00 pm – Cedar Falls High School Band
2:45pm – close – Nolan Schroeder UNI Jazz Band One Trio
100 Block – At Cup of Joe
10 – 11:30am – Rick Vanderwall guitar
1-2:30pm – Uncle Chuck
2:30 – 4pm – Bill Guernsey
200 Block – At Jiva Salon Spa
WCF Symphony Instrument Zoo 11-1:30
300 Block – At Salon Zola
9am – until complete
1- 3pm – Anna Love – Balloons at Wells Fargo
1pm Jay Ramsey – At Salon

Tai Chi – Veronique – Performances throughout the day


Guest Blogger
Emily Yaddof
Community Main Street

“Green Your Next Event of Fundraiser

New equipment is now available in the Cedar Valley to make recycling at walk/run events or festivals more convenient for both festival committees AND event attendees. 

Our Waste Trac Education Team (which is a partnership between the Black Hawk County Conservation Board and the Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission),  wrote a recycling grant and were awarded a forgivable loan from the Iowa DNR to purchase Recycle Clear portable recycling containers.  The recycling bins can be used at events to collect 5 cent deposit containers and plastic water bottles.

We finally have all the equipment bought, signs created, policies set, and are now ready to roll out our project! Our equipment was used most recently at the Iowa Irish Fest and Live to 9, and is on the calendar to visit various community events this fall.

The equipment is first come, first served, so we are recommending that group organizers turn in their applications months ahead of time to lock in their date and to make sure recycling equipment is available. The project provides the equipment at no cost and provides collection bags and cleaning supplies.  To ensure the return of our equipment we do require a refundable equipment deposit, but as soon as your recycling numbers are turned in and the equipment is returned complete and clean, we will just give your deposit check back.  The equipment can also be used for city celebrations, school carnivals, green weddings, workshops, block parties, sports tournaments, and class reunions to name just a few.  Wherever you think there might be cans or bottles!

Check out for more details. Visit  to download the application to lock in a date for your group.  Waste Trac is based at Hartman Reserve Nature Center in Cedar Falls at a satellite office within the park.  All equipment must be picked up at our Waste Trac office, as we are not able to deliver.  Give us a call (319.266.8722) to check on a date for your next event!  We taking applications for events in both 2013 and 2014.

Guest Blogger
Tammy Turner
Waste Trac Education Team

Old Time Power Show


It’s the 49th Anniversary of the Old Time Power Show and it is happening August 16th, 17th, and 18th at 7610 Waverly Rd. in Cedar Falls. Gates open at 7 am each day and are packed full of fun and excitement for all ages.

Enjoy live demonstrations of steam engines, horse and tractor plowing, rock crushing, rope making, threshing, tractor pulls, parades, a huge flea market, plus live stage entertainment, museums, and great food! There are old-time games and prizes for the kids, sand art, pedal tractor pull and the Dean of Juggling. See history come to life as you step back to a simpler time.

According verbatim to Antique Acres, Inc., “Antique Acres is the result of a small group of antique, threshing, steam, plowing, saw milling and old farm machinery enthusiasts who incorporated in 1964. They purchased 80 acres of land and labeled it ‘Antique Acres.’ The corporation now consists of approximately 100 stockholders. It is their ambition and goal to restore and preserve antique equipment for future generations to enjoy. Most of the antiques, with the exception of a few pieces, are privately owned by the members. Some of the equipment dates back as far as before the 20th Century. During show days, all machinery, other than those in the process of being restored, are in full operation. Numerous exhibits and concessions are on hand. Also, an air-conditioned dining hall, meeting room and campground, with modern restrooms and shower, are available for rent to meet the needs of many events.”

Next year Antique Acres will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Old Time Power Show so mark your calendars for August 15th, 16th , and 17th, 2014.

Vicki S. Bailey
Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau

Taylor Morris Courtesy of Tim Dodd Photography
It is all about one of our own and it is happening this Saturday, August 3rd at 7 pm in Gateway Park, Lincoln & Main St., Cedar Falls. Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band Benefit Concert for Taylor Morris! Taylor, born and raised in Cedar Falls, suffered debilitating injuries while serving in Afghanistan. A Navy explosive ordnance disposal expert, Taylor lost parts of four limbs, while clearing the way for a special Army unit.  

After over a year of rehab, Taylor and his girlfriend, Danielle Kelly, are ready to wrap up his extensive rehab and move back home. And now we can help build him a “Smart Home” so they can do just that. Plus have a good time while helping! The money raised from the concert will go towards this home that will be equipped with “smart” devices geared specifically to Taylor’s needs.

The project is a collaboration of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and the Sinise Foundation in the Building for America’s Bravest program, which strives to provide personal independence and freedom to wounded warriors by designing a house around their needs. “Smart Homes” normally feature retractable cooktops, cabinets and shelving, automated lighting, heating, air-conditioning and window treatments controlled by an iPad, as well as elevators, roll-in bathrooms, front-load washers and dryers, intercom systems and automated doors.

New York artist Scott LoBaido has started work painting a rooftop American flag on the roof of the Cedar Falls AMVETS Post 49 building. Highly visible from Hwy. 58, the flag will be completed this week – in the days preceding the benefit concert Taylor. The project is designed to stimulate public interest in the concert at Gateway Park, which will raise funds to build quadruple-amputee Morris an iPad-operated “smart home” to accommodate his disabilities. According to Catherine Christmas of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the flag will serve as a permanent thank you to Taylor Morris for his service, and a thank you to the community of Cedar Falls and surrounding area for its support of Taylor and our fund raising effort.

Tickets for the concert at Gateway Park in Cedar Falls are $25 and $35; special VIP tickets are $100. They may be purchased by calling (800) 293-5949, online at or at the College Square or University Avenue Hy-Vee stores. Do your part and please help are very own, home grown American hero.

Vicki S. Bailey
Cedar Falls Tourism

Cedar Falls Bible Conference


The 92st annual Cedar Falls Bible Conference will be held from Saturday, July 27, through Sunday, August 4, 2013. The conference will begin Saturday evening, July 27, at 7:00 pm with a concert by Tim Zimmerman and the King‘s Brass. This concert begins an outstanding week of Bible study and preaching led by seven of the finest Christian speakers of our day. Then on Saturday, August 4, “Acts: The 3 Man Show” will present the entire book of Acts in drama. This troupe of professional Hollywood actors communicate the scriptures in a unique and inspiring way.

Dr. Peter Jones from TruthXChange in California, will be the opening speaker beginning on Sunday morning, July 29. He will be joined throughout the week by Scotty Smith of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee; Dr. Crawford Loritts from Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia; Kay Arthur of Precept Ministries in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Dr. Charles Price from People‘s Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Bill Kallenberg president of Student Leadership Development in Atlanta, Georgia; and Dr. Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Dr. Loritts and Dr. Price will also lead a conference for pastors and church leaders on Monday and Tuesday afternoons of the conference week.

There will be morning and evening general sessions each day beginning Sunday morning, July 28 and continuing through Sunday night, August 4, in the Cedar Falls Bible Conference event center on the Riverview Conference Center grounds at 439 N. Division Street, Cedar Falls, IA. During all general sessions, there will also be sessions for children and teens, as well as nursery and preschool.

There is no charge for any sessions of the Cedar Falls Bible Conference, including the concerts. A free will offering will be taken at each session. The conference is open to all who wish to attend. For further information, see our website at or email

Guest Blog

Riverview Ministries

41st Annual Iowa Shrine Bowl


The 41st annual Shrine Bowl is making their new home in Cedar Falls this year and downtown Cedar Falls is helping celebrate the event.

On Wednesday, July 24 there will be a special Movies Under the Moon showing of Rudy for the Shrine Bowl participants and the public. Popcorn will be available for purchase during this special presentation. The feature will begin at dusk or 9 p.m. in Overman Park.

On Saturday, July 27 at 9:30 a.m. a fun, lively, and family friendly parade featuring Shriners from across Iowa, the football players, and the cheerleaders will take place on the parkade. Following the parade from 10:30 a.m.-11a.m., an autograph session will take place on the corner of Fourth and Main Streets between the players and their fans.

At 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 27 the Shrine Bowl will take place inside the Dome on the University of Northern Iowa campus. The game is available for public attendance.

So mark your calendars and bring your family and friends to help downtown Cedar Falls welcome the Shrine Bowl. For more information on the event visit  

About the Iowa Shrine Bowl

The Iowa Shrine Bowl is an all-star football game between selected pre-college football athletes on each side of a north-south dividing line in Iowa. The players are selected by a process of nomination and official invitation from the Iowa Shrine Bowl. The annual game brings honor and recognition to the players, their schools, and their communities. It also helps raise money for the Shriners Hospital For Children. For more information visit

About Cedar Falls Community Main Street
Cedar Falls Community Main Street, Inc. is a volunteer, non-profit organization established in 1987. It is established to foster economic vitality while preserving and promoting the historic image and character of downtown Cedar Falls. Through the integration of business improvement, design, organization and development, and promotion into a practical management strategy, it creates a change in the downtown’s economic base. For more information, visit or call (319) 277-0213.

Guest Blogger
Emily Yaddof
Cedar Falls Community Main Street

Praisefest 2013


Gospel Music will fill the air during Cedar Valley Praise Fest at Riverview Conference Center.  This week-long event will take place July 15-20, with a pre-Praise Fest concert on July 14, on the beautiful 27 acre campus of Riverview Conference Center, 439 N. Division St, Cedar Falls, IA. 

The Hoppers, known as America’s favorite gospel music family, will appear in concert on July 14 at 7:00 pm.  Doors will open at 6:00 pm.  This Gaither Homecoming gospel music group consists of family members Claude and Connie, their sons Dean and Michael along with Dean’s wife Kim.  They have made appearances ranging from presidential religious inaugural ceremonies and New York’s Carnegie Hall to singing conventions and church platforms. Some of their accolades include Mixed Group of the Year from the Heart’s Aflame Awards, Diamond Awards, Singing News Fan Awards (over 12 times), as well as multiple Dove Award nominations, and many individual awards over the last decade.  They were inducted into the Southern Gospel Hall of Fame in 2012.  See below for ticket information.

The six day 2013 Cedar Valley Praise Fest will be held July 15-20, 2013.  The concerts are at 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and all day on Friday and Saturday.  On Monday, Forgiven Quartet will be performing; Tuesday, Spoken 4 Quartet & the Rob Mills Family will be in concert; and Wednesday, The Todd Allen Family will present a powerful night of gospel music.  A love offering will be taken, along with a non-perishable food donation to the NE Iowa Food Bank for the Monday through Wednesday evening concerts.  Come early at 5:00 PM on Monday night to enjoy the Brats and Burgers BBQ.   There is a charge for the BBQ. 

A Women’s Mini-conference is scheduled for Thursday morning from 10-11:30 a.m.  Lora Schneider from Biblical Women Inc. will present “A Dramatization of the Life of Mary”.  There will be a love offering taken and an optional luncheon is available.  An annual favorite, the Pot Luck Dinner, will be Thursday at 5:00 pm.  Tableware and beverages will provided.

The 7:00 p.m. Thursday concert will feature “Iowa’s own favorite family of gospel music,” The Browns.  They will share the night with FourTwelve and Higher Power. 

Most of the weekly groups will be joined by other artists, including Keepers of the Faith from Samoa, Phil & Pam Morgan family, Blake Bolerjack, and Master’s Voice for a series of forty minute concerts during the old-fashioned all day music events on Friday and Saturday.  Meals are available on the grounds.

On Friday at 6:00 p.m. Soul’d Out Quartet and The Crist Family will be the featured performers.  The Saturday evening feature beginning at 6:00 p.m. will be Tribute Quartet and Soul’d Out Quartet. 

Join in the Bible Study every morning, Tuesday through Saturday, at 8:30 am.  Enjoy freshly baked rolls and coffee, Phil Morgan will lead an exciting study from the Word.

Tickets for Sunday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are available at Wiley’s Christian Book Store in Cedar Falls, Family Christian Stores in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, or the Riverview Conference Center, 319-268-0787, or online at Information about these and other events held at Riverview Conference Center is available at 


Guest Blogger PHN Ministries

The 38th Annual Sturgis Falls Celebration and the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival


Enjoy the “Colors of Summer” at the 38th Annual Sturgis Falls Celebration and the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival June 27th through the 30th in Cedar Falls! Live outdoor musical performances abound at this grand event with no admission charged, ever! The all-volunteer staff have worked hard over the years to keep these festivals admission free. Thousands wander through several large parks listening to the sounds of rock, jazz, blues, and more. Enjoy bands like FireHouse, Vic Ferrari, Arch Allies, Lick It Ticket, GB Leighton and the Iowa Military Veterans Band plus many, many more.

Besides the ongoing music and live entertainment, attendees will find a huge variety of delectable food vendors, parades, a Classic Car Show, Arts and Crafts Fair, carnival rides, and a Commercial Vendor Market. The children have their own Kidsway and Big Top Stage offering all of the prerequisites that kids need like face painting, silhouette drawings, clowns, coloring contests, big wheel races – the list just goes on and on. Gateway Park offers abundant parking and shuttle service to Overman Park and a 40’ JUMBOTRON!! This forty foot big screen offers viewing of the live stage in Gateway Park, the crowd and other images. Visit them at

Among this year’s celebrities are Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelley. High school sweethearts, they are Iowa born and raised, both from Cedar Falls and have overcome overwhelming obstacles that inspire all of us. While deployed to Afghanistan as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician, Taylor was clearing the way for an army detail in May of 2012 when an improvised explosive device went off underneath him and he lost all four of his limbs. They are this year’s Celebrity Marshalls and will ride in the parade on Saturday. (August 3rd a concert given by Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan Band in Gateway Park with all proceeds going to build a “Smart Home” for our heroes.

The Cedar Basin Jazz Festival is a festival within a festival, running during Sturgis Falls in Sturgis Park, behind the Ice House Museum. It has become hard to imagine one festival without the other! Bring a lawn chair or blanket and relax and enjoy the sounds of Jazz throughout the weekend. Going for music with a different flair, when the Jazz finishes playing for the day, the Jazz Festival is hosting Sturgis Park After Dark. On Friday June 28th hear Gracia Harrison from The Voice and Double Shot. On Saturday night it’s Pirates Over 40 and a tribute to the Beatles by Rubber Soul. A different mix of food vendors are available at the Jazz festival. With an assortment of bands both local and from out of state, audience members travel from across the country to enjoy top notch entertainment at no charge. Visit their website at

So plan to spend a day or four in Cedar Falls, June 27th thru the 30th, at festivals intended for friends and family, for memories and affordable fun. It won’t be hard to find music you enjoy, food you like, activities for the kids, and live performances that make you smile and laugh. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and relax, letting it all happen around you. See you there!

Vicki S. Bailey
Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau


Oster Regent Theatre


The Cedar Valley possesses some of the richest heritage in Iowa when it comes to live theatre. A large part of that heritage is the Oster Regent Theatre, one of the oldest theatres in the state, and the Cedar Falls Community Theatre (CFCT). Together they produce some of the finest plays in the state.

Originally known as the Cotton Theatre, the Oster Regent Theatre was built in 1910 by Frank Cotton. Realizing a dream, Cotton built the theatrical performance hall on Main Street, bringing national traveling road shows here to put on their live performances. The national tours started to slack off and after changing hands a few times, the theatre became a movie theatre and the name was changed to the Regent Theatre in 1918.

Merle Blair bought the Regent in 1921 and the Blair family continued to own it until 1990 when they gifted it to the CFCT. The CFCT board of directors went through a two year fund raising process to restore the old theatre. Another two years of renovation followed. Then 26 years old CFCT, was then able to transition from part-time productions at Holmes Junior High to moving into their own building and producing five shows a year. Evening shows are at 7:30 pm, Sunday matinees at 2 pm. Here is their 2013/2014 season:

Oklahoma June 14,15,16; 21,22,23
Social Security July 26, 27; August 3,4
The Good Doctor October 4,5,6; 11,12,13
1940’s Radio Hour December 6,7,8; 13,14,15
Clue February 14,15,16; 21,22,23

When not producing a play, the Oster Regent hosts a multitude of traveling productions, shows movies from yesteryear on the big screen. There are also rooms used and rented out for assorted events like parties, meetings, and other gatherings. For more information, visit their website at or call 277-5283. Tickets of Oklahoma are on sale now.

Vicki Bailey
Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau


Movies Under the Moon & Live to 9, plus Friday Night Loops


Outdoors is the place to be this summer in Cedar Falls. Remember going to the Drive-in movie theater? For many of you , probably not. But it was a great way to see movies on the big screen while under the moon and stars. Community Main Street, along with the James & Meryl Hearst Center and the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center have brought that back in another format called Movies under the Moon, in their 10th year and it is FREE and open to the public! Movies Under the Moon features a wide variety of family-friendly films that will run on six different Friday evenings this summer at Overman Park in Cedar Falls. Bring along a blanket or lawn chair to sit on, enjoy the Cedar Valley Acoustic Guitar Association musicians starting at 6:30 pm, then the movies at dusk (around 9 pm) on the big screen! Food and beverages are available for purchase. Visit for more information.

Live to 9, a joint venture between the Cedar Valley Jaycees and the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival, is also happening on the same Friday night schedule as Movies Under the Moon, so you can enjoy music in Sturgis Park, then wander over to Overman Park to hear the Cedar Valley Acoustic guitar and see the movie. Food, adult beverages and soft drinks are available for purchase, admission is free! Please visit to find out more!

On top of all that, the Cedar Valley Cyclists are bringing back the Friday Night Loops bike rides, synchronizing with the Movies Under the Moon and Live to 9 schedules. (The only exception to this is July 26th, when there will be no bike ride.) The purpose of these rides, led by CVC members, is to educate and encourage citizens about safe cycling practices while riding the city’s streets. Rides begin at 7 pm in Overman Park. Visit A free valet bicycle parking service, organized by Bike Tech, will be offered in the park as well. Enjoy these fun-filled Friday evenings where there really is something for everyone!

Movies Under the Moon schedule:

June 7 The Lorax

June 21 Grease

July 12 ET

July 26 The Lion King

August 9 Gremlins

August 23 Despicable Me

Live to 9 Schedule:

June 7 Checker & the Bluetones

June 21 Dennis Wayne Gang

July 12 Free Range Medicine

July 26 Snozzberries

August 9 Bob Dorr and the Blue Band

August 23 The Sequels


Submitted by Vicki Bailey,

Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau

35th Annual College Hill Arts Festival Changed Their Dates


WE ARE MOVING – To June! The 35th Annual College Hill Arts Festival will be held June 14 – 15 2013 in its usual spot on the UNI Campus!”

We invite you to join us for the 35th annual College Hill Arts Festival which will be held June 14-15, 2013 on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa at the shady corner of College and 23rd Streets. The College Hill Arts Festival has been named to Sunshine Artist magazine’s list of ‘Best Fine Arts & Design Shows’ in the United States for four of the past five years. Also, the Festival was named the 2006 Event of the Year by the Cedar Valley Tourism Bureaus.

In 2013 three independent judges (new each year) use a blind jury process to select 75 talented artists to fill the Festival with high quality art that demonstrates original design and unique representation of the chosen medium. These jury selected artists will exhibit and sell their original artwork at the Festival in categories including jewelry, sculpture, painting, pastel, ceramics, graphics/printmaking, mixed media, fiber, photography, glass, and wood.

Complimenting the artists’ exhibits will be a variety of musical groups performing on stage; a hands-on creative activity for children sponsored by the Hearst Center for the Arts; and the Young Art Collectors Gallery which features original artwork created by exhibiting artists with prices of $10 or less and encourages children [ages 14 & under] to make independent choices about art. There will also be a variety of food vendors to entice Festival attendees. Picnic tables will be located near the food booth and the Performing Arts Stage. And, our trademark balloon arches add to the festivities!

For the 28th consecutive year, internationally recognized artist, Gary Kelley, will design the Festival poster. Kelley’s limited edition collector’s posters for the 2009, the 2010, and the 2011 Festival all received “Best in Category” awards from Sunshine Artist magazine in their Annual Show Poster Contests. The results of the 2012 contest will be announced in mid-2013.

On behalf of the College Hill Arts Festival board members, our countless volunteers, and corporate sponsors we look forward to seeing you at the 35th College Hill Arts Festival on June 14 and 15 2013!

Mary-Sue Bartlett and Vaughn Griffith

Festival Co-Chairs


Cedar Falls Named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists

Washington, D.C. – May 13, 2013 – As bicycling continues to grow in popularity, leaders in cities across the country, like Cedar Falls, are embracing the environmental, financial and quality of life benefits that come with a population that likes to ride. Today, the League of American Bicyclists announced the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) and Cedar Falls’ designation at the bronze level was renewed for another four years.

“We are inspired when we see places like Cedar Falls making bicycling safer and more convenient,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “We know that investment will be returned many times over in the health, environmental, transportation, and quality of life benefits of a thriving, attractive community.”

The BFC program is transforming the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. With this impressive round, there are now 259 BFCs in 47 states across America. The BFC award recognizes Cedar Falls’ commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.

Cedar Falls was the first city in Iowa to receive the distinction in 2009 and continues to work toward the concept of complete streets with accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians. Groups like the Cedar Trails Partnership, Cedar Valley Cyclists, Cedar Valley Bicycle Collective and others are committed to helping make this a reality.

The BFC program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community and the application itself has become a rigorous and an educational tool in itself. Since its inception, more then 500 distinct communities have applied and the five levels of the award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve.

To apply or learn more about the free BFC program, visit

The Bicycle Friendly Community, Bicycle Friendly State, Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly University programs are generously supported by program partner Trek Bicycle. To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, visit

The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America’s 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit

Elizabeth Murphy
League of American Bicyclists


Cedar Valley Tourism Awards Winners


Tourism is a $7.2 billion industry in the State of Iowa, generating $311 million in Black Hawk County and employing 2,700 county residents. 

May is National Tourism Month and the Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau celebrated by honoring local attractions and tourism stakeholders with the Ninth Annual Cedar Valley Tourism Awards held Tuesday, May 14th, at the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo.  

Over one hundred partners and stakeholders attended the event and local businesses, attractions and events were recognized. 

The Bureaus changed the voting process for this year’s awards.  In the past, nomination forms were available and nominators were asked to provide additional information and support.  That information was shared with a committee that made the selections. This year nominations were solicited and the nominees were submitted with a 25-word description.  Those nominees were placed on an online ballot that was accessible for the public to help make the selections.  More than 60 nominations were received and more than 2,800 votes cast.

The Hilton Garden Inn was named the Cedar Valley Hotel of the Year.  The hotel is the newest in the Cedar Valley, and has already hosted numerous events and garnered some impressive voter comments.  The Hilton Garden Inn was called “a great face for the Cedar Valley and visitors,” by one voter.  Another commented that the “hotel offers an unexpected level of lodging in our small community.”

Scratch Cupcakery was named Business of the Year due to the awareness their business has brought to the Cedar Valley and for their support of local events and tourism organizations.  Visitors to the area take Scratch cupcakes home to their friends, family and co-workers after a visit to Waterloo or Cedar Falls.  Both Bureaus remind visitors to experience places that are unique to our community, and Scratch has allowed visitors to experience the flavor of the area.

New in 2013 was the Restaurant of the Year category.  Restaurants offer a visitor the opportunity to connect to the community.  Restaurants are a focal point for many visitors, and are often large supporters of local organizations and events.  Comments supporting votes for this year’s winner – Texas Roadhouse – included voters saying that the restaurant provides a family-friendly atmosphere and offers great service.  They were highlighted for working very well with hotels in the area and for connecting well with community organizations, charities, and events. 

The Attraction of the Year category saw 15 nominations and one voter commented, “Oh my…how can you ask us to choose one and therefore not the others?”  The 2013 Attraction of the Year, the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, offers something not found elsewhere in the Cedar Valley.  Their programming offers cultural experiences that are available in larger communities, right in our own backyard.  Voters commented about the quality programming available at the Gallagher-Bluedorn and how the breadth of productions offers both familiar and new experiences.  Others also highlighted the family-oriented shows and the Buck-A-Kid program offering diverse concepts to kids to help them understand and explore their world. 

The Event of the Year award was given to Iowa Irish Fest.  The state’s largest Irish Fest stood out amongst the 19 nominees for voters for its growth in variety and diversity of family entertainment.  The Irish Fest brings visitors from around the region and generates quite a large number of positive comments for the community.  It was highlighted as “the crown jewel of summer events…bringing international bands, exhibitors, musicians.  The beautiful setting, friendly volunteers and a great crowd make the experience a very happy one.”

The Bureaus recognized local artists Paco Rosic and Gary Kelley as Waterloo and Cedar Falls Friend of Tourism, respectively.  For the last two years the artists have collaborated on original artwork for the cover of the Visitors Guide.  The 2012 Visitors Guide was recognized by the Iowa Tourism Office as the Outstanding Tourism Publication, due in large part to the collaborative spirit of the communities represented by the work of Rosic and Kelley.

The Visitors Bureaus would like to thank those who voted for award nominees and those who attended the event to honor these outstanding events, attractions, businesses, organizations and individuals.  We encourage you to offer them your congratulations as well. 

WOW Weekend April 26-27

WOW 2013

The ultimate girls’ getaway is happening this weekend in downtown Cedar Falls! Ladies will gather at Luna Art + Wine on Friday night to start off the weekend for the opening reception. Ladies will shop to their hearts’ content and be able to attend fun classes with their friends and family members.  Each registered participant will also have a chance to win prizes throughout the weekend, including $500 worth of gift certificates given out at the closing reception.

The WOW fashion show is debuting this year on Saturday morning at the Community Center. It will feature outfits, jewelry, and other accessories available from several downtown shops.  Kate’s on Main will also give away a free makeover to a lucky winner! This will be a fun event for attendees to be inspired by pieces they can find in Cedar Falls and dive right into spring.

Everyone registered for Women’s Outrageous Weekend will receive discounts or specials at 29 participating businesses, including Jennifer’s On Main, PeekaBoo Baby, Main Street Sweets, Runway Boutique, Miss Wonderful, and Field of Yoga, just to name a few. Kitchen Essentials will host cooking demonstrations and Luna will have a blind wine tasting Saturday.

This is the first year WOW has been held in April, so Community Main Street hopes to see a large turnout due to warmer weather.  This is a fantastic event to bring new shoppers downtown who will hopefully return to Cedar Falls throughout the year. Gear up for outrageous shopping this weekend!

Written by Clarissa McPheron

2013 Cedar Valley Tourism Awards

Tourism Awards

The Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau, together with the Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau, is gearing up for the annual Cedar Valley Tourism Awards May 14, 2013. It will be held at the Isle Casino Hotel in Waterloo at 4:30 p.m.

This year, the bureaus decided to take a different approach to selecting the award recipients. Instead of requesting that individuals submit nominations for individual organizations, they developed a ballot that lists nominees. These nominees are organizations which responded to an invitation to be included on the online ballot. People within the community will vote for one nominee for each award to determine the recipients, who will be recognized May 14th.

The purpose of the Cedar Valley Tourism Awards is to recognize those organizations that have done an exceptional job within the past year in providing visitors a high quality experience. Five awards are given, each to a different tourism sector. They are Attraction of the Year, Event of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Lodging of the Year, and Business/Organization of the Year. Each bureau also chooses a friend of tourism, given to a specific person or organization that provided extraordinary support over the last year.

2012 award recipients were McElroy Auditorium at the National Cattle Congress (Attraction), the Sturgis Falls Celebration (Event), McElroy Trust for World’s Greatest Spring Break for Kids (Organization), and the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo (Hotel). The Restaurant of the Year award is new this year.

We encourage you to fill out the ballot, which you can access here. It is open now through April 30th. Comments are not required, but are strongly encouraged and will be used in the event of a tie. Please note that you will only have access to it once, so be sure to vote for all awards you wish to vote for. Please help us recognize the best of the best in the Cedar Valley!

Written by Clarissa McPheron

May 4th McFarlane Bridge Celebration

McFarlane Bridge EditedMay 4th will be an exciting day for all cycling and trail enthusiasts in the Cedar Valley. It is the celebration of the reopening of McFarlane Bridge in La Porte City, a key point along the Cedar Valley Nature Trail that runs from Evansdale to Hiawatha. Riders will depart from Gateway Park in Cedar Falls at 8:30 a.m. for the 28-mile Bridge-2-Bridge Bike Ride Event, ending at McFarlane Bridge in time for the celebration. At 11 a.m. there will be food, live music, and a recognition ceremony, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and parade at 1 p.m.

The bridge underwent a long process of restoration after the 2008 flood. There were several federal restrictions that delayed reconstruction. First, the county had to come up with $3.2 million outside of funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). Most of this amount came in the form of a federal community development block grant in the fall of 2010. When it was finally time for construction, even though the bridge is not listed on the National Register for Historic Places, since it is eligible, it was required to comply with those restrictions. Both the Iowa Economic Development Authority and State Historic Preservation Office were involved to work out a design plan for historical preservation, a process that took about one year. Reconstruction involved a controlled demolition of the damaged bridge to determine and document how it was built. It was completed at the end of 2012 and opened to riders in January.

Be part of this exciting day, filled with food, music, and friends! For a map of the ride route and contact information, you can view the flyer at either or

Written by Clarissa McPheron

2013 USA Folkstyle Wrestling

New CK Folkstyle Nationals LogoCome this Friday, wrestlers and fans will flood the UNI-Dome for the annual USAW/Cliff Keen Folkstyle National Wrestling Tournament. Athletes will represent 32 states in this final USA Wrestling tournament of the folkstyle season. It is also the first tournament making up the Triple Crown; the other two are the Freestyle Nationals and Greco-Roman Nationals.

State associations from California and Kansas are bringing a number of attendees for the first time this year. There are seven divisions of wrestlers, ranging in age from 7 years (bantam division) to 56 years (veteran division). Jake Herbert, 2009 World silver medalist and 2012 Olympian, will be present during the weekend as this year’s special guest.

In past years, the tournament has sold out – a testament to the caliber of this prestigious event. It is a fantastic event for Cedar Falls to host, bringing in 2,800 wrestlers along with their coaches and families to our community. This kind of exposure continues to put Cedar Falls on the map for its ability to successfully host large athletic events. It also fills up our hotels and restaurants, and most importantly, showcases the community as a quality destination, one that visitors will want to return to.

If it seems a bit more crowded around town this weekend, you will surely know why. Maybe you’ll meet someone from California or New Mexico – wherever the person is from, welcome him or her to Cedar Falls!

Written by Clarissa McPheron

Vote for the 2013 Site of the Year

Peoples Choice 2013

Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA), its office located in downtown Waterloo, has been working since 1996 to tell the story of Iowa agriculture in a meaningful way through events, workshops, and educational opportunities.  It celebrates the land and people who have shaped rural life and agribusiness and shares their heritage. An Affiliated Area of the National Park Service, SSNHA has over 100 partner sites across the state, from museums and historic sites to parks and scenic routes.

Each year, SSNHA presents Golden Site Awards to those organizations and people whose efforts have shown “outstanding excellence in preserving and telling American’s agricultural story.” The People’s Choice Site of the Year is given to a partner site chosen by the public. The first round of voting took place March 18-24 among 11 nominees. The second round of voting takes place today through April 2 among three finalists: Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy/J&J Dairy in Hudson, Wapsipinicon Mill Museum in Independence, and Motor Mill Historic Site in Elkader.

Last month, the Iowa Department of Agriculture awarded Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award, which we featured on our blog. The Hansens are very active in their community and love to share how the dairy from their 175-cow farm reaches the tables of families. Within the last year, they have opened a new tour center and retail store and have added a tractor/trolley ride to tours – all so that people can be part what they are all about. We are excited to have the Cedar Valley represented in the final three nominees for the Site of the Year! Click here to cast your vote! The winner will be announced during the Golden Silo Awards banquet set for April 3rd.

Scott Cawelti of Cedar Falls will perform at the awards banquet set at noon April 3rd in the Sky Room at the Black’s Building in Waterloo. A student and colleague of James Hearst, Cawelti will perform some of Hearst’s poems, accompanying himself with the guitar. This performance is free to the public.

Written by Clarissa McPheron

Mini Masters at College Square Mall

PrintSpring break is packed full of fun and learning for kids in the Cedar Valley! This year, experience Mini Masters, a nine-hole course and art exhibit at the FunSpace in College Square Mall where kids can learn about 20th century master artists while trying for a hole-in-one. Brought to you by the Phelps Youth Pavilion in Waterloo, the FunSpace is part of the World’s Greatest Spring Break for Kids and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Starting today and running through March 22nd, parents and youth alike can visit any or all of downtown Waterloo attractions for just $1 each. The Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum, Bluedorn Science Imaginarium, Phelps Youth Pavilion, Dan Gable Museum, Black Hawk Children’s Theatre, and Young Arena offer the special admission price all week for the chance to see cool exhibits, watch live performances, and go ice skating. The Waterloo Public Library also offers a free event on Thursday.

The FunSpace and week-long event is made possible by the McElroy Trust. For more information, visit

2013 Eastern Iowa Sportshow

The 38th Annual Eastern Iowa Sportshow Powered by Ford will be held March 15-17 at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.  Fishing, vacation and hunting opportunities and outdoor recreation products will fill the UNI-Dome floor with the cure for spring fever. This year’s Sportshow will again include the McLeod Center with family entertainment and seminars.

Eastern Iowa recreational vehicle dealers will showcase the newest styles of light-weight campers, expandable trailers, travel trailers, toy haulers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes. Marine dealers will offer final show promotions before the spring boating season. Boaters can shop aluminum and fiberglass fishing boats, pontoons, family runabouts, deckboats, canoes, and kayaks.

The Sportshow is also the place for families and fishing groups to plan spring and summer adventures and reserve dates at the show. Exhibits include fishing camps, fly-in outposts, family resorts, campgrounds, canoe outfitters, sportfishing charters, tourism destinations, hunting outfitters and more.  Areas represented include Alaska, Midwest, Canada and Africa.

Retailers will have plenty of show bargains and new products for outdoor enthusiasts. Fishing tackle, camping and hunting equipment dealers will be participating at this year’s show. More outdoor products include motorcycles, ATV’s, UTV’s, truck accessories, golf cars, kayaks and more.

Fishing seminars will include Lindner Media’s Jeremy Smith, professional guide Tim “Hutch” Hutchison and professional angler Tommy Skarlis. More seminars on catfishing and panfishing are planned.

Hunting seminars feature Adrenaline Junkies frontman, Kyle Wieter, with whitetail hunting tips and Cabela’s pro staffer Jim Hunt sharing spring turkey hunting tactics.

A special outdoor adventure series includes seminars on paddling and kayaking, boundary waters and backpacking.

Family entertainment features include the Aussie Kingdom stage shows and animal display in the McLeod Center. Other activities at the show include live rainbow trout fishing and a kids BB gun range.

Trophy whitetail antler scoring takes place Saturday and Sunday at the show. Iowa hunters can have current season or historical racks measured by official scorers and entered in competition. Trophies will be awarded to the top racks in each division with categories for gun and bow with typical and non-typical points.  A $10 entry fee includes two-day admission to the show. Scoring and displays will take place on the upper south mezzanine.

The first 100 kids under 16 on Sunday get a free fishing rod and the next 200 get a free Berkley Power Worm.  Daily door prizes will also be given.Eastern Iowa Sportshow2

Eastern Iowa Sportshow

UNI-Dome, Cedar Falls Friday, March 15                 2:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.

Saturday, March 16           9:30 A.M. – 8:00 P.M.

Sunday, March 17             10:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.


Adults: $7.00     Youth 10-15: $4.00    9 & Under Free  (Friday Matinee from 2:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.  $4.00)  FREE PARKING

Detailed show information and discount opportunities can be found at: or follow Iowa Shows on Facebook. For further information, please contact:

John Bunge, President

Iowa Show Productions, Inc.


Guest Blog: John Bunge

Best of the Best Iowa Burgers

Burger Contest PhotoFor decades, the hamburger has been and continues to be the iconic American food, and when it’s done right, there’s no guessing why. It’s a comfort food that people love to eat, so we continue to make burgers in all sizes and varieties. Iowans are no exception in the country’s love for burgers and for the fourth year, they can vote on their favorite to be named “Iowa’s Best Burger” in 2013.

Nearly every local restaurant has a hamburger on its menu. Which one do you order time after time because it never gets old? The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and the Iowa Beef Industry Council urge you to nominate your favorite in the statewide contest. The burgers with the most nominations will make the “Top Ten” list announced in late March. These finalists will receive a formal certificate and will be put to the test by the contest’s judges to determine the big winner. The #1 burger will be announced the first week of May, just in time for Beef Month, and be named “Iowa’s Best Burger” for a year.

To learn the rules and make a nomination, go to the Iowa Beef Industry Council’s website and click on the top link in the left column. You can also print, fill out, and mail a form to Iowa’s Best Burger Contest, PO Box 451, Ames, Iowa 50010 or text BEEF to 313131. All nominations are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 18, 2013.

If you’re a social media fan, LIKE the Iowa Beef Council on Facebook to keep tabs on the contest. Over 4,200 nominations were submitted last year for 212 restaurants. Nominate your favorite in the Cedar Valley to show off the great restaurants in Black Hawk County!

Written by Clarissa McPheron

Maple Syrup Festival March 2-3

030709rc-hartman-syrup2The month of March is upon us and for Hartman Reserve, this means it is time for the annual Maple Syrup Festival. On Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., be sure to come out to Hartman Reserve for unlimited pancakes topped with delicious maple syrup made on the reserve. Chris Cakes will be tossing them to you once again this year, which is always an entertaining treat. Along with all of those pancakes will be sausage, Starbucks coffee and Hansen’s milk. Whether you attend every year or have not yet experienced the event, it is sure to be a fun and delicious weekend.

Visit the Sugar Shack during the festival for the syrup processing demonstrations, where you will learn about how tree sap becomes maple syrup. Kids and adults alike love to see how the cooking process works and have all their questions answered.

Don’t forget to sign up for the raffle for the chance to win great prizes. This year you could go home with a kayak from CrawDaddy Outdoors or a bike from Bike Tech and CVAST! If you couldn’t get enough of that locally made syrup, you can purchase a bottle from Hartman’s gift shop to enjoy at home.

Tickets will be available at the door for $8 per adult and $5 per youth (age 3-12); ages 2 and under are free. Advance tickets can be bought for $1 off ticket price up until March 2 by calling 277-2187. Be one of over 2,300 people to eat well and enjoy another year at the festival!

Written by Clarissa McPheron

Hawkeye Farm Show February 26-28

A tradition of excellence has made the Hawkeye Farm Show a must attend for farmers in the region.  The 26th annual event will fill the UNI-Dome with the newest in agriculture Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, February 26, 27, 28, 2013.  This year’s show is the largest ever, with over 200 Companies scheduled to display over 900 lines of products and services.  Show Manager, Penny Swank, states, “The timing of the show is ideal for planting information and purchases and exhibitors are optimistic following a year of good yields and strong commodity prices.”  She adds, “Iowa State University Extension Seminars return again this year with a daily seminar schedule designed to provide practical planting and crop management information, as well as an outlook on key economic trends.”

Application of technology to improve bottom line is a dominant theme throughout the show, as it remains imperative to control all aspects of production, manage and market more effectively.  Featured products at this year’s show include high-tech equipment and software for monitoring input costs, as well as all new power equipment designed to minimize fuel and input expenses will be showcased.  Several exhibitors are offering strategies and techniques to deal with emerging concerns such as corn rootworm resistance.  Power equipment companies, farm Implements and tools of all kinds, seed companies, chemical companies, storage buildings, and grain handling and drying systems are all represented at the show.

There is a special promotion for those arriving at the show before 1 PM. Those folks will have an opportunity to register for a $1000.00 EARLY BIRD prize of merchandise from any exhibitor.  Registration information is available at the show office on the South Entrance Landing of the UNI-Dome. Stop-Fyre™ Fire Extinguishers is making sure EARLY BIRDS arriving at the show between 8:30 and 10AM can enjoy Free Coffee and Rolls with KOEL Farm Director, Liz Brown.

Iowa State University Extension Seminars are scheduled twice daily at 11 AM and 1 PM.  This year seminars are moved to a new location in the Alumni Suite, accessed via the south mezzanine level walkway to the McLeod Center from the UNI-Dome. The schedule for 2013 follows below:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

11:00 AM          “Cover Crops for Grain and Livestock Operations”
Brian Lang, ISU Extension and Outreach Field Agronomist

1:00 PM            “Weather Outlook for 2013”
Dr. Elwyn Taylor, Extension Climatologist

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

11:00 AM          “Land Value Trends”
Dr. Mike Duffy, ISU Extension and Outreach Economist

1:00 PM            “Drought Impact on Beef and Swine Operation”
Denise Schwab, ISU Extension & Outreach Beef Program Specialist

Mark Storlie, ISU Extension & Outreach Swine Field Specialist

Thursday, February 28, 2013

11:00 AM          “2013 Planting Tips”
Terry Basol, ISU Extension and Outreach Field Agronomist

1:00 PM            “Grain Market Outlook for 2013/14”
Dr. Chad Hart, Extension Economist

Free Blood Pressure Checks will be available at the ISU Extension booth in the mezzanine level walkway to the McLeod Center from 11:00AM – 1 PM Tuesday & Wednesday.

For further information on Iowa State University Extension Seminars, contact:  Black Hawk County Extension Office  (319)234-6811

Admission and Parking to the Hawkeye Farm Show are free to the public. Show Hours are 9 AM – 4 PM each day.

The Hawkeye Farm Show is produced by Midwest Shows/FarmShows USA, Inc.; P.O. Box 737, Austin, MN 55912. The Company produces seven agricultural tradeshows hosted annually in Peoria, IL; Tulsa, OK; Vermillion, SD; Sioux Falls, SD(2); Cedar Falls, IA; and Oklahoma City.

For More information, contact Penny Swank at (507) 437-4577

Guest Blog: Penny Swank

Cabin Fever a Winter Treat

Escape the winter blues by visiting downtown Cedar Falls February 21st from 5-8 p.m. for Cabin Fever, a new event in 2013. Participating businesses will offer specials and promotions throughout the night that you will not want to miss! Community Main Street is also giving away a prize of its own—a weekend getaway, complete with tickets to an Oster Regent Theatre performance, dinner for two at Montage, and a stay at the Black Hawk Hotel. Be sure to enter your name in the giveaway at any participating business for your chance to win.

Community Main Street works behind the scenes in the downtown district to stimulate economic development and provide a framework for long-term sustainability while preserving historic architectural design. It creates a welcoming cultural environment with a diverse mix of businesses, making it a destination “Where Good Friends Meet.”

The organization was established in 1987 by a group of residents committed to transforming the area from vacant buildings to a promising area of successful business. This group worked with the city of Cedar Falls and the Main Street Iowa program to improve the district and, 26 years later, it serves as a model for other communities across the nation. Since its inception, Community Main Street has seen a net gain of 410 jobs, over $33 million invested, and 493 rehabilitated or renovated building projects. Volunteers have donated over 38,000 hours within the same amount of time.

The work that Community Main Street does reflects the desire of Cedar Falls residents to make our city a wonderful place to live. To stay current on downtown events throughout the year, visit its website and click on Calendar of Events. A monthly newsletter and business directory are also available.


Written by Clarissa McPheron

Hansen Family Awarded

IMG_0200Valentine’s Day will be extra special this year for the Hansen family. Owners and operators of Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy, Jay and Jeanne Hansen were awarded the Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and will be recognized Thursday at their farm in Hudson, Iowa. The presentation will air live at 11:30 a.m. on two radio stations, WHO of Des Moines and WMT of Cedar Rapids. The award is given to a nominated family each month and is funded by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers in memory of former WHO broadcaster Gary Wergin.

A neighbor of the Hansens nominated the family for the award to recognize their positive impact on the community and their passion for sharing the story of agriculture. Those people in Cedar Falls and Waterloo who have visited the two outlet stores or the farm for tours know that this family works hard to produce the high quality dairy products they love. This award reaffirms what the Hansen’s neighbors and customers already know—their commitment to a family legacy of fine dairy production that gives Iowa its good name.

Written by Clarissa McPheron

Valentine’s Dance at Lampost Theatre


Do something special this Valentine’s Day and head out to Lampost Theatre for the Valentine’s Dance, featuring the 50’s and 60’s band Goodie & the Two Shoes. It will be a night filled with dancing and dessert with that special someone or just with friends! Coffee and dessert is included in the ticket price at only $10 per person. Transport back in time on February 14th and 15th at 7 p.m. and prepare for non-stop entertainment! Space is limited, so be sure to call ahead for tickets at 319.277.8034. You can also purchase them online here.

Established in 1980, Lampost Theatre Co. produces a wide range of original theatre performances across the country. It made its home on Seerley Boulevard in Cedar Falls in 2004 as both a resident theatre and full-service coffee shop. Performances are presented in a unique, intimate setting, giving audience members an experience different from any other. In 2012, the cast put on “Superheroes,” an original musical comedy, the dinner theatre “Moonlight and Mischief in Morocco,” and “Toys in the Attic: A Christmas Adventure.”  You can also find comedy improv and swing dancing at Lampost throughout the year. It is a cozy and fun place to visit any time of year – a true gem in Cedar Falls.

Stay up to date with what’s happening on Lampost’s Facebook page and remember to buy your tickets to the Valentine’s dance before they are sold out!

Written by Clarissa McPheron

UNI-Dome Antiques & Collectibles Show, March 22-24

UNI-Dome 2012 pics 165Antique collectors, plan to attend the 19th Annual  UNI-Dome Antique & Collectibles Show in Cedar Falls, Iowa, March 22nd – 24th.  Collectors, prepare to meet the unexpected, as more than 150 exhibitors gather from across the country and beyond to present Iowa’s largest indoor antique and collectibles show!

The UNI-Dome Antique & Collectibles Show will be overflowing with a wonderful selection of fine antiques and collectibles.  The best of the best antique dealers will feature all eras and styles of vintage furniture; art pottery, stoneware, books, fine art and prints, primitives, fine & costume jewelry, silver, antique glassware, American Indian items & jewelry, china, postcards, political, kitchen, coins, quilts, dolls, toys, sports collectibles, advertising and paper, marbles, tools, rugs, vintage textiles and period pieces.  The treasures are here for you and your family!


Friday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
$7 Admission

Be sure to check out our website for travel information, including maps and hotels.  Patrons can also be register at our website,, for a $1 discount admission coupon to the show.

More information about the UNI-Dome Antique & Collectible Shows or our Antique Spectacular Shows, it is available at or by calling Kimberly Schilling at 712-326-9964 or by email at The UNI-Dome Antique & Collectible Shows and the Antique Spectacular events are presented by Melting Pot Productions, Inc.

Guest Blog: Kimberly Schilling, Melting Pot Productions

Cedar Falls Historical Society Presents “College Hill Memories”

College Hill, c. 1960

College Hill c. 1960

From its bookstores to its beauty salons, barbers, and bars, College Hill has been a vital part of Cedar Falls for well over a century. The Cedar Falls Historical Society tells the stories of this rich neighborhood in its new exhibition, “College Hill Memories: A Historical View.”

The Historical Society will open the new show with a reception at its Victorian Home & Carriage House Museum (308 W. 3rd St.) on Thursday, January 31. The reception will begin at 5:00. Guest curator Emily O’Loughlin will speak about her research at 5:30.

To create the exhibition, UNI student Emily O’Loughlin interviewed community members, business owners, and UNI alums about their memories of the Hill. Then she gathered historic photos, objects, and clothing from the UNI Archives and the Historical Society to bring their colorful stories to life. Visitors will get to see a 19th century Danish Bible, a comb for clipping a perfectly level flat-top, a 1960s mini-skirt, and a women’s WWII WAVES uniform.

“This show tells a really interesting story about our college town and how its culture, businesses, and student activities have changed over time,” said Karen Smith, Executive Director of the Historical Society. “It’s been a great opportunity to collect all of these memories of the Hill to preserve them for the future.”

This special exhibition will be up through 2013 and is part of Emily O’Loughlin’s honors project for UNI. O’Loughlin is a double major in History and Philosophy. Her exhibition is sponsored by the UNI Department of History, UNI College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the University Honors Program.

For more information about Cedar Falls Historical Society events, you may call 266-5149 or e-mail

Guest Blog: Karen Smith

Film Series Continues at Gallagher

In its second year, the Film Series at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center exposes audiences to a variety of independent films and documentaries. Just like live productions, film is an art form that allows for expression and creativity. Janelle Darst, Marketing Director at the GBPAC, explained that the staff chooses some films that are entertaining and others that are more thought-provoking. This year, the films relate to Reaching for Higher Ground’s theme, the American Dream.

Reaching for Higher Ground was an idea that emerged from the Laramie Project, which involved two plays in the fall of 2012 based on interviews of people in Laramie, Wyoming in the wake of Matthew Shepard’s death. Shepard was a student at the University of Wyoming who was attacked in October 1998 because he was openly gay and died from the resulting injuries. The first play portrayed those interviewed shortly after Shepard’s death and the second portrayed those same people interviewed ten years later.

The GBPAC first introduced Reaching for Higher Ground as “Standing for Higher Ground,” but the concept soon extended beyond the performing arts center to include the entire campus. Executive Director Steve Carignan first reached out to the university president, provost, and the deans of colleges, who embraced the idea and agreed upon the current name. The word “reaching” indicates that pursuing higher ground is a continual process, rather than a goal that has already been achieved. The concept turned into a committee of individuals across all of campus in an effort to work together as part of an integration conversation. Instructors and other organizations at the university are encouraged to host events that align with the theme each year.

January’s film, Including Samuel, will be shown Tuesday, January 22nd at 7pm. It is an award-winning film that gives an in-depth look at the life of Dan Habib, a photojournalist who has a son with cerebral palsy. It is an honest portrayal of a father’s efforts to seek inclusion every day for his son Samuel. It has been featured on Good Morning America and in the Washington Post and Boston Globe. Tickets are free for UNI students and $5 for the general public. For more information, visit For the full Film Series list, go to, click Upcoming Events, then select Film Series.

Samuel Dan airplane

Photo Credit: Dan Habib/

Written by Clarissa McPheron

Original Paintings for Sale


A number of accomplished artists call the Cedar Valley home. This year the Cedar Falls and Waterloo Visitor Bureaus asked not one, but two of them to create our 2012 visitor guide cover.

The resulting image was a collaboration between painters Paco Rosic of Waterloo and Gary Kelley of Cedar Falls. Although they both share similar passions for their art, they can also be a study of contrasts. Paco, who painted the left half of our cover, works with aerosol cans of acrylic color. He has elevated this specialty of graffiti art to a new level and it’s on view nightly at his family’s restaurant, Galleria de Paco. The artist is a native of Sarajevo, Bosnia, and lived for a time in Germany before migrating to the United States as a boy.

By contrast, Gary Kelley is a native Iowan and an internationally recognized illustrator. He’s been a regular contributor to Rolling Stone, Playboy, Atlantic Monthly, and many other publications and he created the ubiquitous author murals seen in Barnes & Noble bookstores nationwide. In his downtown Cedar Falls studio, Gary conceived and sketched our cover image on a large canvas before handing it off to Paco, who then worked his aerosol magic on the left half of it.

Next, Paco returned the unfinished art to Gary, who completed the right side of it in his more traditional oil painting technique. The result was a unique challenge to these two skilled painters from different generations and different cultures. And if you ask either of them, despite these difference, two things they’ll always have in common are a passion for Picasso and a passion for their own personal art. For the 2013 Visitor Guide, these two artists created another image for the cover in the same collaboration as the first, pictured above.

The 2012 Visitors Guide cover artwork is accepting bids starting at $3,500.00 The 2013 Visitors Guide artwork is accepting bids starting at $3,000.00 Please email us with your name, mailing address, email address, phone number and bid amount at Bids may also be mailed to: Cedar Falls Tourism, 6510 Hudson Rd., Cedar Falls, IA. 50613. Bids will be accepted until February 28, 2013 for both of the original paintings.  Additional information regarding the bidding process can be found at or by calling 319-268-4266.

Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior


“Any building should be complete, including all within itself. Instead of many things one thing…  It is the first principle of any growth that the thing grown be no mere aggregation… And integration means that no part of anything is of any great value except as it be an integrated part of the harmonious whole.” – Frank Lloyd Wright, An Autobiography, 1932

James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts is pleased to announce Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior, an exhibition exploring the design of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses, often considered his greatest architectural accomplishment. Through 19 reproduction drawings, 8 photographs, and 4 photographic murals, the exhibition illustrates the myriad—both obvious and subtle— ways Wright created the visual character of interior space and objects within it, each an essential detail of the larger whole. Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior is on view at the James & Meryl Hearst Center for the Arts from November 30, 2012 through January 22, 2013.

House plans in the exhibition reveal the heart of Wright houses as a single, expansive space from which subordinate spaces extended outward in multiple directions, like spokes radiating outward from the hub of a wheel. Porches and terraces, wings of bedrooms, and floor-to-ceiling walls of glass all expanded the central hearth space to adjacent interior spaces, and to infinite space in the natural world beyond. Organizing the interior in this way increased the sense of generous space for living anchored by the central core.

Drawings and photographs of interiors show the ingenious ways Wright maximized the feeling of open space while accommodating the various functions for daily living. In the Robie House, for example, a single sightline extends from one end of the house to the other, visually connecting all of the areas. Functional furnishings were built into the structure in order to free floor space, as evidenced by a photograph of a very small bedroom in the Mossberg House.

Wright’s rejection of past styles led him to the contemporary visual language of abstraction and geometry. For Wright, this language had a deeper source as the structure and ornament of all forms in nature. Just as a living form is one entity in structure and ornament, so the house was to be a single whole in structure and expression. Wright used the term “organic” to convey his belief that structure, interior, furnishings and ornament should be as one. He conceived every feature of the house as a part expressing a single idea—from the structure, to the interior, to the smallest details and objects.

Wright’s objects are not decorated, but rather the character of the structure engages the viewer’s senses of sight and touch by color, texture, pattern, contour, light and shadow. The works in Architecture of the Interior reveal how all elements in Wright’s design express the overarching abstract geometric order of the house.

Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior is organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC, in cooperation with The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ.

Tuesday & Thursday:  9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday & Friday:  9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday:  1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Closed on Mondays

Hearst Center is open at 9:00 a.m. every Saturday during class seasons.

Guest Blog: Vicki Simpson, Hearst Center for the Arts

Still Time to Enjoy These Holiday Happenings


There are still plenty of holiday activities to partake in before St. Nick arrives and time is spent with the traditions, family and friends that make Christmas so special to each of us.

A couple of plays are going on in the Cedar Valley, both filled with special meaning and laughter, music and song.  Christmas Crackers is being performed by the Waterloo Community Playhouse at the Hope Martin Theatre, 225 Commercial St. in Waterloo. This holiday show by Patricia Stilwill features all of your favorite Christmas songs as well as some you haven’t heard in years. Show times are tonight and tomorrow, December 14th and 15th, at 7 pm. And Sunday, December 16th at 2 pm. Call the box office at 291-4494 to reserve your seats. Toys in the Attic is a Christmas adventure on stage at the Lampost Theatre, 204 W. Seerley Blvd. in Cedar Falls. This is their annual Christmas Dessert Theatre. A handful of forgotten toys come to life for a Christmas Eve adventure on this brand-new musical comedy. But hurry, tickets are selling out fast! Performances are scheduled for December 14th, 15th, 20th, and 21st at 7 pm; December 15th and 16th at 2 pm. Please call for ticket availability at 277-8034.

There is nothing quite like seeing a classic holiday movie on the big screen! As part of their Inspiration Film Series the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, 8201 Dakota St. in Cedar Falls, is offering It’s A Wonderful Life December 15th, perhaps one of our most beloved of American films. This story of George Bailey and his hometown of Bedford Falls helps us all discover the true meaning of Christmas. Showtime is 2 pm, call 273-4849. The Oster Regent Theatre at 103 Main St. in Cedar Falls is offering Movie Magic December 15th also, with The Santa Clause at 10 am. This classic feature is fun and full of cheer at one man’s transformation into the ‘real’ Santa.

Let someone else do the caroling to you with these special musical performances. Steve Angrisano, sponsored by the St. Stephen the Witness Catholic Student Center, presents his Christmas concert – Celebrate the SPIRIT of Christmas – in the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center at 7 pm on December 14th. Jim McDonough’s Holiday Grande 2012 is also in the Gallagher-Bluedorn on December 16th at 2:30 pm. Tickets for both performances can be made by calling 273-4849. The Cedar Valley Singers will perform at the Hearst Center for the Arts, 304 W. Seerley Blvd. in Cedar Falls on December 16th at 2 pm. This period-specific holiday concert is free and open to the public. Call 273-8641.

There is still plenty of hoopla going on in downtown Cedar Falls! Santa’s workshop is open the 15th, 20th and 22nd of December. Baby It’s Cold Outside is December 20th, a night of ice and magic from 6-8 pm! Watch Ice Sculptors create works of ice art with their chainsaws. Enjoy the sounds of fabulous choral and instrumental groups while dining and shopping. Horse-drawn trolley rides will be leaving from the Cedar Falls Community Center, the live nativity will be open and Santa will be in his workshop. Santa’s workshop will also be open Saturday, December 22.

Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride into the woods December 15th and 22nd and enjoy breakfast with Santa & his helpers during Breakfast with Santa at Heritage Farms, 7731 Zanetta Dr. in Hudson. After breakfast, the sleigh continues on to PaDaddy’s 100-year-old barn for more farm fun. The first sleigh leaves at 9 am. Reservations can be made by calling 988-3734.

Hopefully you will have time to make magical holiday memories at some of these happenings, but especially find magical happenings of your own! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Vicki S. Bailey

Celebrating Fifty Years!


It’s the Cedar Falls Historical Society’s fiftieth anniversary this year, and we have many reasons to celebrate. So we’re throwing a party! Join us on Thursday, December 6, 5:00-7:00 pm for an anniversary reception at the Victorian Home & Carriage House Museum. At 6:00, we’ll give a toast to the Cedar Falls Historical Society, and the Cedar Falls Civic Foundation will present its annual Peter Melendy Distinguished Community Builder Awards. Give us a call if you plan to attend: 266-5149.

As we look toward our next fifty years, we’re excited to introduce a fresh, new look for our logo, website, and signage. Cedar Falls marketing firm Vision Development Services donated its design services to create an eye-catching new logo that showcases the Society’s museums and pays tribute to Cedar Falls’ heritage. Designer Steve Welter incorporated local artist Marie Cook’s distinctive silhouettes of four Historical Society landmarks: the George Wyth House, Ice House Museum, Little Red Schoolhouse, and Victorian Home.

Our updated website ( matches the look of our new logo and provides regularly updated information. Now you can easily access details about each museum, learn about upcoming events and programs, research local history, and contribute to the preservation of Cedar Falls’ heritage. The new site was made possible by design and software support by Vision Development Services and a grant from the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau.

Soon we’ll be getting new signs near the Behrens-Rapp Station and Ice House Museum with additional support from the Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau. The signs promise to catch the eye of visitors and locals alike and enhance the downtown’s historic character.

We’re also making new use of our facebook and are currently posting weekly features about each of our museums.  “Like” our page and learn about the Victorian Home’s original cistern, the fire at the Ice House, and the Wyth-Lamb Shoe Company—and keep updated on all of the latest activities.

In the midst of all that’s new at the Historical Society, we continue to cherish our longstanding traditions, too. We’re especially excited about the beautiful 1920s and 1930s New Year’s gowns on display in the Carriage House.

Here’s to many more years of keeping our heritage alive!

Guest Blog: Karen Smith

Blue Zones Projects Kick-Off in Cedar Falls


Dan Buettner, New York Times best-selling author of Blue Zones and Thrive, will be visiting Cedar Falls to kick off the Blue Zones Project™ on Wednesday, Nov. 28.

While here, he’ll also kick off a special program for a select few called the Blue Zones Project Makeover Challenge and we’d like you to join us.

Inspired by the lifestyles of the longest-lived people in Blue Zones® areas of the world, you will:

  • Work hand-in-hand with our experts
  • Use our tools to make healthy choices easier in your environment
  • Discover what choices you can make to live happier and healthier

To get started, we need to hear what makes you a great fit for the Blue Zones Project Makeover Challenge. Simply  email us at and let us know where you feel you have the biggest opportunities for improvement at home, at work, and in your community. We really want to get to know you, so the more you share, the better!

Please also include your name, address, phone number, and email so we can get in touch. Because we know your story can help encourage and inspire others, applicants must be willing to document their journey and may be asked to share their experience with the media.

While we can only pick a handful of people to participate in this personal makeover challenge, everyone in the Cedar Valley can reap the benefits of the Blue Zones Project!  Learn more about activities happening locally and about the tools available online by visiting

We look forward to seeing you all at the community rally in Cedar Falls on Nov. 28 at 5:30 pm at the Cedar Falls High School Auditorium!

Blue Zones Project Team

Holiday Hoopla 2012: Magical Lights, Magical Nights

Make your holidays magic with Cedar Falls’  Main Street! We’ve got free, family-friendly events planned from Thanksgiving to Christmas throughout downtown. Bring the kids, meet your friends and make great memories this holiday season.


The magic begins downtown on Friday, Nov. 23 with the BIG Holiday Hoopla Kick-Off from 6 to 8 p.m. Enjoy live music, food vendors and street characters, plus Mrs. Claus will be at Santa’s Workshop at 4th and Main. Then join the crowd in welcoming Santa to Cedar Falls! He’ll arrive in style and proceed down Main Street for the official Tree Lighting at Gateway Park. End the night with the beauty and wonder of the winter fireworks over the river!


Join us on Thursday, Nov. 29 for Magical Lights, Magical Nights downtown. Visit the new Holiday Light Show at 4th and Main. Events include free Trolley Rides down Main Street, live Nativity scenes and Santa’s Workshop, all from 6-8 p.m.


Saturday, Dec. 1 bring the kids downtown for Breakfast at the North Pole from 8-11 a.m. at the Cedar Falls Community Center on Main Street. The winner will be drawn for the Holiday Hoopla Raffle prize during breakfast. Santa’s Workshop will also be open for visits from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.


Thursday, Dec. 6 is the annual Jingle and Mingle on Main from 5-8 p.m. with open houses throughout downtown. Enjoy Trolley Rides, Santa’s Workshop and a live Nativity scene as well, from
6-8 p.m.


Don your best holiday costume on Saturday, Dec. 8 for Santa’s Snow Shuffle 5K Fun Run/Walk at 9 a.m. It starts at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 615 Washington Street, Cedar Falls. Santa’s Workshop will be open afterwards as well from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.


Thursday, Dec. 13 brings Hoopla Cheer downtown from 6-9 p.m. with Santa’s Beard Contest at 5 p.m. and UNI’s Interlude Dance on Main at 10 p.m. – largest ever on Main Street!Enjoy Trolley Rides, Santa’s Workshop and a live Nativity scene as well, from 6-8 p.m.


The Oster Regent is offering a little Movie Magic with a free, family showing of The Santa Clause at 10 a.m. on Dec. 15. The winners of the Coloring Contest will be announced at the movie. Santa’s Workshop will also be open for visits from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.


Baby, It’s Cold Outside on Thursday, Dec. 20 is the grand finale of Holiday Hoopla 2012. Come enjoy a festival of winter with ice carving, ice skating, trolley rides and musicians on Main. Santa’s Workshop will be open from 6-8 p.m. for those last-minute wishes!


Ongoing events:
The Salvation Army’s Toy Drive runs Nov. 23-Dec. 10. Drop off new, unwrapped gifts for infants-18 years old; $25 limit please. Donations will be accepted at Spinutech at 2nd St. and Washington; and the Cedar Falls Library at 5th and Main.


Downtown’s Window Display People’s Choice contest runs from Nov. 23-Dec. 17. Be sure to vote for your favorite! Ballots are available throughout downtown; place them in the red Santa 50613 mailbox at 4th and Main.


The Coloring Contest runs Nov. 23-Dec. 13. Find this year’s drawing at


Mail your letters to Santa 50613 at the special mailbox at the corner of 4th and Main from Nov. 23-Dec. 20. Be sure to include your name and address if you want a letter back from the Big Man himself!


Come visit Santa and his helpers at his Workshop (4th and Main) on Saturdays and Thursday nights from Nov. 24-Dec. 22. Watch for the magical Light Show at Santa’s Workshop – new this year!


And as always, street parking times are doubled from now until Jan. 4 for your shopping convenience.

Community Main Street


The 2012 Festival of Trees is Having a Holly Jolly Christmas


It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the Sartori Memorial Hospital Auxiliary will be ushering in the holiday season with its 24th  Annual Festival of Trees celebration. The 2012 Festival, ‘Holly Jolly Christmas, will take place the week of November 14 through the 18th. This year’s Festival will feature all the traditional favorites and some new twists.

The Holly Berry Brunch & Program will be held inside the beautiful Festival Gallery of Trees in the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. Plan to join us on Wednesday, November 14, from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. for this popular event.  Guests will enjoy a delightful brunch catered by University of Northern Iowa. Co-chairs of this year’s event are Gail Thornton, Donna Cuvelier and Bev Michael.

A holiday tradition continues this year with one of the most anticipated events of the Festival, the Holly Day Luncheon & Style Show. Set for Friday, November 16 at 11:00 a.m. this year’s event will be held at the beautiful Park Place Event Centre. The style show event offers guest the opportunity for local Cedar Valley clothiers to display the latest holiday fashions. This show offers great entertainment for men and women of all ages. The day will begin with a reception from 11:00 a.m. to noon featuring complimentary cocktail and punch; a cash bar will be available. The Chairs of this year’s style show event are Shannon Closson and Charisse Faris. Tickets are $35 per person.

Coming back in 2012 is the ever popular Rockin’ Reindeer Racing event on Friday, November 16 at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. This is a casual event in which participants will be able to view virtual horse races, which are named by local sponsors.  Festival goers will be able to use play money to wager on their favorite horse, dance to the music of a live band, and enjoy scrumptious snacks, a cash bar and silent auction bidding. Tickets for this event are $22. Chair for this event is Holly Dusenbery.

Festive fun is in store for children who attend the Teddy Bear Time, one of the most popular events at the Festival of Trees. Children will be entertained and enchanted by sing-along songs, a dance performance by the UNI Orchesis Dance Company and a visit from Santa on Sunday, November 18 at the UNI Commons Ballroom.  Refreshments and a special teddy bear will be provided for all children. The afternoon will be sure to leave your little boys and girls with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads! All children must be accompanied by an adult. Parents are encouraged to bring their cameras. Co-chairs of the Teddy Bear Tea are Sarah Austin and Brandi White.

This year’s Festival of Trees event will also bring back favorite exhibits such as the beautifully designed trees and wreaths, elegant table settings, musical demonstrations and the crèchenativity scenes will return to the Festival Gallery this year. Throughout the Festival raffle tickets can be purchased for a prize package including jewelry, furniture, $500 cash and more. You will also want to purchase your chance to win 100 bottles of wine from the wine tree raffle. Visit Festival at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on Saturday, November 17 to purchase homemade goodies from Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen Bake Sale and bring the kids on in to enjoy Santa’s Workshop from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Guests and shoppers alike will enjoy the Festival Marketplace Gift Shoppe’s expanded hours as well as the beautiful Gallery of Trees throughout the Festival at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.  The Marketplace will be open to the public during Gallery Hours as follows:

Wednesday, November 14: Noon to 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 15: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Friday, November 16: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 17: 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 18: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Festival of Trees has become a vital component for the wellbeing of Sartori Memorial Hospital.  This year Festival has a goal of raising $55,000 to enhance services at Sartori Memorial Hospital.  Festival is also gift to the community making the Cedar Valley a more festive place to be during the holiday season. Tickets are required for some events but all exhibits are free and open to the public.

Festival Co-chairs are working with over 60 Festival “Elves” tending to their workshops and preparing for this year’s celebration.  Artist William Close donated a beautiful original artwork, “Holly Jolly Christmas”, an interpretation of the 2012 Festival theme. The original artwork will be part of the silent auction, with final bidding ending on Sunday, November 18th at 4:00 p.m.

Thank you to everyone for your dedication and attendance to this spectacular community event.  We appreciate all of the support from our sponsors and community members in making a successful Festival to benefit Sartori Memorial Hospital.

Guest Blog: Christy Stolz, Sartori Healthcare Foundation

Welcome Iowa High School Football Players to the Playoffs!

The Iowa High School Football Playoffs are already underway in the UNI-Dome, with the semi-finals November 8, 9, and 10 and the finals November 15 and 16. This means great business for the Cedar Valley. The economic impact to the area from these games is huge!

The play-offs break down to eight days and 24 games. By last year’s estimates, 85,000 people visited resulting in 10% staying overnight. These 8,500 visitors spent an estimated $90.95 which multiplies out to $875,500 in spending for overnight guests. The 76,500 day visitors were estimated to have spent on average $35 per person which comes to $2,677,500. Add those two figures together and the total economic impact was $3,553,000! Wow! (These figures were arrived at by using spending averages from the Iowa Tourism Office.)

Our hotels are “teaming” with activity, our restaurants put on extra help during the games, and the shopping districts are full of players, their families and fans wandering around before their game time or after. Our volunteers actually stand in line to sign up to help host our hospitality table during the semi-finals and finals. The excitement around here just seems to build and build as we prepare to welcome these guests.

What this all boils down to is no small task for Andre Seoldo and his UNI-Dome staff, but they are up to the challenge. To say they do an outstanding job hosting this event isn’t enough because they go beyond that. Andre and his staff involve the community in embracing these high school athletes, their fans and families, and the coaching staffs. Working closely with our office, the word is sent out early to hotels and restaurants. The community is informed so they, too, can help roll out the welcome mat. This in addition to all of the last minute scheduling and extra UNI-Dome staff needed.
(Photo courtesy of Matthew Putney with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.)

Vicki S. Bailey
Cedar Falls Tourism Bureau Staff

Cedar Valley Honored at Iowa Tourism Conference

Cedar Valley Trails

Representatives from the Waterloo and Cedar Falls Visitors Bureaus returned home from the Iowa Tourism Conference, held in Altoona, energized with great new ideas and a couple of the industry’s coveted awards.

The Cedar Valley Trail System was honored as the state’s Tourism Attraction of the Year and the Waterloo and Cedar Falls Visitor Guide won the Outstanding Tourism Publication award.  Competition was stiff with 20 nominations submitted in the attractions category and 11 nominations in the publications category.

Notable elements of the attraction nomination included the multi-jurisdictional nature of the trails, the Prairie Pathways signage, activities of the Cedar Trails Patrol, and the exceptional efforts made to promote the attraction.  The publications nomination called out the quality and extensive distribution of the guide as well as the unique partnership of the two Visitors Bureaus; Courier Communications, for ad sales, design and layout of the piece; and of artists Gary Kelley and Paco Rosic to create the artwork for the cover.  Kelley and Rosic are currently working on a new creation for the 2013 visitor guide cover.

Tourism is a $7.2 billion industry in Iowa, employing 63,400 people statewide and generating more than $328.8 million in state taxes.  In Black Hawk County alone, visitors spent $311.31 million dollars

Waterloo will host next year’s conference at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center.

Things to Do: Visit Downtown Cedar Falls!

On any given day of the week, you can head to downtown Cedar Falls and see the streets bustling with people. Within a 4-5 block stretch, you can find just about everything you need for a fun afternoon out on the town. Spas, shopping, dining, relaxing. Quirky and energetic. Simple and fun.

Main Street has a lot to offer people of all ages and interests.

Ladies, start your day with a latte from Cup of Joe, and browse the many clothing shops that line Main Street. Sweet Basil Market sells a plethora of bulk and unique food items, Kitchen Essentials will get you ready to take on the world’s best cooks, and World’s Window sells the best free trade gifts in town. Take a break for lunch at Tony’s La Pizzeria, Montage, or Los Cabos, and make sure to stop for dessert at Scratch Cupcakes, a local favorite! Guys, get your bicycle tuned up at Bike Tech, and follow Main Street north to Gateway Park to get onto the Cedar Valley Lakes Trail that rides through George Wyth State Park. Once you make your way back to downtown, grab a cold drink at the Pump Haus or Toads Bar and Grill, then head to Joker’s Comedy Night Club to laugh the night away.

Back in the 1980s, the downtown area was nothing but empty shops. Thanks to the revitalization efforts by Community Main Street, Cedar Falls was awarded the Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2002. The same group also named Main Street the 2010 Distinctive Destination. If you haven’t been downtown yet, you better go, and see what it’s all about!

Guest Blogger – Things to Do: Hansen’s Dairy Farm Tour

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Are You Looking For An Experience? Hansen’s Dairy Has You Covered Experience: Knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone. According to, that is the definition of experience. For me, an experience is trying something new, learning something new, and accomplishing something new. It’s … Continue reading

Things to Tell a Friend: Congratulations Cedar Falls – Newest Blue Zone Demonstration Site!

Things to Tell a Friend: Congratulations Cedar Falls – Newest Blue Zone Demonstration Site!

We are pleased to announce that Cedar Falls has been chosen as one of four communities in Iowa to be a demonstration site for the Blue Zones Project. The project, in conjunction with the Healthiest State Initiative, will take steps to make Cedar Falls … Continue reading