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  Culture Corner - Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance Blog
Guest Blog by Ryan Heiar, City Administrator of North Liberty
posted: Wednesday, May 2, 2012  Post Comment

I hope this finds you culture fans well and preparing for a season of fun. One of the many things I enjoy about living in Iowa’s Creative Corridor is the availability of cultural and community events. North Liberty Blues and BBQ, the most recent Convention and Visitors Bureau Event of the Year award winner, is no doubt my favorite.

We kicked off North Liberty Blues & BBQ five years ago to unveil a new park and business district in the heart of town. Since, it has transformed into a day-long celebration of arts and culture in North Liberty and across Iowa. Blues & BBQ emphasizes and celebrates Iowa’s cultural heritage by hosting great Iowa blues musicians, serving delicious food from local vendors, and offering carefully crafted beers from some of the best small brewers across the state. And this year we’ve invited Iowa artists to display, share and sell their work.

We believe it’s important to get kids involved in the arts at an early age, and with so many young families moving to town, North Liberty’s a perfect place to do that. Blues & BBQ has always been geared towards families with what it calls The Playing Ground, an area of games and activities for kids. This year kids can make their own musical instruments. That is, when they aren’t playing on the inflatable playground or dancing to the live music on the main stage.

The festival hasn’t been without its setbacks. Last year, early morning storms left tents shredded, the grounds waterlogged and the event in disarray. While the celebration was rescheduled two months later, it fell on a rainy morning that kept some families from coming to enjoy the party.

But even then, the evening dried up and the party returned with an all-Iowa lineup of musicians and the night concluded with a fireworks show that sparkled above the Liberty Centre pond.

This year, the event is scheduled for Saturday, May 26, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. I’m planning to take my family, and I hoped we're joined by folks from all over the region in this celebration of the arts, culture, and, of course, North Liberty.

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