Monthly Archives: April 2008

The Smaller Side of the Corridor

Chalk the Walk event in Mt. Vernon reminds us all that the smaller towns contribute to the Corridor’s quality of life.

I know the purpose of this blog is talk about the Corridor – and even as a local I’m not exactly sure what we mean by the Corridor. I think at one time a study was completed that said Cedar Rapids and Iowa City technically act as one metro area, based on whatever factors studies like that consider important.  The economies are shared. The citizens zoom back and forth on I-380 like Chicagoans drive across town for a great restaurant.  There are so few miles between the two and the people are so intertwined in both cities they could statistically be counted as one. 

I know the Corridor technically refers to the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area.  But I don’t think the Corridor can be so easily defined.  It’s not bounded by highways or city limits.  It’s more than just Cedar Rapids and Iowa City; it’s also the small towns in the area that consider this their home.  Places like Mt. Vernon, West Branch, and Central City may not technically be the Corridor, but the people that live there and the shops, restaurants and activities from these towns undoubtedly contribute to why the Corridor is so inviting.
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Filed under Arts and Music, Community Events, Daytrips and Getaways, Editorial commentary, Good Eats, Stuff for kids to do, Why it's great to live here

RiverRun Recap

The high on Sunday was only in the mid-50s but the cool air didn’t stop hundreds from attending the 29th annual RiverRun. Event coordinators are reporting an increase in both attendance and money raised!

More than 1,700 runners registered this year – up from 1,484 last year. Coordinators also said a record number of volunteers donated time this year to help with the event.

Last year, the run generated $15,000 for Extend the Dream, the nonprofit organization that operates Uptown Bill’s Small Mall in downtown Iowa City.  The group expects to beat the $15,000 mark this year, especially considering some large donations from area businesses.

This recap will be updated as more information is learned and final results released.  

And the winners are… Race Results

http://www.uiowa.edu/~riverrun/results.htm

Local media coverage:

http://media.www.dailyiowan.com/media/storage/paper599/news/2008/04/28/Metro/Riverrun.Sees.Large.Surge-3352615.shtml

http://www.press-citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080428/NEWS01/804280301/1079

posted by: heatherjoy77

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The Blur

Zzzziiipp! There goes another smiling kid zooming off to the next space at the Iowa Children’s Museum. Wheeee! The squeals spin off the carousel as it spins around. Swoooosh! The skaters glide around the ice rink.

If you haven’t tried all of the family fun to be had at Coral Ridge Mall, take advantage of Family Free Friday Nights. Held the last Friday of each month, Family Free Friday Nights offer free admission to the Iowa Children’s Museum from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., free carousel rides, free child’s skating admission with a paid adult between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The Iowa Children’s Museum is so full of fun that the kids won’t even realize that they are learning. A favorite of my 4-year old is the “Notion of Motion” exhibit where kids get to see golf balls do loop-de-loops and zig-zags while [subliminally] learning about the rules of physics. There also is a wooden train set in this room, so it’s where you’re likely to find any boy under 5. Other exhibits exhibits encourage sorting and public speaking. My son is a blur as he dashes between the exhibits. The name of the game is fun, so parents, be rested!

Nothing really beats a ride on an old-fashioned carousel. The carousel is fun for kids and grown ups. My son likes for the three of us to sit together on one of the benches.

My son isn’t skating yet, but we’ll definitely be taking advantage of the Ice Arena soon. We watched several families glide their way around the ice hand-in-hand.

And families can eat in the food court inexpensively. Several restaurants offer discounts on children’s meals on Family Free Friday Nights. Check it out for a smile-filled family night. The kids will sleep well!

posted by: danaengelbert

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Art in the Depot

What do trains and art have in common? Every April, I get excited when I see the billboards and posters go up around town for the annual Marion Arts Festival. It has been and continues to be an event that my family and I look forward to attending each spring.

This year’s event will be held on Saturday May 17th, 2008 in the quaint park near the Marion Train Depot.  See: http://www.marionartsfestival.com for more details.

I have been to many an arts festival, such as the large Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach, CA and the Marion Arts festival can certainly hold its own. I appreciate the quality of art that is brought in and the wide range of arts on display. Iowa and the Midwest is blessed with many talented artists, no matter what their medium of choice might be. I particularly like handmade jewelry, and two of my favorite pieces have come from the Marion Arts Festival. I wear them with happy memories of time spent with my husband and a great bag of kettle corn to munch on while we look.

The festival is not only about highlighting midwestern talent, but students from around the area, make bowls from various mediums and you can purchase those. The “Empty Bowl” project raises money for food banks across Linn County. If you don’t like to shop then you can participate in the 5K run. There is something for everyone!

Marion is so close, yet it usually takes this event to get me to drive 15 minutes to enjoy all of what Marion has to offer and to see a great deal of people from the community that I know that have also come out to enjoy the arts!

I encourage you to discover what the Marion Arts Festival has to offer.

posted by: Anne Ohrt

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Support the Corridor’s Animal Shelters

When we decided we were in the market to add a furry friend to our family, my husband visited the local animal shelter and immediately fell in love with our dog.  Although he’s not the smartest dog I’ve ever met, and was a bit timid at first, our dog has proven himself to be one of the sweetest, most lovable dogs I’ve ever owned.  He’s good with kids and is a pretty good watch dog.  And, I really think he knows we saved him. 

So this weekend while getting him power-vacuumed at PetCo (one drawback – he sheds like crazy) I found myself reading a flyer I wanted to share.  It’s an event taking place this weekend that really caught my interest.

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The Corridor Celebrates Earth Day

“What’s Earth Day?” My son asked this morning after I told him today was a special day.

 I said it’s a day when we tell the Earth we love her. 

“The Earth is a giiiirrrrllll?” he said in that ‘girls are gross’ voice he’s developed recently. 

“The Earth is more like a mommy.” I explained. He smiled. He still loves his mommy.

The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970 and is considered the birth of the modern environmental movement.  Every year on this day communities band together to promote recycling, renewable energy, water conservation and other important environmental topics.  I’ve always considered Eastern Iowa an environmentally conscious area, and we certainly have a number of events planned to celebrate! 
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Trail Blazing

Spring and warm weather is finally upon us! This is a great chance to get outside to take advantage of the fabulous trails in the corridor. 

In a short 15 minutes, I can drive from my house and get my feet, bike, or blades on the Cedar River Trail.  The trail is well maintained, well marked, and very accessible from a number of locations in Cedar Rapids.  It makes for the perfect weekend adventure with my family and has a number of locations were we could stop off and have a picnic if we so choose.

If you have not considered walking, biking or blading on the trail, I would highly recommend it.  The trail is free to use and the time spent with friends or family is priceless.   The trails are for all ages.  On last night’s ride we passed a new rider who still had his training wheels on and a whole family of 8 walking together.  I can’t think of a better way see and experience the beautiful place we live in .

The link below contains maps and more information about the many trails in the area.

www.linncountytrails.org

Blaze a trail this year and experience the Eastern Iowa Corridor!

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