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.

Mt. Vernon is one such town. 

Its population may only be around 4,000 but its cultural activity and artistic spirit rival cities much larger.  It is home to Cornell College and has balanced both that college-town and small-town feel to perfection.  Mt. Vernon offers nationally-renowned restaurants like the Lincoln Cafe, without the stuffiness associated with nationally-renowned restaurants.  In fact, the Web site encourages you to … ‘wear whatever you want – we want you to be comfortable.’  Now, that’s my kind of place.

This weekend – May 3rd and 4th – Mt. Vernon’s population will increase substantially as many from the Corridor participate in the Chalk the Walk event.  Artists of all ages and all abilities from all over Eastern Iowa will be in town to showcase their creativity and decorate the town’s asphalt. 

To read more about this eye-delighting event check out this local blog.

I’ve lived in Iowa City and North Liberty. I work in Cedar Rapids. But I live in a small town that sits just outside the technical boundaries Corridor, and I still consider myself a Corridorian. Everyone in my small town is connected to the Corridor through work, through school or through volunteer activities.  So don’t be surprised to see more of these ‘small’ towns and their festivities highlighted in this blog, because to me it is every small town and every big city and the scenic country drive between the two that helped me decide to call the Corridor home.

So when you hear about something fun happening in one of our area’s small towns don’t just shrug it off. Load up the family and take the short drive to experience something new.  You’ll be glad you did!

posted by: heatherjoy77

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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

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