Friday night live
There is no lack of free entertainment in Des Moines during the summer. Especially on the weekends, you can hear live music all over the city.
So last night, since I figured half of the population would be attending Winefest, we decided to hit up a few of these events with some friends from Des Moines. We started at Gray’s Lake Park for Jasper Winery’s UnWINEd event featuring blues group The Soul Searchers. Gray’s Lake is a lovely place to begin your weekend, and Jasper Winery provided samples (and glasses and full bottles) of their wine as well as Madhouse beer. The audience was mostly young professionals and parents with little kids.
Moving on, we went to Rendezvous on Riverview featuring Brother Trucker. We would never have found this north-side event (it isn’t even listed in Datebook) but it’s one of our friends’ favorite places to hear live music in the summer. It’s a laid-back vibe with lots of little kids playing on the lawn in front of the stage. The organizers sell food and beverages in tents, along with T-shirts and other stuff. We ate homemade cream-cheese sandwiches and tried not to get hit with balls and Frisbees.
Our last stop was to Pappajohn Sculpture Park in downtown Des Moines for the New Belgium brewery’s Clips of Faith Beer and Film Tour. Des Moines was the fifth stop on the tour, which includes 18 cities this summer. Isn’t it cool that they chose Des Moines? The event featured original short films, submitted by fans, shown on a huge outdoor screen. I expected all the films to be about beer or bicycles, but most were not. In fact, I’m not sure what some of them were about at all. My favorite one was about a group of guys who found an old picnic table and rigged it up to a couple of bicycles and drove it all over town. It was hilarious.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a New Belgium event without beer. The brewery offered their usual brews along with some I’d never heard of, like Drew’s Brew and PIPA. It was fun to be part of such an unusual event. New Belgium started out small, with an eclectic niche and high-quality products, and they’ve grown to become a mainstream brewery without ever giving up their quirky personality. I’ve visited the brewery in Ft. Collins twice now, and it’s a fun tour that has developed a cult following. If you go in the summer, be sure to get a reservation well in advance.