Bring on Veishea 2012

Cherry pies

It wouldn't be Veishea without the cherry pies. File photo by Bob Elbert.

Iowa State's beautiful spring campus backdrop is ready. Student organizers of the university's annual festival are ready. And the Iowa State community is ready to celebrate the 90-year tradition that is Veishea. Here's a sample of what's in store:

Veishea favorites

Off the beaten (Veishea) path

There's more to Veishea than you might think. Check out some of the favorite can't-miss Veishea activities posted by Iowa State's Facebook friends.

Canoe races on Lake LaVerne, recreation tournaments (including some new contests), the "Veishea Says I'm Funny" student comedy competition and the Cyclone Idol talent search will be back.

This year's Stars Over Veishea production, presented by ISU Theatre, Veishea and the music department, is Rent. The story focuses on a group of young artists and musicians, struggling to create and survive under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. The smash musical enjoyed a 12-year run on Broadway, and in 1996 received a Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Musical. Intended for mature audiences, performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on April 20-21, and 2 p.m. on April 22 in Fisher Theater. Tickets are $21 ($16 for Iowa State students and those under 18) and available at the Stephens Auditorium ticket office and Ticketmaster outlets.

President Leath will lead the parade

President Steven Leath, accompanied by his wife, Janet, will celebrate his first Veishea as grand marshal of Saturday's parade. Parade co-chair Wes Strohbehn, a senior from Gladbrook, is expecting more than 100 entries, including three traditional floats, two balloons, four bands, eight performances and at least 10 dignitaries. The parade will wind its way through campus starting at 10:30 a.m. (beginning near the Armory and ending at the east campus parking deck).

The parade can be viewed statewide on the Mediacom Connections channel (cable channel 22 in central Iowa) at 7 p.m. on Saturday. It is tentatively scheduled to air again on the following dates:

  • April 22, 6 p.m.
  • April 23, 7 p.m.
  • April 28, 5:30 p.m.
  • April 29, 4 p.m.
  • Also available through video-on-demand for 90 days.

Marc Harding, assistant vice president of admissions, and KASI-AM program director Mel Crippen will anchor the Mediacom telecast.

Veishea Village: Martial arts, face painting, snacks, prizes and learning

Academic organizations, student groups and Ames organizations will present more than 85 displays on central campus from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Veishea Saturday. They will include demonstrations of laser technology, electricity and magnetism from the Physics and Astronomy Club; information from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute; martial arts displays (hapkido, judo, taekwondo and kumdo) and the opportunity to milk a cow and sample homemade ice cream from the Dairy Science Club.

Green Veishea

Signs tell how Veishea goes green for Earth Day.

The Student Organic Farm will offer organic, heirloom tomato and pepper seedlings for sale. And several organizations and exhibits will team with Live Green! to share progress on campus sustainability efforts. Visitors who stop by at least five booths in the Live Green! tent can win a sustainable prize. Elsewhere, the ISU Horsemen's Association will provide pony rides at the horse barns on the north side of campus; the Geology Club will sell minerals, fossils and jewelry at rock-bottom prices in Science I (room 157); and veterinary students will hold their annual petting zoo, tours and open house from 1 to 3 p.m. at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Pancakes, cherry pies and a whole lot more

Midnight pancake feeds will be held on Friday and Saturday, and a waffle breakfast will be served from 8 to 10 a.m. on central campus prior to the parade on Saturday. Taste of Veishea vendors will be located on Union Drive and near Molecular Biology, beginning at 5 p.m. Friday through 3 a.m. Sunday.

And don't forget to pick up your cherry pie -- an Iowa State tradition since 1919. Hospitality management students will make and sell 12,750 of the delectable little tarts on Friday and Saturday (7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily or until they're sold out). Pies are $1 each in 16 MacKay. Proceeds help fund scholarships.

More than 3,000 Veishea visitors are expected to attend the International Food Fair on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The festival will feature more than 40 foods and beverages from 15 different countries. Admission is $3, plus the cost of food samples. To avoid long lines at the door, prepurchase your tickets by April 19 at the MU west ticket booth (ground floor) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Smoke over Veishea

A new barbecue competition, Smoke Over Veishea, will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on April 21 in the Communications Building parking lot. More than 25 grilling and barbecue enthusiasts from around the Midwest will offer free samples. The event is officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

Concerts in the Molecular Biology parking lots

Tickets for the Friday and Saturday night outdoor concerts are available to ISU students, faculty, staff and alumni. Concerts will be held rain or shine; tickets are nonrefundable. Tickets will be exchanged for wristbands at the concert venue.

Through April 20 at 4 p.m., anyone with a valid Iowa State University ID can purchase up to five tickets for $15 (single night) or $20 (for both nights). Faculty, staff and students may buy Live@Veishea tickets online.

Alumni who wish to buy tickets may contact Beth Lott at the ISU Alumni Association,

The complete Veishea entertainment lineup, including many free events (comedy acts, jugglers, breakdancers, a hypnotist, chainsaw artist and more)  and a schedule of all Veishea events is available online.