Happy 150th, Ames

Reiman Gardens will help the city of Ames kick off its sesquicentennial celebration, serving as host to an evening of music, food and fireworks viewing on Thursday, July 3. The July 3-5 sesquicentennial events are free and open to the public.

Volunteers are needed for the city's July 3-5 celebration. Shift times vary and may include helping with the parade, games and entertainment stage. Sign up online.

Beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, admission is free for all visitors. Olde Main Brewing Co., Ames, will offer food and drinks available for purchase. Free birthday cake will be supplied by Hy-Vee (6:45 p.m.). Kids can enjoy face tattoos and balloon creations (6-9 p.m.).

The entertainment begins with a 7 p.m. concert by the Ames Choral Society, followed by the Municipal Band at 8 p.m. Roving musical groups (Dixieland and Oompameisters) will perform throughout the Jack Trice parking lots, beginning at 9:15 p.m. The annual Independence Day fireworks display will begin at dusk. Guests can bring in lawn chairs, blankets, picnic baskets and coolers.

Downtown Ames will be the site of the July 4-5 festivities, including a parade, food, games and entertainment. The full schedule of events is available on the Ames 150 website.

More events planned

The sesquicentennial celebration doesn't end this weekend. The planning committee is working on a "Dinky Days in Campustown" event on Sept. 26 and a "Platting Day" on Dec. 17. The Campustown celebration will feature food, entertainment, family activities and historical displays. The platting event will include activities at locations within the city's original 12 blocks, followed by a reception.

Tree plantings and a mobile history trailer also are in the works to help mark -- and preserve -- the city's milestone anniversary. More information about participating in these "legacy projects" is online.