After a busy summer season full of events that brought tens of thousands of people to Adel, the Chamber is ready for fall. It’s time to start planning next year’s events, but first I want to reflect on some recent successes.
The summer season started off with our Free Friday Entertainment Series. Each month hundreds of people joined us at the Adel Community Stage for a night of free music. This was the second year of these events, and they continue to grow in popularity, especially with young families. I am very proud of how this event series has grown in the first two years and look forward to seeing everyone when it starts again next April.
I can’t talk about summer without mentioning our signature festivals. Both the All Iowa Wine Festival and the Sweet Corn Festival have developed strong followings over the years. It was especially exciting to celebrate the 35th Annual Sweet Corn Festival this year and hear stories from those who have been involved from the very beginning. While things have been added and changed over the years, the Sweet Corn Festival is still Adel’s chance to celebrate the beauty that is an Iowa summer with friends and neighbors. It is also an opportunity to show thousands of visitors our beautiful downtown.
It isn’t just these large events that bring people to town. Many of our summer visitors arrived on the Raccoon River Valley Trail. From couples and small groups to large organized rides, there are people on the trail every single day. In total, there were more than 19,000 trail users between April and August. Some of these users are local, but many are visitors who come to central Iowa because of our wonderful trail system. As the trail has expanded, we are seeing many special events. This year we welcomed 3,000 riders during the Inaugural Bacoon Ride and hundreds of others throughout the season. With so many people utilizing the trail, it has become increasingly important for Adel to make a great first impression.
As the Chamber works to strengthen the business community here in Adel, we have been focusing on efforts to bring people from the trail into local businesses. This year’s project was to improve the bike rest area near Fuller’s that welcomes visitors to town. In conjunction with the city of Adel and the South Dallas County Landfill, we made several improvements to this area. New planting beds and flowers were added, repairs were made to the existing kiosk, and a bike fix-it station was installed. The Chamber is also working on new maps that highlight our local businesses and visitor attractions. All of these improvements are aimed at encouraging trail users to shop at local retailers, eat at local restaurants, utilize local services and get to know our wonderful community. Adel has a lot to offer, and we are excited to share that with our many visitors.