The city of Ames has announced a new Ames Appreciation Project this summer to be added to the Fourth of July parade. The event is aimed at reconnecting neighbors and communities by bringing them together to celebrate their communities and local members.
“We’ve all been through a lot this past year with the pandemic, and it’s great that many community celebrations like the Fourth of July are starting to return,” said Neighborhood Liaison Julie Gould. “We started thinking about a new event that would encourage pride in our community and country, and the Ames Appreciation Project grew from those discussions. We feel there’s a lot to appreciate in Ames, especially this year, but we would love to continue this event in future years if the community supports it.”
Banners can be made to represent your neighborhood with the opportunity to walk your banner in the Fourth of July parade.
“For the banners, we would love to see a connection directly to each neighborhood through a street name or geographic landmark, like Roosevelt Park neighborhood or Grand Avenue Neighbors,” Gould said. “It would be fun to see neighbors draw or paint pictures on their banners of something unique to their neighborhood, like a park sign, historical site or building. Those are just suggestions — really, designs of any type are encouraged.”
Neighbors and community members are also encouraged to create yard signs to recognize and celebrate “community helpers” that will be displayed for a week in front of City Hall.
“For the yard signs, we would love to see what people are thankful for or love about Ames,” Gould said. “This year, it seems especially important to celebrate that we’ve survived this past year. We know neighbors are beginning to reconnect with each other and all of the great places and things Ames has to offer. The yard signs allow people to get creative, show appreciation and thank someone who is special to them, like a teacher, health care worker or community helper. City staff is really excited about the idea of seeing all these uplifting, positive messages in front of City Hall.”
At 6 p.m. July 10, the Neighborhood Association will host a kick-off event with more information and the opportunity to make signs or pick up supplies at the Ames Public Library.
The city also announced there will be additional opportunities to create signs June 17 and 23 prior to the Ames Municipal Band concerts and on June 19 and 26 at the city of Ames booth at the Ames Farmers Market.
“The goal is to share pride in our neighborhoods and greater community,” Gould said. “The Fourth of July is a great time of year to reflect and share appreciation for what our community has to offer.”