Think Ames logo


This week in Ames (Sept. 6-12)

AMES IS IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK with ESPN’s College GameDay heading to town on Saturday!

Everyone in Iowa knows that this is a BIG football week. For the second time in three years, Iowa State will be the site of ESPN’s College GameDay, the network’s signature college football pregame show, on Saturday, Sept. 11. (The three-hour show begins at 8 a.m. central time on ESPN.) The set will again be located South of MidAmerican Energy Field at Jack Trice Stadium in the grassy area between the Sukup End Zone Club and Reiman Gardens.

Parking lots open at 6 a.m., but students who want to get into “the pit” — an area full of fans and signs that get seen on TV — can start lining up at 3:30 a.m. ESPN begins allowing fans into the area at 5:30 a.m. Plan for lots of extra traffic in Ames on Saturday morning.

Of course, that’s just the early part of the day. At 3:30 p.m., Iowa State takes on the University of Iowa, and the annual Cy-Hawk showdown promises to be as exciting as ever. The game, which is sold out, kicks off at 3:30 p.m. and will be shown on ABC. Tailgate responsibly!

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In Ames, Friends of Army Aviation will sponsor a 9/11 Memorial Ride on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday (Sept. 9, 10, 12). Rides on a Huey Helicopter from the Vietnam era will be available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Ames Municipal Airport. The Huey Helicopter will also be at the Boone Municipal Airport on Sept. 11. For both events, find ticket info here.

On Friday and Saturday, Maximum Ames is holding two nights of free live music at three venues in conjunction with Ames Pride’s “Pride Around Town” event. Check out the lineups at Alluvial Brewing Company, London Underground, and The Angry Irishmen. Find all the details here.

If you have young kids, they’ll be thrilled that Thomas the Tank Engine is coming to Central Iowa. “Day Out with Thomas” is rolling into town Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 11-12) with the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad’s Party Train Tour. Advance tickets are required, but if you’ve waited too late to reserve your seats, another “Day Out” event is coming our way the weekend of Sept. 17-19. For tickets or more info, visit the Day Out With Thomas webpage or call the depot at 1-800-626-0319.

For outdoor fun and competition, check out the Great Ames Adventure Race on Sunday, Sept. 12 at Ada Hayden Heritage Park. The race is an all-ages amateur athletic event combining paddling, bicycling, and running, starting at 7:30 a.m. Check it out at

And finally, don’t miss Dueling Pianos Sunday from 3-6 p.m. at Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards. $5 gets you access to the lawn and, as always, includes a free glass of sangria.


Back to News