BBQ, car and boat shows, parades highlight Des Moines Waterland Festival July 22, 23
On July 22 and 23, the Des Moines Waterland Festival will take place at the marina.
Events will start with a Marina Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the marina at 6:30 p.m. on Friday the 22nd, followed by the Des Moines Classic Community BBQ at 7 p.m.. There will also be a ticketed beer garden. The event will be hosted by Billy McHale’s Restaurant.
On the 23rd, the Classic Car and Wooden Boat Show will begin at 8 a.m. and go on until 4 p.m. It will feature over 200 classic cars and is sponsored by the Knight Car Club, while the boat show is sponsored by Powell Homes. There is no admission fee to these shows, but donations will go to the Hospitality House, a Burien womens homeless shelter, and Destination Des Moines.
Following the shows, there will be a Children's Parade at 5:45 p.m., followed by a motorcycle drill routine performed by The Cossacks.
The Waterland Parade will begin at 6 p.m., sponsored by Scotch and Vine. Times/News columnist Earline Byers and Clark Snure will be the Grand Marshals this year.
Beyond these main events, other events are occurring this weekend as well, such as art exhibitions and the Des Moines Farmer's Market.
“There are concerts in the park and art shows that they didn't have in previous years. Many more local organizations are involved,” Byers explained.
Byers remembers back to the early years of the parade. The first parade was held in honor of the Des Moines incorporation over 50 years ago. Since then, Byers has been involved with the parade, taking leadership roles since the 70's, and has seen how the festivities have evolved.
“It's coming away from a carnival environment and is more about a community coming together, now. And that's the way it should be,” Byers declared.
Until recent years, the carnival had been the centerpiece of the Waterland Festival, but was discontinued with when the Chamber of Commerce, leading sponsor at the time, disbanded.
Discover Des Moines has picked up the job in the place of the chamber.
Alongside local businesses, organizations, and avid volunteers, the festival weekend promises to hold something for those of all ages and interests.