AMES, Iowa – It’s that time in Ames when campus and community celebrate Iowa State tradition. Students, alumni and families come together for Veishea, the annual festival that has served as a showcase and display of the university since 1922.
Here’s a sample of the entertainment and education Veishea 2013 has in store:
Canoe races on Lake LaVerne, recreation tournaments, the “Veishea Says I’m Funny” student comedy competition and the Cyclone Idol talent search will be back, as will perennial favorites Stevie Starr (the regurgitator) and hypnotist Brian Imbus. They’ll be joined in the Memorial Union by juggler and stunt show guy Matt Baker, contortionist Jonathan Burns and magician Nate Staniforth. The DJs of “Club Veishea” will rock the south side of the Student Services Building from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Veishea Friday and Saturday.
The Harvard Sailing Team will perform a free show at 9 p.m. in Stephens Auditorium on Saturday, April 20. The New York City-based improv/sketch comedy group (whose members neither attended Harvard nor sail) has been featured on Comedy Central and VH1’s “Best Week Ever.” They have appeared at the Kennedy Center, the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival and the National College Comedy Festival, and for six years performed weekly shows at the People’s Improv Theater (the PIT) in New York.
This year’s “Stars Over Veishea” production, presented by Veishea, ISU Theatre and the Department of Music, is “Fiddler on the Roof.” The classic story is that of dairyman Tevye (senior Anson Woodin), his wife (senior Hannah Skalbeck) and daughters who live in Tsarist Russia. He hopes to find fine husbands for each of his girls – men who will follow the Jewish faith and earn a comfortable living – but his strong-willed daughters have ideas of their own. Tevye finds himself in a precarious position between the tradition he loves and the changing times. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on April 12-13 and 19-20, and 2 p.m. on April 14 and 21 in Fisher Theater. Tickets are $21, or $16 for Iowa State students and those under 18, available at the Stephens Auditorium ticket office and all Ticketmaster outlets.
Opening ceremonies keynote speaker: ‘Iowa Nice Guy’ Scott Siepker
Iowa State alumnus Scott Siepker (’05 psychology) became an Internet sensation when his film company’s video, “Iowa Nice,” received more than a million views on YouTube. His follow-up projects, including “Cyclone Nice,” gained the attention of ESPN, which featured him twice weekly on the “College Football Daily” program last fall. And, Siepker was just named a 2013 Iowa STATEment Maker by the ISU Alumni Association. He’ll kick off Veishea’s opening ceremony and awards program on Tuesday, April 16, in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend from 4:30 to 6 p.m.; refreshments (swan sugar cookies!) will be served. Siepker will speak at 5:15 p.m.
VIPs, provost on parade
Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, along with grand marshal Jonathan Wickert, Iowa State’s senior vice president and provost, will lead the parade. Wickert will be accompanied by his wife, Karen, and daughter Rebecca.
Parade co-chair Rebecca Ahlers, a senior from LeMars, is expecting more than 90 entries, including eight traditional floats, five balloons, seven bands, 10 performance entries and at least 15 dignitaries. The parade will wind its way through campus starting at 10:30 a.m. (beginning near the Armory and ending at the east campus parking deck).
The parade can be viewed statewide on the Mediacom Connections channel (cable channel 22 in central Iowa) at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, and Monday, April 22. It may also air at other times as Mediacom’s schedule permits.
Terry Mason, assistant vice president for student affairs and director of Iowa State’s Student Counseling Service; and Steve Mickelson, professor and chair of agricultural and biosystems engineering, will anchor the Mediacom telecast.
Veishea Village features STEM
A record number of organizations, student groups and Ames neighborhoods will present displays on central campus and in select academic buildings from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Veishea Saturday. The special focus this year is STEM: science, technology, engineering and math. There will be demonstrations featuring rockets, rowing, robots, reptiles and so much more. Visitors can learn about neuroscience, agronomy, exercise and wellness, sustainability, glassblowing, video game development, animals and all kinds of engineering. And who can miss the mighty Madagascar hissing cockroach in the Insect Zoo?
The Food Science Club will sell five flavors of homemade fudge, the Culinary Science Club will sell gourmet popcorn and lemonade, and the Dairy Products Evaluation Club will offer fresh cheese curds -- all on the second floor of MacKay Hall. In Catt Hall, the Meteorology Club will offer face painting, weather jeopardy, a tornado machine and a weather wall for those interested in trying their hand at TV weather. The Geology Club will hold its annual rock and jewelry sale in 151 Science Hall. And the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers will have tractors on display with a water fountain arcade game. College of Design students will have t-shirts and student artwork for sale, and will hold a drawing for an iPod. Veterinary students will hold their annual petting zoo, exotic pet expo, hospital tours and open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
So many Veishea treats, so little time
A $5 button will score you Dunkin Donuts, hot chocolate and coffee on Monday and a picnic lunch Tuesday through Friday on central campus. Midnight pancake feeds will be held on Friday and Saturday, and a pancake breakfast will be served from 8:30 to 11 a.m. on central campus prior to the parade on Saturday. Taste of Veishea vendors will be located near Molecular Biology and on Union Drive Friday through 3 a.m. Sunday.
Student food stands will be on central campus from noon to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
The ISU Alumni Association will hold an open house at the Alumni Center from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. There will be free root beer floats from Olde Main Brewing Company (while supplies last), as well as self-guided tours of the building, art and nostalgic displays. Spin the “Wheel of Fun” to test your Veishea trivia knowledge and shop for ISU Alumni Collection merchandise.
More than 3,000 Veishea visitors are expected to attend the International Food Fair on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The festival will feature more than 40 foods and beverages from 15 different countries. Admission is $3 plus the cost of food samples. (While you're there, head to Art Mart in the nearby Campanile Room from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, bag a bargain and support local artists.)
And don't forget to pick up your cherry pie -- an Iowa State tradition since 1919. Hospitality management students will make and sell 14,500 of the delectable little tarts on Friday and Saturday (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily or until they're sold out). Pies are $1 each in 16 MacKay. Proceeds help fund scholarships.
Smoke over Veishea
The Smoke Over Veishea barbecue competition is back for a second year. More than 30 grilling and barbecue teams from around the Midwest will come to Ames for the competition from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 20. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 10 of those teams will take part in the people’s choice competition west of the Molecular Biology Building. They’ll provide free samples and ask Veishea goers to vote for their favorites. The event is officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society.
LIVE @ Veishea concerts in the Molecular Biology parking lots
Tickets for the Friday and Saturday night outdoor concerts are available to ISU students, faculty, staff and alumni. Concerts will be held rain or shine; tickets are nonrefundable. Tickets will be exchanged for wristbands at the concert venue.
Through April 19 at 4 p.m., anyone with a valid Iowa State University ID can purchase up to five tickets for $15 (single night) or $20 (for both nights). Faculty, staff and students may buy Live@Veishea tickets online at: http://midwestix.securemytix.com/event/3742675/pre-sale.
Alumni who wish to buy tickets may order online here. The deadline to order is noon on Friday, April 19.
Bags, backpacks, food, drinks and weapons of any kind are prohibited at the concerts.
The complete Veishea entertainment lineup, including background on all of the bands and rising artists, is available at: http://www.veishea.iastate.edu/en/entertainment/.
A schedule of all Veishea events is here.