Astronaut Clayton Anderson will headline Iowa State University's Veishea celebration

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University's first astronaut, Clayton Anderson, is coming back to Ames to help students, faculty, staff and alumni celebrate Veishea 2008.

The 1983 aerospace engineering alumnus spent nearly five months aboard the International Space Station working as the Expedition 15 flight engineer. He will present a distinguished lecture, "Dreams to Reality," at 3:10 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in the Alliant Energy -- Lee Liu Auditorium, 1140 Howe Hall. Anderson also will deliver the keynote address at Veishea opening ceremonies on Friday, April 11, and he'll be the grand marshal of Saturday's parade.

The university's 86th Veishea celebration runs April 7-13. This year's celebration boasts many traditional favorites -- the parade, canoe races, the Stars Over Veishea musical and, of course, 12,500 Veishea cherry pies. Cherry pies (still just $1 after all these years) will be on sale Friday, April 11 (7:30 a.m. through mid-afternoon), and Saturday, April 12 in 16 MacKay Hall while quantities last.

This year's event also wraps up Iowa State's year-long 150th birthday celebration. A brief sesquicentennial concluding ceremony will be held Saturday, April 12, following the Veishea parade. Scheduled events include remarks from ISU President Gregory Geoffroy and astronaut Anderson; a salute to military science's strong role in the university's history; the recognition of Iowa State's first "True and Valiant" award winner; and a presentation by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin's office of the flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on March 22, the university's birthday. The ceremony will be re-broadcast on WOI 640 AM at noon Monday, April 14, and 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 15.

A complete Veishea schedule is available at A reminder: Alcohol is not allowed at any Veishea events.

Highlights of this year's Veishea celebration include:

College celebrations

Each weekday celebration features one or more colleges and includes a barbecue on central campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The daily barbecue lunches are free with a $5 Veishea button (available at the West Student Office Space booth, first floor, Memorial Union).

Hypnotist Anthony Potmesil: April 9, 8 p.m., Great Hall, Memorial Union

Anthony Potmesil has performed throughout the country. His show combines comedy with the power of hypnotism. Free admission.

Cyclone Idol finals: April 10, 7 p.m., Stephens Auditorium

Approximately 26 students auditioned for the show; 10 will perform in the finals. Free admission.

Opening ceremonies: April 11, central campus, 11:45 a.m.

In addition to Clayton Anderson's keynote address, ISU Groove, a student percussion ensemble, will perform, and ISU Head Volleyball Coach Christy Johnson will light the Veishea torch. (Opening ceremonies will move to the Memorial Union's Great Hall in the event of inclement weather).

Distinguished Awards Celebration: April 11, 2:15 p.m., Curtiss Hall auditorium

Iowa State will present its highest alumni honors during this event, sponsored by the ISU Alumni Association.

Battle of the Bands: April 11, 5 p.m. to midnight, band field stage south of the College of Design

Fifteen bands will compete in this year's Battle of the Bands. Headliner Eve 6 will wrap up the evening. Cost of the show is a $5 wristband, limited to ISU students, employees and alumni. (Concert wristbands for ISU alums who are not members of the ISU Alumni Association are $10). For more information, visit or

Carnival rides: April 11, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.; and April 12, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., Molecular Biology parking lot

Free carnival rides, including a Ferris wheel, will provide fun for all ages.

Stars Over Veishea: April 11-20, Fisher Theatre

See the musical comedy "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." Tickets are $12 and $16, available at the Iowa State Center box office (515-294-2479) or through Ticketmaster Performances will be held on the following dates:

  • April 11, 12, 18 and 19: 7:30 p.m.
  • April 13 and 20: 2 p.m.

Comedians Rory Albanese and John Oliver: April 11, 10 p.m., Stephens Auditorium

Free admission. Stand-up comedian Rory Albanese, co-executive producer of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," will kick off a night of comedy, followed by "Daily Show" correspondent John Oliver.

Veishea parade: April 12, 10:40 a.m., central campus

Saturday's parade will begin on Pammel Drive heading east, will turn south onto Stange Road, veer west onto Osborn Drive, turn south onto Morrill Road and end on Union Drive. The parade will be televised on KDSM FOX-17, Des Moines, on Sunday, April 13, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Art Mart: April 12, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Maintenance Shop, Memorial Union

Check out and purchase an array of student art works.

International Food Fair: April 12, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Great Hall, Memorial Union

Samples of food from around the world will be available for purchase.

Veishea Village: April 12, noon to 4:30 p.m., primarily central campus

Visit tents and exhibits that showcase Iowa State's new technologies and discoveries. Kids will love the interactive displays and Cy's Big Top, where game tickets are only a quarter. ISU musical groups and area bands will perform on the Village State between noon and 5 p.m.

Ride & Glide and Team FMX Motocross stunt shows; Fred Scheer's lumberjack show: April 12, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Molecular Biology parking lot

Enjoy the thrills of motocross with Ride & Glide, a motocross stunt group; and team FMX, a group of freestyle motocross riders. Each team performs three shows. These shows will perform in rotation with Fred Scheer's lumberjack show, as seen on ESPN and ABC Sports. See for performance times. All shows are free.

Stanwood Charlie, Saint Radar, AnchondO: April 12, 6 to 9 p.m., central campus

Free concerts by area bands.

Harambee: April 12, 7 to 10 p.m., Great Hall, Memorial Union

Annual talent show presented by ISU's Black Student Alliance.

BINGO: April 12, 9 p.m. to midnight, Memorial Union

Come and play for a chance to win great prizes. Free admission.

Mentalist Jim Karol, Fire Pixie (pyrotechnic show), Mad Chad Taylor (chainsaw juggler): April 12, 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., central campus

Performers will appear in rotation. All shows are free.

Live@Veishea concerts: April 12, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., band field stage south of the College of Design

Wristbands are required for this outdoor concert event. Performers include country singer Jamie O'Neal; R&B artist Bobby Valentino; the modern rock, pop, reggae and funk sound of Congress of a Crow; and the familiar top-40 tunes of Blessid Union of Souls.

Alcohol policy

Alcohol is not allowed at any Veishea events.

Additionally, anyone attempting to bring these items inside the concert venue will be asked to leave:

  • alcohol
  • artificial noisemakers
  • backpacks, fanny packs and oversized purses
  • professional-grade cameras or video cameras
  • chairs
  • coolers or containers
  • pets
  • strollers
  • umbrellas
  • weapons


Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of free parking in the Iowa State Center commuter lots and take the CyRide shuttle to campus. Limited parking is available near the Molecular Biology Building in lots 28, 29, 30 and 35; in Lot 120 near the ASB Building; and in Lot 79 near the horse barns. Parking also is available in the Memorial Union Parking Ramp (normal hourly rates apply).