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So, West Des Moines, How Was YOUR Week? Quite Simply, Ours Was Extraordinary: GUEST EDITORIAL

Beginning this month, Iowa's newest Great American Main Street community is ready with a full calendar events for you to discover Valley Junction's charm.

By Jim Miller
Director, Historic Valley Junction Foundation

For the and the , receiving the (GAMSA) this week in Baltimore, represents national recognition as our organization marks 25 years and as a leading Main Street Iowa community.

We work crazy long hours, produce some pretty exceptional events, and do all we can to keep this district well above surviving, but rather thriving and remaining a top destination in the entire region.

What's your favorite Valley Junction event? Tell us in comments.

Being recognized with the highest award that our industry awards is certainly appreciated, and might I say it, I think well-deserved. This award is for – and because of – the entire community and their support, dedication and love for this district. Residents, volunteers, merchants, property owners, and friends all play a part in our success – thank you.

Without a doubt, our biggest supporter and matriarch of this district is, indeed,  . There aren’t too many people in the entire area that don’t know Betty or haven’t visited the landmark , calling Historic Valley Junction home since 1970.

From dance shoes to Dracula teeth, from theatrical makeup to movie character masks, from Santa Suits to fishnet tights, it’s all here (and shipped all over the world for that matter). She is one of a kind and deserves great credit for our place as a top retail specialty district. She believes in independent businesses and believes in this district. And she works more than most, 40 plus years after beginning the Theatrical Shop.

This is opening week for baseball, and we’re just about on the same schedule. Gallery Night, 25th Anniversary Prom, Earth Day, Cinco de Mayo, Farmers Market, Music in the Junction – the list goes on and on. Each and every event we produce is free to attend, and we invite you to join us for one of our many fun, family-friendly events.

Our volunteers, merchants and performers are ready to see you – visit us soon. This GAMSA community is ready for you.

For a full calendar of events, please visit www.valleyjunction.com

Beth Dalbey (Editor) April 05, 2012 at 06:58 PM
What's your favorite Valley Junction event? I'd have to say, all of them, but I'm greatly anticipating the Farmers Market/Music in the Junction.
Elaine Watkins-Miller April 05, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Congratulations, Historic Valley Junction Foundation! The school district is proud to have partnered with this outstanding organization to enhance our community and provide opportunities for students. Here are a few examples of how the Foundation has helped our school community: • Hillside Elementary students participate in the business district’s Earth Day Celebration by creating sidewalk chalk art and helping with neighborhood clean-up. • The Historic Valley Junction Foundation partnered with Phenix Elementary to provide fundraising opportunities for a new playground at the school. • The Foundation offers service opportunities for Valley High School’s volunteer community service program called Silver Cord. • Phenix students joined in to celebrate the history of Valley Junction recently by providing futuristic drawings of what they envisioned the district would look like in 2105 for the Historic City Hall’s time capsule. Past, present, and future – the partnership our students and their families have with Valley Junction is a celebration of what community truly means.
Beth Dalbey (Editor) April 05, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Wow, Elaine. Folks, keep those great stories coming.
Rhonda April 06, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Congratulations! When our Destination Imagination team qualified for a trip to Globals we weren't sure how we could ever raise the money fast enough to make it. After requesting a donation, the Historic Valley Junction Foundation had an even better idea - they allowed our team to work one of their events and split the profit from the area we ran. It was a very memorable time for our kids and above and beyond the token donation. HVJF created lifelong memories for those community children! Again - congratulations - this honor is well deserved!
Sharon Saltzman April 06, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Who needs an event? Historic Valley Junction is a fun place to visit any time! I'm from Omaha NE and although I haven't had the pleasure of attending an event I thoroughly enjoyed a great visit. Congrats on winning such a well deserved prestigious award!
Deb Belt (Editor) April 06, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Love the farmers market events, and love the barbecue weekend. My faves seem to revolve around great strolling and eating opportunities.
Kat MacMurray April 09, 2012 at 01:56 PM
I love HVJ and can't wait to come back! I enjoyed the barbecue during my first visit, visiting all the shops, trying all the food - my first walking taco! JAMIE LAMB, you are doing one great job, and so are your colleagues. xxx kat

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