Festival!

In its 34th Year, the Festival of Trees & Lights has Become a Holiday Tradition with Dramatic Impact

According to Iowa historians, the first Christmas tree was set up in Des Moines by the Neumann family, nine-generations ago at a location near what would eventually become the city center. The Neumanns were a family of German immigrants who arrived on the frontier in covered wagons and made a life on the prairie, working in the family’s bakery business. As winter came, the days drew shorter and the darkness and cold seemed to discourage customers from visiting the bakery. Christmas trees were still relatively unknown in the rest of the world and had only recently begun popping up in the Christmas markets in Germany. There was a rumor circulating that Queen Victoria’s German husband, Prince Albert, had set up a tree in Windsor Castle, but whatever the source, the Neumanns were inspired to bring this new holiday celebration to Iowa.

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New Kum and Go Landscaping by Perficut

In Good Company

When you think of all the great cities in the world – New York, Chicago, London, Paris, what is it that motivates people to fly for hours in cramped airplanes (next to a woman named Tippy who eats tuna out of a pouch), just to step on those sidewalks? What is it that enamors us to the point of dropped jaws and shameless gawking? What is it that makes our hearts beat faster without exchanging so much as a word.

Hint: It’s the buildings.

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Matt Boelman and Kory Ballard

Your Best Summer Yet

We’re saying goodbye to La Nina and getting ready for your best summer ever. As we reported in an earlier post, La Nina is characterized by warm temperatures and above-average moisture, and she delivered exactly as we predicted. For most of us in Iowa and Nebraska, that meant a winter with more rainy days than snowy days, and many more days spent killing time in the shop changing oil in our snow blowers, than actually digging out from any big dumps. For guys that live to dig and plow, it was a long winter with a lot of time for daydreaming and making plans for warmer weather. Now that the mercury is climbing, we’re ready to get after it!

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Kyle Swenson talking to Perficut driver

Inside The Ring

When you’re thirteen years old, there are a lot of things that go through your head when you enter the rodeo ring for the first time. In this case, the goal was relatively simple. Bull riding would happen later, the chuckwagons weren’t yet ready to race, and the whips were still waiting to be cracked. The big events would come later, but in a sense, the stakes in this event were much higher.

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Kory Ballard in cryotherapy

Details of Health | Cryotherapy

“It’s a different cold than you’ve ever felt before,” offers Dr. Vince Hassel, a central Iowa chiropractor and owner of KryoVitality in Clive and Ankeny.

It’s a statement that could very easily go without saying, as the chamber that Matt Boelman is about to climb into is operating at 250-degrees below zero. That’s right - nearly 300-degrees below freezing. At the moment, that easily makes it the coldest place on planet Earth, more than twice as cold as dry ice, and roughly the same temperature as the dark side of the moon.

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Checking the laptop

The Culture Cure

In business circles, it has long been held that entrepreneurship is the driving force of progress. For young organizations, creating an entrepreneurial culture is essential for survival. Smart, agile young companies survive, while those that react slowly to the market fall to their competitors. For mature organizations, entrepreneurship is the engine that allows companies to continue to innovate and grow while avoiding decline, even decades into their existence.

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