Saturday was an eventful day in Cedar Rapids. It had a bit of everything Iowa has to offer. Music, hospitality, and food. Lots of food. 

We began at Kirkwood's Hiawatha campus on Boysen Rd. for the annual Christmas Cookie Walk and Howliday Bazaar for Iowa Humane Alliance. The parking lot was full by 11 am. Massive amount of cookies. Pet goodies too. Long lines but worth the wait.

Next, we travel downtown...oh look! There's Vice President Biden at Vet's Memorial Hall stumping with a big show of support from the Teamsters. Those semis on the bridge were awesome! Reminds me, I gotta finish watching "the Irishman"...

Down to 16th Ave for more food and crafts at Deck the District at the Czech Village Museum, their cookie sale was also a huge hit. Bonus! I get a rush-through tour of the "Medieval to Metal" guitar exhibition. Promise to myself to return before January 26. 

Medieval to Metal Guitar Exhibition

By 1:00 we arrived at Deb's Creamery in Ely for their holiday special taste-testing day with bites so good it had us throwing our money at them. We get fresh curds, sausage snacks, tea, and ice cream. And a few more cookies.

Dan and Debbie's Creamery, Ely

Then, in my best John Oliver voice I ask "did someone say "Tuba Christmas? Yes, yes we did!" The brass was bellowing at 2 pm sharp at Cedar Rapids Library.

Tuba Christmas, Cedar Rapids Public Library

At dusk came the Green Square Park Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, followed by Cale Henderson's 7th Beard Shaving Extravaganza at Tailgators to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City. Full disclosure: I did not make it to Tailgators. Self-induced cookie-coma. 

Cale's Beard Shaving Tailgators

Saturday was an exceptional day indeed, because there were likely a dozen more events and gatherings, also with big attendance, and all made possible with the help of supportive volunteers.

All to this final point: a sincere thank you to every volunteer. You take the time to provide a bit of muscle to help pull it off. Selling cookies, donating, setting up, staying late, helping out...we see it, and if we don't often say it, we appreciate you.

Well done, Cedar Rapids. Well done.

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