Sports & Recreation
Iowa State Fair Offers Entertainment and Activities Just for Kids PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Lori Chappell   
Friday, 11 July 2014 10:11

DES MOINES, IA (07/10/2014)(readMedia)-- The Iowa State Fair has a wide variety of free, family-friendly fun coming to the 2014 Fair. Kids' activities and entertainment, all free with admission, can be found everywhere from the Kids' Zone to the Fun Forest Stage. "Nothing Compares" to the Iowa State Fair, set August 7-17.

The Kids' Zone – a special area packed with games and entertainment – is planned with young Fairgoers in mind. Experience the wonders of Bruno's Tiger Show. Learn about farming and celebrate Little Hands on the Farm's 10th anniversary. Learn more about water, light, soil nutrients and plant growth at the interactive Seed Survivor display. Before you leave, visit the Blue Ribbon Kids tent for fun Fair-themed activities every weekday.

Blue Ribbon Kids, the Fair's special club for ages 10 and under, allows children to experience the Fair from a unique perspective. Blue Ribbon Kids members will get to be part of the action during special club activities every morning at 10 a.m. in the kids' club tent in the Kids' Zone, north of the Animal Learning Center and will last 30-60 minutes. Membership is free and children can sign up between 9 and 9:30 a.m. for any club event or download a form at and bring it along.

Schedule of Blue Ribbon Kids Events:

Thursday, August 7 – Become a Fair Entrant Day

Friday, August 8 – Paint the Sidewalks Day

Monday, August 11 – Dairy Daze Day

Tuesday, August 12 – Plant with Us Day

Wednesday, August 13 – Pay It Forward Day

Thursday, August 14 – Baby Farm Animal Day

Friday, August 15 – Make and Take Craft Day

Fun Forest Stage:

The Fair's family-friendly Fun Forest Stage is nestled in 1.5 acres of fun, located east of the John Deere Agriculture Building. All shows are ASL interpreted, courtesy of the Deaf Action Center and the Iowa State Fair.

James Johnson's World Record Balloon Stunt Show includes visual comedy, magic and stunts. He is best known for "pushing the limits" as he puts people inside a giant, 6 foot in diameter, latex balloon. Shows begin daily at 11 a.m.,1 and 3 p.m.

The Rubber Chicken Show starring Greg Frisbee, a comedian, juggler and escape artist. He keeps the audience on their toes by juggling while his hands are on fire, escaping from a straight jacket and launching a rubber chicken with a cannon. This family-friendly event is sure to entertain. Shows begin daily at Noon, 2 and 4 p.m.

Grounds Attractions:

The Red Trouser Show offers a high-end street theater production full of acrobatic tricks and hilarious stunts. This professional and highly skilled duo uses fire, juggling and illusions to provide a unique and visible attraction that leaves awe-stricken audiences laughing. Shows daily at Noon, 3, and 6 p.m. on Expo Hill.

Bandaloni gives musical entertainment a funny facelift as he belts out familiar family favorites while playing guitar, harmonica, tambourine, high-hat, kick-drum, snare and more – all at the same time! Strolling daily at 11 a.m.,1 and 3 p.m.

Hedrick's Petting Zoo is the ideal place for fairgoers can get up-close-and-personal with zebras, kangaroos, camels and more in a safe and fun environment. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. north of Gate 11.

More Entertainment:

In addition to feeling the squish of grapes between your toes during the Grape Stomp (daily, 11 a.m., 2, 3, and 6 p.m.), more Grape Getaway kids' activities will be held daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in a tent north of Grandfather's Barn.

No matter what your age, fun will be had by all on Iowa Park and Recreation day, Thursday, August 14. Participate in bubble gum blowing (9 a.m.) and the pie eating contests (10:30 a.m.) on the Anne and Bill Riley Stage and the Big Wheel Races (11 a.m. and 1 p.m.), arts and crafts (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and scavenger hunts (1 p.m.) on the Grand Concourse.

Stop by the Maytag Family Theaters to enjoy Pella Wildlife Company's daily educational presentations. Learn about Iowa's wolves and bats, or become an expert on reptiles and birds of prey. Shows daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Stop by the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building Atrium for the return of Sandscapes, a team of national, international and world champion sand sculptors, and watch them construct an agriculture-themed masterpiece. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Silly Sally the Clown's shows teach and entertain audiences of all ages with magic, music, puppetry and dancing. The performance will be held on Thursday, August 7, at 10:30 a.m. on the Fairview Stage.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2014 Iowa State Fair, August 7-17. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines. Discounted gate admission tickets are on sale now through our convenient print at home ticket option at For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Friday, 11 July 2014 09:42
Despite being outhit, 11-6, Quad Cities picks up its sixth win in eight July games

DAVENPORT, Iowa (July 9, 2014) – Quad Cities River Bandits left-hander Blaine Sims held the Kane County Cougars to one run in 5 2/3 innings to win his Midwest League debut, and right-handers Tyler Brunnemann and Andrew Walter combined to finish the 3-1 win for the home team in front of 2,727 at Modern Woodmen Park Wednesday night.

After earning a win for the first time in exactly two years Saturday, Sims (1-0) won consecutive outings for the first time in his six-season professional career. He allowed eight hits and three walks while striking out three batters in his longest start since July 16, 2011, when he pitched six innings for a win with the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Atlanta Braves Class-A Advanced affiliate in the Carolina League.

Kane County (13-5 second half, 58-30 overall) threatened to score in the first inning against Sims, who recorded one out before a single by designated hitter Ben Carhart and consecutive walks to catcher Kyle Schwarber and first baseman Cael Brockmeyer. But third baseman Jeimer Candelario lined to first baseman Chase McDonald, who stepped on first base for the inning-ending double play to keep the 0-0 tie.

Quad Cities (11-8, 46-42) took its first lead of the series in the second inning against Cougars right-hander Daury Torrez (9-4). McDonald and right fielder Ronnie Mitchell lined consecutive singles to center field, and designated hitter Brian Holberton grounded an RBI single to center field that scored McDonald. Catcher Brett Booth singled home Mitchell for a 2-0 lead.

The River Bandits added to the lead in the fourth inning, as third baseman Tyler White hit a leadoff double, Holberton singled and Torrez hit Booth with a pitch to load the bases. With one out, left fielder Marc Wik hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring White for a 3-0 lead. The three runs against Torrez were the first earned runs against him in four second-half starts. He allowed six hits and walked one batter while striking out five in five innings. Two of his four losses this season have come against Quad Cities.

Sims allowed at least one hit in each of the first six innings, but did not allow a run through the first five. He picked off Cougars right fielder Kevin Brown after a second-inning single, and Booth threw out center fielder Trey Martin trying to steal after a single in the third.

The Cougars outhit the River Bandits, 11-6, but did not reach the scoreboard until the sixth inning, when Schwarber hit a leadoff double, advanced to third base on Brockmeyer's flyout to center field and scored on Candelario's single into center field. Sims left after a two-out walk put the tying run at first base, but Brunnemann came in to get shortstop Carlos Penalver on an inning-ending flyout to right field.

Brunnemann allowed a seventh-inning single by left fielder Shawon Dunston Jr. but picked him off first base. With one out in the eighth inning, Brockmeyer singled, and Candelario doubled to right field, putting the tying run at second base. But Brunnemann struck out second baseman David Bote and got Brown to fly out. Walter finished a 1-2-3 ninth inning by fanning Dunston for his eighth save.

Quad Cities will seek to hand Kane County its first second-half series loss in the rubber match at 7 p.m. Thursday at Modern Woodmen Park. River Bandits right-hander Kevin Comer (1-1) is scheduled to face Cougars right-hander Juan Paniagua (5-3).

Field of Dreams Sculpture to Accompany Butter Cow at 2014 Iowa State Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Lori Chappell   
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 12:43

DES MOINES, IA (07/09/2014)(readMedia)-- The world-famous Iowa State Fair Butter Cow will be featured alongside a sculpture celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Iowa-based feature film Field of Dreams at the 2014 Fair. The sculptures will be on display in the John Deere Agriculture Building's 40 degree cooler throughout this year's "Amazingly Amusing" Fair, August 7-17.

The Academy Award-nominated classic was filmed at the century-old Lansing Family Farm in Dyersville, Iowa. The movie's heartwarming celebration of family values and hope in the face of adversity not only jumpstarted star Kevin Costner's acting career, but also placed Iowa squarely on the movie-making map.

Based on the novel Shoeless Joe written by W. P. Kinsella, former graduate student at the University of Iowa, the film has served as a point of pride for Iowans and a true collaboration of the very best Iowa has to offer.

In celebration of the family favorite, this year's sculpture features elements from America's favorite past-time of baseball and the rural Iowa landscape, all in butter.

In addition to these two sculptures, a new interactive exhibit called Farm with Us will also debut in the Agriculture Building. Farm with Us is an interactive experience for all ages that teaches about Iowa's top commodities of corn and soybeans. Fairgoers can see and touch bushels of corn and soybeans and even "visit" an Iowa farm through a green screen. Complimentary photos of the experience will be available.

Other great agriculture exhibits and demonstrations include giant pumpkins, jumbo vegetables, the Discovery Garden, daily stage presentations and more. All exhibits will be on display in the 110-year old John Deere Agriculture Building 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily during the Fair.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2014 Iowa State Fair, August 7-17. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines. Discounted gate admission tickets are on sale now through our convenient print at home ticket option at For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 09:00
Kane County strikes out 13 Quad Cities batters and leads from the first inning to a final in series opener

DAVENPORT, Iowa (July 8, 2014) – The Kane County Cougars scored in each of the first four innings Tuesday night, while right-hander Paul Blackburn pitched five innings to win his third straight start and combined with two relievers to strike out 13 Quad Cities River Bandits in the visitors' 7-3 win in front of 3,790 at Modern Woodmen Park.

Cougars catcher Kyle Schwarber had a game-high three hits and started a first-inning rally with a two-out, opposite-field double to the left-center field gap off right-hander Edison Frias (5-4). First baseman Jacob Rogers drove in Schwarber with double to the same gap, and he later scored for a 2-0 lead on a double down the third-base line by right fielder Kevin Brown, making his Midwest League debut for Kane County (13-4 second half, 58-29 overall). In the second inning, Frias allowed a leadoff single by third baseman Jeimer Candelario. Candelario went to second base when second baseman Ben Carhart walked with two outs, to third base when River Bandits catcher Jake Rodriguez's pickoff attempt went in to center field, and scored when a pitch got past Rodriguez for a passed ball.

Quad Cities (10-8, 45-42) came closest in the bottom of the second inning, when third baseman Tyler White drew a two-out walk, and second baseman Marc Wik drove his second home run in a week off the batter's eye in center field to cut the deficit to 3-2. Kane County answered in the next half inning with Brown's first Midwest League home run to right field, extending his team's lead to 4-2.

The Cougars chased Frias in the fourth inning. Candelario led off with his second single to right field, and left fielder Shawon Dunston Jr. hit a line drive to right field, where Brett Phillips misplayed the ball to allow each runner two extra bases and score another run. Frias worked ahead of the next batter, Carhart, to an 0-2 count before hitting him with the pitch, which would be his last in 3 1/3 innings. Left-hander Albert Minnis entered with a 5-2 deficit and yielded Schwarber's second double to score a run and make it 6-2. All six runs – five earned – were charged to Frias, who allowed seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts and had his four-start winning streak snapped.

In his first Midwest League outing since June 13, Minnis went on to pitch a season-high 3 2/3 innings, only allowing an unearned run in the sixth inning, when Dunston Jr. singled, went to second base on an error by White, stole third base and scored on Schwarber's groundout for his second RBI and a 7-2 Cougars lead.

After Blackburn struck out six batters and allowed two earned runs on three hits and three walks, right-hander Zak Hermans began the sixth inning, and Phillips greeted him with his team's only hit after the third inning – his seventh home run of the season to right field – that made it 7-3. Quad Cities has homered in seven straight games – its longest streak in more than two years – and has a total of 12 in the streak.

After Phillips' home run, Herman allowed two walks but no other hits while striking out five batters in three innings, and right-hander Corbin Hoffner struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Quad Cities continues its series with Kane County at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Modern Woodmen Park. River Bandits left-hander Blaine Sims is scheduled to make his Midwest League debut against Cougars right-hander Daury Torrez (9-3).

UP NEXT: Rascal the River Bandit will celebrate his birthday with mascots from around the region before the 7 p.m. game Wednesday at Modern Woodmen Park. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for Jimmy Buffett Night, and fans can bring copies of their unpaid bills to be entered into a drawing to be paid up to $100 on Pay Your Bill Wednesday, presented by U.S. Bank and Mix 96. Tickets are available at To order any of the River Bandits 2014 ticket plans - with new lower prices - call the River Bandits box office at 563-324-3000. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $40. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.

News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Scott Kornberg   
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 14:18

Former Bandit Justin Morneau in NL Final Vote; a QC alum selected to All-Star Game for 17th straight year

DAVENPORT, Iowa. (July 8, 2014) – Three Quad Cities alumni were among the selections for the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. St. Louis' Matt Carpenter and Pat Neshek were named to the National League squad while Minnesota's Glen Perkins will represent the American League at Target Field in Minneapolis on Tuesday, July 15, at 7 p.m. Colorado's Justin Morneau is on the Final Vote for the National League roster. At least one former Quad Cities player has been selected to every All-Star game since 1998.

Carpenter, who was a National League All-Star last season, leads the Cardinals with a .378 on-base percentage. The 28-year old second baseman also ranks second among NL leadoff hitters with 32 RBIs while also ranking in the top 10 in the league in runs (55) and walks (28). On the season, Carpenter is batting .282 with 22 doubles, a triple, four home runs and 32 RBIs. The Galveston, Texas, native played in 29 games for Quad Cities in 2009, batting .295/.405/.390 with six doubles, two triples and 10 RBIs.

Neshek leads all NL relievers with at least 30 innings pitched in ERA (0.77) and WHIP (0.57). The Brooklyn Park, Minn., native has allowed only one run in 35 appearances since April 9 and will be returning to his home state for his first All-Star Game selection. Neshek, 33, is 2-0 and has given up only 16 hits in 35 innings. The right-hander has fanned 35 against only four walks for an 8.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Neshek pitched in 28 games for the Twins-affiliated River Bandits in 2003, going 3-2 with 14 saves and a 0.52 ERA. He struck out 53 against 11 walks and 20 hits allowed in 34 1/3 innings.

Perkins is one of two representatives for the hometown Twins at this year's All-Star Game. The Stillwater, Minn., native was a member of last year's American League squad and is fourth in the Junior Circuit with 20 saves this season. Overall, the 31-year old southpaw is 3-0 with a 3.22 ERA in 36 games covering 36 1/3 innings. Perkins has punched out 48 against only seven walks and 33 hits allowed for a 1.10 WHIP and 6.86 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He made nine starts for Quad Cities in 2004, going 2-1 with a 1.30 ERA in 48 1/3 frames, surrendering only 33 hits and 12 walks against 49 strikeouts.

Morneau is one of five players in the NL Final Vote at The 2006 AL MVP and four-time All-Star is batting .316/.348/.518 with 20 doubles, 13 home runs and 59 RBIs in 84 games for the Rockies. The 33-year old first baseman spent 64 games with the River Bandits in 2001, batting .356/.420/.597 with 17 doubles, 12 home runs and 53 RBIs.

UP NEXT: Kids Eat Free and all individual bleacher tickets are buy-one-get-one free when the River Bandits celebrate Disco Night with '70s prices on food and beer at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for Dew for Twosday presented by Pepsi, WOC and Q106.5. Game tickets are available at To order any of the River Bandits 2014 ticket plans - with new lower prices - call the River Bandits box office at 563-324-3000. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $40. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.

ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having just been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership recently made one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 105 feet over the playing field, opened May 24, and Space Camp opened June 20. Soon to come is another new ride, this one called a "Drop and Twist." In 2013, the team unveiled a new 220-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. Last season, the team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The River Bandits were one of three affiliates to reach the championship round and one of two to win their league championship.

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