Commons off the clock5/3/2017
Happy hour in the heart of the city
Few things in life are better then a Friday summer evening, and what better way to start the weekend than heading downtown and enjoying a cold one at Cowles Commons?
“I always look forward to the weekend on Friday afternoon, and I think I’m not alone in that,” said Laura Sweet, vice president and chief operating officer of Des Moines Performing Arts.
On May 19, Des Moines Performing Arts kicks off Commons off the Clock. For 10 Fridays, May through October, Cowles Commons will have beer, food trucks (which will rotate throughout the months), an ice cream cart and live music. Admission to the events will be free, and attendees can then choose to purchase food or beer. The concept may be familiar to those who remember Seniom Sed (Des Moines spelled backwards) in the 1980s and ‘90s, before the restoration of the area and when the location was known as Nollen Plaza.
The inaugural Commons off the Clock will be an all-day festival beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 7:30 p.m. The remaining nine events will run from 4-7:30 p.m.
“Resoundingly, everyone we talked to whenever we brought up the fact we might renovate Nollen Plaza said ‘Oh are you going to bring back Seniom Sed?’ because it was so beloved,” said Laura Sweet.
There was a similar reboot of the idea on Court Avenue a few years ago, Sweet remembers, but it didn’t take off. With Cowles Commons entering its third summer, Des Moines Performing Arts is excited to introduce the event. While not a carbon copy of Seniom Sed, Sweet hopes to capture the best elements of that event. Those who have been to recent events at Cowles Commons, like Hoops and Hops, will notice a similar feel.
With more people than ever flocking to Des Moines, the timing — and the venue — couldn’t be better. Cowles Commons features more than 12,000 native plants, the Lauridsen Fountain, the newly added Jim Campbell installation “Swirl” and the iconic Claes Oldenburg “Crusoe Umbrella.” Sweet is happy to report both “Swirl” and the Lauridsen Fountain will be on during Commons off the Clock.
“People can be splashing,” Sweet said. “Hopefully not spilling beer in the fountain.” ♦
Music Schedule at the Prairie Meadows Stage
May 19 Boogie Wonderland and TBA
June 2 Abby Normal
June 23 The Flying Marsupials
July 7 Randy Burk and the Prisoners
July 21 The Punching Pandas
Aug. 4 Brazilian 2wins
Aug. 25 Tony Valdez Large Band
Sept. 8 Bob Dorr and The Blue Band
Sept. 22 Final Mix
Oct. 13 TBA
Participating Food Trucks
Big Red Food Truck
Over The Top
The Outside Scoop