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Peace, love and Altoona Palooza


Whether it’s Ankeny to the north or Waukee out west, Greater Des Moines is growing. That’s why it’s important to keep an ear to the ground for events happening all around the area. This weekend is Altoona Palooza, where families and friends can get together outside and enjoy some friendly competition.

The mud volleyball tournament is always a favorite for participants and spectators alike during Altoona Palooza.

The mud volleyball tournament is always a favorite for participants and spectators alike during Altoona Palooza.

“Altoona Palooza is a community event that started six years ago as a celebration all ages in the community can enjoy,” said Keaton Van Ryswyk, director of youth programming at Altoona Campus. “A group of motivated individuals from the chamber, leadership group and community got together to create what is now Altoona Palooza.”

The event attracts 4,000-6,000 attendees each year, said Van Ryswyk. And with loads of activities and music to keep them entertained, it’s easy to see why.

“Mud Volleyball is a huge hit year after year,” Van Ryswyk said. “All spots are filled, as 16 teams have signed up for this event. But there are other events to enjoy, like kickball, human foosball and Palooza Pong. People love to come in the evening and listen to the live music as well.”

Prep Iowa

New this year is the human foosball tournament. You read that correctly: human foosball. After hearing about the concept, organizers were able to find an inflatable foosball arena.

“We thought of it because we are trying to get more people involved, and we decided this would be a cool idea,” said Van Ryswyk.

But if you’re looking for something more traditional, kickball may be your sport. Spots are still available for kickball teams, so get your friends together and get out to the field.

“It gets pretty competitive; it is hard for people to turn off their competitive juices when there is a title on the line,” said Van Ryswyk. “People are there to recreate their P.E. (physical education) days.”

The Greater Altoona Girls Softball Association will also be on hand hosting its first Home Run Derby if that’s more your game. The cost is $10, and there will be youth (140 feet) and adult (185 feet) divisions.

And if these games seem too mainstream for anyone, consider the Palooza Pong. Not ping pong, and not an updated version of the beloved Atari videogame, Palooza Pong is a twist on a collegiate extracurricular activity. Instead of red solo cups, garbage cans will be used. Ping pong balls will be replaced by volleyballs.

With food and live music on top of all this action, you’re sure to have a great time.

“We want the community to come out and have a great time,” Van Ryswyk said. “Bring your friends and family to show off what a great place Altoona is and all the recreation and amenities we have to offer.” CV

Altoona Palooza
Aug. 23 from 8 a.m. to midnight
Sam Wise Youth Complex
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Mud volleyball tournament
Noon – 4 p.m. — Kickball tournament
4-6 p.m. — Human foosball and Palooza Pong

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