Family Adventures · Northeast Iowa

Bravest & Wettest Meet at Rowley Days

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Good thing they didn’t keep their annual Rowley Days so secret….

Rowley, IA: Buchanan County (Our 64th County)

No matter the town and no matter the size of that town, they’re sure to be having a gathering or two at some point during the year. Iowa’s small towns can produce some great reasons to get out and explore our homeland and all you have to do is just get in the car and go. It’s summer in the Hawkeye State which means there’s celebrations everywhere and Rowley, IA has an annual meetup for anyone and everyone to enjoy. Get the smoker going, Buchanan County….Here comes The Iowa Gallivant!

The official-unofficial welcoming committee was Rowley’s bravest of the local volunteer fire department. One of the many events on the weekend was their very competitive waterball fights that attracts firefighters from departments all over the state. And why wouldn’t they come! Smoked pork tenderloin from Mark’s Locker on Ely Street just down from the fire department is all the reason you need. No, seriously everyone. You go have fun and I’ll watch over the pork. Not to worry fellow travelers. If this runs out, Rowley has it covered.

The second half of your life begins when we realize how amazing it is when you add BBQ baked beans to your Sloppy Joe sandwich. And the Rowley Community Center supplied that very experience for Team Goodvin on this day. The walls of the proud center have class pictures from the former high school in Rowley dating back to the early 1900’s. Along those walls are some of the best desserts you can get in Iowa and made by the locals in Rowley.

The concession stand is fully stocked too. And its loaded with the ever important pop-cycle variety that came in very useful on this hot summer day. You know what else is useful? Keeping your eye on the ball and chocking up on the bat every now and then. Come on! The friendly softball tourney was heating up in Rowley when we arrived and like the waterball fights, it pulled in folks from neighboring communities. Pulled in…that reminds me…

Rowley Days hosts an Iowa staple with their annual tractor pull. 30 minutes in this town and you can see just how much niche is here and how proud folks are of their hobbies. Especially their hard working tractors. Can Rowley Days get anymore classic? The answer is, yes.

The classic car show on Rowley’s main drag brings in beasts from the nostalgic rust buckets to “That car is worth more than your life and please don’t breath on it” vehicles. You know what else is on the main drag? History annnnnnd……BEER!

The Rowley Historical Society has a great collection of local artifacts and memorabilia with an incredible look at Rowley’s past. We always look forward to peering into local museums and there has never been a time we haven’t felt fulfilled. Many of these buildings rely heavily on volunteers, who are also known as true super heroes in my book. Thirsty yet?

The town watering hole of Bottoms Up Bar & Grill had the beer flowing as they do most days. The lively customers pointed us in the right direction on the menu and it didn’t disappoint. However, you’ll just have to stay tuned to The Iowa Gallivant to see what we ordered on our Best Between Bread series. Now something for the kids!

Train the kids in waterball fights while they’re young. That’s what I always say. Well, I do now anyway. Rowley Days is always family friendly and knows how to keep the kids entertained. Especially when Gigi bumps into one of her besti’es, Abby, from Girl Scouts camp from the previous week! Small world. And we have Rowley Days to thank for just a reunion.

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Our favorite kind of skyline.

The summer never lasts forever and its high time we start exploring whenever we can. We found another community that knows how to show a few visitors a great time and treat us like we’ve been rolling into Rowley for years. After last weekend, I think they can expect more of us. Thank you, Rowley!

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