Iowa. A state included in a region known as the “flyover states.” We’re cool with not having as much stuff to do as many of you, but that doesn’t keep us from using our wit to attract you to our glorious cities.
The family jumped into the car on Sunday for a little trek to the Williamsburg Outlet Mall (yes, unfortunately one of the main attractions in the state). To me, anytime we get in the car and leave town, it’s an opportunity to explore. I am anti-interstate even if it adds time to the trip. I think this mindset started after crying profusely during my first viewing of the movie Cars, but that’s a very true story for a different day. I enjoy the stumble-upon moment, and while interstates have made us more efficient, they’ve also made us more boring and less appreciative of what our communities have to offer.
Twenty minutes into our drive from Ames, we passed the neighboring community of Nevada. Every time we drive by, I always chuckle. Welcoming people on Highway 30 sits a sign that proudly states, “Nevada, 26th best small town in America.” I love it. First of all, Nevada may be the first anything to proudly claim 26th place. Come to think of it, we Iowa State Cyclones would humblebrag “other receiving votes” in the Top 25 rankings. I digress. But seriously, etching 26th place on an expensive sign is so ridiculous that it’s awesome. Personally, I equate Nevada (our county seat) with my marriage license and my failed attempts to claim witty Cyclone-themed vanity plates. I salute you Nevada.
During the rest of the drive, I couldn’t stop thinking about the funny ways cities market themselves to attract visitors. Upon returning home, I did a little research in search of other Iowa cities with wit. Of course, I stumbled upon Iowa’s favorite t-shirt company (RAYGUN) and their collection of town slogans. Hilarious.
I also came across Kyle Munson’s recent quest to find the best Iowa Welcome Sign within his Des Moines Register column. He encouraged fellow Iowans to vote on a collection of welcome signs to determine the best. Some of my favorites that he identified were:
Yetter: “Everything’s better in Yetter.”
Stuart: “Home of 1,700 good eggs and a few stinkers.”
Readlyn: “857 friendly people & one old grump”
Pleasantville: “The name says it all”
Pilot Mound: “Where every day’s a holler day”
Stanhope: “A slice of the good life” (If you’ve ever had beef jerky from the Stanhope Locker, you’d understand)
Oakville: “This little town is like heaven to us. Don’t drive like hell through it!”
Lake City: “Everything but a lake”
Jewell: “A gem in a friendly setting”
Granger: “Welcome, stranger, to friendly Granger”
Farnhamville: “Whoa! You just missed Farnhamville” (Gotta love honesty)
Denver: “The mile wide city”
Beaman: “You’re not dreamin’ … You’re in Beaman”
Aredale: “It’s not your Dale, it’s not my Dale, it’s Aredale.”
So I started thinking a little more. What if I had the opportunity to determine the slogan for a collection of Iowa towns? Oh man, this could be fun. So without further adieu, I present to you my 20 ridiculously awesome potential Iowa town slogans. I claim no trademarks on these slogans, but only ask cities that adopt these slogans to invite me to the ceremony to give them a high five.
Badger – “Don’t care”
Bonaparte – “Small, but we’re pretty awesome”
Buckeye – “I-O…W-A”
Callender – “Beautiful year-round”
Carpenter – “Built to last”
Coin – “One valuable city”
Davenport – “Come sit down with us for awhile”
Defiance – “Try us”
Dyersville (Home of the Field of Dreams) – “We built it, now get your ass here”
Eldon (Home of Grant Wood’s American Gothic) – “Paint your picture”
Hawkeye – “Closet Cyclone fans”
Fort Dodge – “State your name and business”
Jamaica – “Welcome, mon”
Lost Nation – “Nice! You found us!”
Matlock – “Uncover us”
Miles – “Actually, only one”
Orange City – “Orange you glad you came through?”
Orient – “Come get to know us”
Rome – “Life without ruin”
State Center – “Center Point & Centerville’s Truthful Brother”
What Cheer –” ‘Sup ya’ll?”
Have any other witty suggestions? I’d love to hear them!