Ames Centennial 1964

Ames honored its one-hundredth year with a four day celebration in September of 1964. Store owners were encouraged to dress up their store front windows with “Now and Then” displays, and “Old Fashioned Bargain Days” made Main Street hopping with excitement.

Thursday, September 10, was Homecoming Day and the official opening of Ames’ 100th birthday celebration. A centennial style show was followed by a picnic featuring old settlers, honored guests, and representatives of pioneer families.

Friday, September 11, was “Salute the Future Day.” The youth of Ames took over city government and outstanding young people were honored at a luncheon followed by a youth talent show. Friday events included the arrival of the carnival and tours of virgin prairie.

“Welcome Neighbor Day” on Saturday, September 12, was observed with a two-mile parade with one-hundred units and eighteen bands. It concluded with a square dance and beard contest on Main Street.

Sunday was “Faith of our Fathers Day.” Centennial observances took places in all churches using the theme of “100 years of Religious Endeavors in Ames.” A tennis tournament took place in the afternoon.

In addition to the daily observances, a 90-minute historical drama featuring Ames history titled “A Story in Story” was performed each night at the ISU Armory. It had a cast of 350 in authentic costumes. Fireworks followed the performances.