Summer fun can be had right here close to home

Not that anyone needs an excuse to enjoy summer, but the community celebration season kicks off this week in Polk County. What better way to soak up the warmth, sunshine and long days that summer brings than to relax and unwind by attending one of the many local events that fill the calendar during the next few months.

The annual Western Days celebration, July 3-6 in Monmouth and Independence, signifies the unofficial start to summer fun in the region.

Summerfest in downtown Dallas follows July 24-27, then things shift to Rickreall and the fairgrounds for the annual Polk County Fair Aug. 7-10. The fun doesn't end until the unofficial end-of-summer celebration, the Independence Hop & Heritage Festival, Sept. 26-27.

In between, there are plenty of smaller events scheduled throughout the region. And let's not forgot the series of summer concerts our three largest communities host in July and August: the Dave Anderson Memorial Concert Series gets the ball rolling at Main Street Park in Monmouth July 9; the Sounds of Summer Concert Series in Dallas begins July 10; and the Independence Riverview Park Amphitheater Summer concert series starts July 11.

These events help instill pride in our communities and help make Polk County special to many of its residents. With the skyrocketing cost of gas curtailing the driving and travel plans of many people this summer, why not enjoy some entertainment right here in our own backyard?

Polk County offers plenty of fun entertainment options all summer long. It's time to starting enjoying what our region has to offer.


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