What is Hometown Pride?

Warren County Hometown Pride brings neighbors together to build a sense of community, create and improve public amenities, and celebrate what makes our hometowns great.

7 participating towns in Warren County have a Hometown Pride team of local volunteers who work together to identify and complete projects that will improve the quality of life in their town and boost community pride.

Here are a few examples of projects that our Hometown Pride teams are working on: building a new playground, planning a music festival, coordinating a city-wide clean-up, installing town entrance signs and wayfinding signs, building a Veteran’s memorial, painting murals, delivering welcome gifts to new residents, promoting tourism, and a lot more. Check out our digital annual report for 2020 to learn more about what we’re up to:

Participating communities in Warren County are: Carlisle, Cumming, Hartford, Indianola, Milo, New Virginia, and Norwalk. Warren County Hometown Pride is part of a state-wide network of Hometown Pride programs across Iowa.

Contact us to learn how to join your local Hometown Pride team or visit our About page to learn more.

Featured post

Our Spring Plans

We’re jumping into spring headfirst! Here’s some of the springtime fun coming soon from Hometown Pride:

  • Pop-up park
  • Kite flying day
  • Front porch nights
  • Light pole art & banners
  • City-wide BINGO tour
  • Yard of the month awards
  • Murals
  • Community clean-up days
  • Entryway beautification
  • And lots more!

Read all about it here in our spring update!

Where to see lights and Santa in Warren County!

1) Indianola Holiday Lanes (“Light Up Indianola”). All month long. 13 neighborhoods have created a “holiday lane” of lights for you to drive through. Click here for a digital map of the lanes (or click here for a printable map) and follow the Indianola Hometown Pride Facebook page to see pictures of the lanes and to vote for your favorite (voting starts Dec 13).

2) Indianola Drive-Thru Santa. Saturday, December 5, 10 am – 1 pm at McCoy Tru Value.

3) Milo’s Small Town Country Christmas

  • Lighting Contest for Milo residents: Turn on lights on Friday, December 4 at 5 pm.
  • Luminaries: Saturday, December 5th, starting at sundown, on every street in town!

4) Hartford tree lighting: Friday, December 4th at 6:30 pm. Watch live on the Hartford Happenings Facebook page. On Saturday, December 5th at 9 am Santa will take a fire truck ride around town to wave to all the kids of Hartford!

5) Synchronized Lights and Live Nativity. Saturday, December 12 at 5:30 at Fellowship Community Church in Norwalk.

6) New Virginia Christmas for the Kids: Sunday, December 13 from 2-4 pm at the Lions Club.

7) Light Up Carlisle. Sunday, December 13, 5-7 pm in North Park (with Chili drive-thru dinner by Carlisle Hometown Pride afterward!)

8) The Village in Indianola invites the public to drive through their outdoor light display and pick up pre-bagged cookies on December 11, 2020 from 5 – 8 pm.

What did we miss? Let us know and we’ll it add to the list.

Cumming gets 100-foot mural

The Cumming water tower now tells the story of the community, with a 100-foot tall mural that depicts the unique attributes of the town. It was painted in August of 2020 by Iowa artist Ben Schuh, and is now one of Iowa’s tallest works of art! It sits in Cumming City Park, next to City Hall and just off the Great Western Trail.

The mural is the result of a year of hard work by Cumming Hometown Pride and the City of Cumming. The City funded a large portion of the cost, along with contributions from Warren County Philanthropic Partnership and the Warren County Economic Development Corporation, Warren County and Middlebrook Farm. The Hometown Pride committee and Norwalk Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting for the new tower in October (pictured above) to celebrate and thank those who made it possible. Thank you to our funding partners for bringing this idea to life!

Fans of the mural can purchase merchandise with the artwork on it, including: Polar Water Bottles – $20; T-shirts – $25; Mural Prints (signed, while suppies last!) – $25; Koozies – $5. Our online store will be coming soon, but in the meantime, contact Angie at City Hall if you’d like to purchase one: 515-981-9214 or deputyclerk@cumming.iowa.gov.

New Digital Welcome Sign in Milo

Congrats to the Milo Hometown Pride team for all their hard work in getting a new digital entrance sign for the town! The sign is on the west entrance of town, and the digital screen shares city news and announcements from local organizations.

A big thank you to all who helped fund the sign. We could not have done it without you!

Indianola Awarded “Iowa Great Places” Designation

The City of Indianola has been awarded the “Iowa Great Places” designation by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs! View the press release here.

Iowa Great Places is a competitive program, based on a rigorous application process, that recognizes Iowa communities that “cultivate the unique and authentic qualities of their local places.” The designation allows Indianola to apply for Iowa Great Places funding (average award $204,000), and provides professional training, technical assistance, and access to a state-wide network of leaders from other “great places.”

The theme of Indianola’s application was “Destination Indianola.” It focused on 4 elements of what makes Indianola great, along with our collective vision for the future of these assets in our community:

  • Arts and Culture: Indianola is home to arts and culture anchors like the National Balloon Classic, Des Moines Metro Opera, and local performing arts organizations like Carousel Theatre. Our application included plans to build on this by adding public art, establishing an art center/gallery, marketing our year-round attractions, updating our community branding and more.
  • Education: We are home to Simpson College and an exemplary K-12 education system. The application included a vision for improving the campus-to-community connection with an “art corridor” between campus in the Square.
  • Great Outdoors: Indianola has 14 parks, 8 miles of trail and nearby regional outdoor attractions like Lake Ahquabi, Summerset trail and the Annett Nature Center. The application highlighted early plans for a new pavilion in Buxton Park, to provide a new performance and gathering space.
  • “Small Town” Way of Life: Residents love the small town feel of Indianola. The IGP application showcased our ambitious plans for streetscape improvements on the Square, which is the geographic “heart” of our small town way of life.

Indianola Hometown Pride was proud to lead the application process, and we are grateful for the many individuals and organizations who helped along the way. A big thank you to all those who contributed to the Vision Plan and application, and prepared for the site visit, including:

  • Scott Arens, Des Moines Metropolitan Opera
  • Steve Armstrong, Indianola Hometown Pride
  • Doug Bylund, Director of Indianola Parks & Recreation Department
  • Shirley Clark, Indianola Kiwanis Club
  • Lorin Ditzler, Warren County Hometown Pride
  • Charlie Dissell, Community and Economic Development Director for City of Indianola
  • Amy Duncan, Editor of Indianola Independent Advocate
  • Brenda Easter, Director of Indianola Chamber of Commerce
  • Michael Egel, Des Moines Metro Opera
  • Jim and Rita Fromm, Local Balloonists
  • Rachel Gocken, Director of Warren County Economic Development
  • Leslie Held, Local Business Owner
  • Heather Hulen, Indianola City Council / Executive Director of Indianola YMCA
  • Emmett Konrad, Indianola Hometown Pride
  • Bob Lane, Simpson College
  • Heidi Levine, Simpson College
  • Taylor Litchkey, Indianola Community Youth Foundation
  • Tim McMillin, Des Moines Metro Opera
  • Elodie Opstad, Community Volunteer and Historian
  • Jennifer Pfeifer-Malaney, Local Business Owner
  • Terry Pauling, Indianola Rotary Club
  • Clark Ridlen, Indianola Hometown Pride
  • Emily Roush, Warren County Philanthropic Partnership
  • Art Sathoff, Superintendent of Indianola Community School District
  • Staci Scheurenbrand, National Balloon Classic
  • Jessica Schneider, Indianola Hometown Pride
  • Mayor Kelly Shaw, City of Indianola
  • Andrew Swadner, KNIA KRLS Radio
  • Monica Thompson, Indianola Hometown Pride
  • Brianna Vaughn, Camp Fire Indianola, Amicus Indianola
  • Ryan Waller, City Manager of City of Indianola
  • Josh Weitzel, Indianola Hometown Pride
  • Sue Wilson, Director of Helping Hand of Warren County
  • Members of the Warren County Historical Society
  • And the entire Indianola City Council, for initiating the application process and approving the Vision Plan

Thank you!



Carlisle Art Trail Completed!

A colorful path of artwork now leads the way from the Summerset Trail to downtown Carlisle!

Carlisle Hometown Pride and the Carlisle Chamber of Commerce commissioned artist Kathleen Roling of Des Moines to paint 1/3 mile of trail and sidewalk. The project was envisioned as a way to encourage Summerset trail users to visit downtown Carlisle.

The artwork starts at the Summerset Trail trailhead parking lot (Hwy 5 and 165th Place), follows the trail across the highway to the wide sidewalk on the west side of 1st, and ends in downtown Carlisle, at the corner of 1st St and School St.

This project was funded by a 2019 tourism grant from Warren County. Thank you to the County!


4th of July Festivities in Warren County: Complete List!

Here’s all the information on where and how to celebrate the 4th of July in Warren County (and nearby), including fireworks shows, events, and rules about setting off your own fireworks. Whatever you decide to do, we hope you have a safe and happy 4th!

Fireworks Shows!


While there are no official 4th of July parades/festivals still scheduled in Warren County, there are still a few events happening in the area. (Remember to practice safe social distancing habits and/or wear a mask when attending!)

City Fireworks Policies – Make it a DIY 4th of July!

Each city has its own rules about fireworks. Check below for yours. If your town is not listed, contact City Hall for more information.

  • Norwalk full policy. Summary: Consumer fireworks can only be shot off June 29th through July 8th between 4:00PM – 10:00PM.
  • Carlisle full policy. Summary: Allows consumer fireworks to be used on private property from June 30 to July 8 between the hours of noon and 11:00 PM.
  • Indianola full policy (chapter 41, page 211). Summary: Allows consumer fireworks on July 3rd from 9 am-10pm; July 4th from 9am-11pm; July 5th from 9am-10pm.
  • Hartford full policy. Summary: A person shall not use or explode consumer fireworks at times other than between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 10:00 P.M.
  • Cumming full policy. Summary: No person shall use, explode, or discharge any consumer fireworks on days other than July 3 through July 5, inclusive, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
  • Milo. Summary: 1) Consumer fireworks can be used on private property from 9AM to 10PM from June 1 through July 8. 2) Consumer fireworks can be used between 9AM and 11PM on July 4th and the Saturdays and Sundays immediately preceding and following July 4. 3) Display fireworks are only allowed by obtaining a permit. For the complete ordinance, stop by City Hall to obtain a copy or search online for Iowa Code 727.2


Muralists wanted!

Seeking artists to complete two murals: one in Hartford, Iowa and one in New Virginia, Iowa. Artists are invited to submit a proposal/bid for one or both murals by June 25 at midnight.

Please review the details below for how to submit.

Call for Artists – New Virginia mural_2020_June

Call for Artists – Hartford downtown mural_2020

Note: If submitting bids for both projects, please submit each bid separately, as they will be reviewed and selected independently.


Indianola Organization Directory Completed!

In an effort to support our local organizations and promote volunteerism, Indianola Hometown Pride has compiled an online directory of the non-profit organizations and clubs in Indianola. There are more than 70 organizations in our community – that’s about 1 for every 200 people!

Click here to see the directory.

Residents in the Indianola area are encouraged to browse the directory to find an organization where they’d like to volunteer or offer support.

We know that things in our community are always changing, so we welcome your suggestions for additions or corrections to the directory! Click here to contact us.

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