The Van Meter Community Development Corporation will host their fourth-annual Sips & Snacks event on Friday, Dec. 6. The tours will begin anytime between 4:30 and 7 p.m. that evening and are self guided. Tickets will also be available for purchase on the day of the event at the Van Meter American Legion Post 403.

“This is an opportunity for our community to get together, have a lot of fun, show off some pretty awesome local businesses and raise money to support some of the projects we have in Van Meter,” Amy Skogerson of the Van Meter Community Development Corporation said.

In addition to the various food and beverages provided by local Van Meter Businesses, the Sips & Snacks event will include raffle drawings and silent auction items at different stops throughout the route.

The Van Meter Community Development Corporation is also hoping to offer the possibility of holiday decorated carriage rides with heated blankets courtesy of Aristocratic Wedding Carriages, a shuttle service provided by Spike Benton and his Iowa State Bus, a tree lighting near the American Legion building and caroling provided by local community groups.

“You certainly don’t have to be from Van Meter to enjoy it. Anyone and everyone is welcome,” Skogerson said. “The businesses do a nice job of making their spaces festive for the holidays. With so many business owners in town, there is usually something new to see.”

In anticipation of the upcoming event, the Van Meter Community Development Corporation is currently highlighting various participating businesses on their Facebook page everyday. One of these businesses, Salon TEC VM by Ro, has participated in every Sips & Snacks event and plans to once again bring back last year’s snack, “Lola’s Egg Rolls.”

“My mom is Filipino and she makes Lumpia ‘eggrolls’. Everyone went crazy for them at the ‘snack’ portion of the tour last year,” Salon TEC VM by Ro owner Rona Jacobs said. “I have participated every year they have held it, and it’s one of my favorite events. I‘m excited to have the Christmas carolers, the tree lighting and the community involvement.”

Proceeds from the Sips & Snacks event will go back into the development corporation, which funds and completes local projects throughout each year. One of their most recent projects was the new wayfinding sign, a sign that directs visitors towards the public library, business district and more as they enter town.

“Van Meter Community Development Corporation is a non profit organization and basically we are here to support projects in Van Meter that benefit everyone in town, whether it’s streetscapes, lighting, or other projects,” Skogerson said. “We are always looking to work with the city and other groups to help with some of the things that come up in Van Meter.”

The City of Van Meter will also have their winter market that same weekend at the American Legion, which will serve as the starting point, ending point and after party for the Sips & Snacks Event.