If you’re looking for a great family activity then grab your bike or your most comfortable walking shoes and go enjoy the great outdoors at the Amana Colonies Bike and Hike Weekend on July 9th and 10th. This fun-filled weekend will feature great food, live music and more. You won’t want to miss it! And spending all that time in the summer sun, you’ll want to make sure you bring along your best pair of sunglasses. If you need some new polycarbonate lenses, check out the available replacement lens for Ray-Bans at LenzFlip.com.
The Amana Colonies Unique History
Amana, Iowa is a community held together by the classic American values of hard work, community, and self-reliance. Although the settlement was first established in 1855, the settlers’ history dates back even further. In the early 18th Century, amidst the German religious movement known as Pietism, Eberhard L. Gruber and Johann F. Rock preached a renewal of faith through reflection, prayer, and Bible study. The two men eventually founded a group known as the Community of True Inspiration. Despite their followers’ peaceful nature, the group faced religious persecution and sought refuge in the United States, settling in an area near Buffalo, New York. As the group grew and needed more land they began to look westward and eventually established the community known as the Amana Colonies – seven small villages spread across a 26,000 acre plot of land in what is now eastern Iowa.
One unique feature of the Old Amana Colonies was the communal lifestyle and economy. Children attended school until age until age 14, at which point they were assigned jobs by their village council of brethren, based on the communities’ needs. No one received a wage, and all property and resources were shared among the settlers. In return for their work, housing, medical care, meals, and all other necessities were provided. Farming, the production of wool and calico, clock-making, and brewing were some of the vital jobs that supported the colonists up until the 1930s. When the Great Depression hit, the colonies set aside their communal way of life in an attempt to preserve the community. The Amana Society was established to manage the farmland, mills, and larger enterprises, and citizens were encouraged to pursue private enterprise moving forward.
Today the seven villages of the Amana Colonies still stand as a thriving artisan community in the heart of America. Visitors and locals alike can escape the chaos of modern society amidst the historic architecture, flower gardens, and lantern-lit walkways that are still present. The town also features the Amana Heritage Museum, where visitors can immerse themselves the settlement’s history, and the Amana Community Church Museum, where they can go to learn more about the original settlers’ religious beliefs.
Don’t Miss Millstream Brewing Company’s Annual Tour de Brew
Amana is a great place to visit if you’re looking for something fun to do. The community hosts a variety of different festivals and events throughout the year. The upcoming Bike and Hike weekend is one of these events, featuring 3 biking events and 7 walking routes.
The biggest of the events is the Tour de Brew on July 9th hosted by Millstream Brewing Company. The annual 38-mile poker ride visits all of the villages in the colony, and features stops along the way for refreshments, and of course to pick up your poker cards. Prizes are awarded to the best poker hands at the end of the ride.
Millstream Brewing Company is one of the many small businesses that thrives in the Amana Colonies, creating handcrafted beers in the classic European style that can’t be found anywhere else in the states.
Following the Tour de Brew participants and spectators alike can meet in the Millstream’s Biergarten to enjoy live music and famous Amana Brats, all while enjoying the great outdoors and beautiful landscape of the area. The ride and the party after are a great place to sport your favorite pair of Ray-Bans. And you’ll want to make sure you’re looking your best, so inspect those lenses for any scratches or discoloration. If you need new some new ones you can get a high-quality replacement lens for Ray-Bans at LenzFlip.com.
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Even with stops, 38 miles is a little long for some riders out there. If you’re looking for something the whole family can join in on, then no worries. The Bike and Hike Weekend has plenty of other rides and walks that you and your loved ones can enjoy together. Don’t forget the sunscreen and your sunglasses! (Scratched lenses are no excuse to go without eye protection--LenzFlip.com has polycarbonate replacement lenses for your favorite Ray-Bans, Oakleys, Costas and Revos.)
The Tour de Root Beer
The Tour de Root Beer, a more family oriented event, will take place on July 10th and is about 3 miles long. It is designed to be an easy ride for all ages. And participants can relax afterward with a mug of good old-fashioned homemade root beer when they’re done with the ride.
The Gravel Bike Route
If biking isn’t for you, but you still want to participate in the weekend’s festivities, then one of the 7 walking events could be just what you’re looking for.
Amana Heritage Museum to Middle Amana Communal Kitchen Hike
Our History Trail
On both Saturday and Sunday, additional tours of the area and its many trails will be going on. The Our History Trail is a great one if you’re looking for a short, leisurely stroll. This 1.5-mile walk through Amana passes by many of the historical sites and businesses in the area, and it is a great way to get acquainted with the village.
Art and Antique Walk
Amana Colonies Nature Trail
Lily Lake Walk
No matter what events you decide to participate in, you’ll want your sunglasses so you can enjoy the beautiful views without worrying about damaging your eyes. A LenzFlip.com replacement lens for Ray-Bans comes in a variety of color options, so you’re sure to find something that will fit your needs. You’ll be ready to head on out to enjoy the great outdoors and the rich history of the Amana Colonies.