Thankful for Marshalltown

As my husband and I strolled down Main Street this past weekend, we were reminded of our first picturesque Holiday Stroll in 2019 filled with gratitude for our new home. When I accepted the position of Iowa Valley Community College District Chancellor and moved to Marshalltown two and half years ago, we quickly discovered treasures that made us thankful to call Marshalltown home.

Everyone has their own reasons to be thankful for our community, but these are a few of our favorite things about Marshalltown:

1. Holiday Stroll tops our list of Marshalltown treasures that makes us thankful to live here. The Festival of Trees, horse drawn carriage rides, an evening parade, and socializing with neighbors while popping in and out of local stores makes it an iconic community event.

2. Fabulous local restaurants continue to impress us. Whether it is the atmosphere and tasty menu at Wayward Social, the savory pho at Jack’s Pho’ House or the comfort food at the Tremont Grill, we always enjoy an evening out. Equally important are our take-out favorites of Zeno’s, Ocean City, and Taylor’s Maid-Rite.

3. The intriguing and memorable tale of the “Stolen Monet” is a great story of rich local history. Now I am thankful that it will be retold for generations when local citizens and visitors visit the Marshalltown Arts and Civic Center (Fisher Community Center 2.0).

4. Lillie Mae Candy Store located in the charming historic 13th Street district is where we can always find a variety of delicious confections, including our family’s personal favorite, their scrumptious double-dipped caramel apples.

5. Few communities can claim such a unique outdoor space as the Gallery Gardens, and I am thankful every time we visit this community treasure. The fact that it is privately funded and maintained only adds to my gratitude.

6. Local art brightens our day every time we venture out in the community. The excitement of finding a mural just around the corner is always a delight. Each is unique and epitomizes different aspects of the history and culture that is Marshalltown.

7. Rich diversity that allows us to celebrate the international nature of the world. As Chancellor, I am particularly grateful for the diversity of our student body at MCC and how the community embraces our students. Last week, the FISH fellowship group hosted a grand Thanksgiving dinner for our international students, and the Meskwaki Nation presented their flag to the college to acknowledge our important relationship.

8. But what really makes a community is the people, and the people of Marshalltown are exceptional. We see this in the leaders on local boards, in the aisles of the grocery store as well as in the children playing football in the front lawns outside our home. Our neighbors, too, celebrate and enjoy Marshalltown, and we are grateful to call them neighbors and friends.


Kristie Fisher is the Chancellor for IVCCD.


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