The Town of Yale Through the Eyes of a Visitor
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Tracie Lobstein, whose husband Jeff works as a Pipeline Inspector and takes the couple to many places during his work throughout the country. They visited Yale over the Fourth of July.
The town of Yale, Iowa first introduced itself to me a few weeks ago at Highway 4 and 160th Rd, identifying itself through a road sign as a small community with a bright spark. As a fulltime traveler, I am a visitor to many communities and have learned to keep my expectations to a minimum during my short stays. Immediately following my arrival to Yale, I explored the options Guthrie County offers to conduct my business while in the area and I was graciously filled with multiple invites to Yale’s upcoming 4th of July Celebration. The hospitality of the local community began shaping my expectations quickly.
An event of this size demands extensive planning, volunteers, time and funds. So, I was surprised to see a town of 250 residents as calm as I did the day prior to the celebration. As I strolled through the streets of Yale on July 3, there was no rush or stress in the air making it clear this event is well organized. Decorations were modest and movement was minimal compared to the sounds of lawnmowers. Residents were doing their part to tidy up as they mowed individually yet in unity in preparation for their expected guests.
After taking only a few steps on a Yale sidewalk the morning of the 4th, I was a recipient of the towns generous reception as I was welcomed with cheerful faces. Residents were approachable with morning greetings and quality conversation. The volunteers along with the residence were joyfully open and willing to share their town with all visitors. If a town had doors, the town of Yale had theirs wide open with hospitality.
Throughout the day meals were prepared by volunteers at practical prices. As the line was forming for the omelet breakfast, camaraderie was among the guests as inspiring words “Mighty good” could be heard from the crowd as one visitor encouraged another not to miss out. As the afternoon heat intensified, a satisfying pork sandwich lunch was also served in the clean and air-conditioned Community Center. Organized lines moved quickly due to the team work of the volunteers. Besides the Community Center, food and drink options were plentiful with a local food trailer and concessions well placed throughout the town with orderly and structured service.
The streets were lined with a well-mannered mix of generations watching their community, parade past them, in the muggy heat. The parade participants proved the spectators were their priority as they tossed us ice cold water and popsicles in contrast to the heat. Throughout the day, family festivities continued at a relaxed speed: a car and tractor show, face painting, horse show, bathtub races and horseshoe competition. While there were many more events, there was no need for rush or hurry as events for all ages took place throughout the day with a schedule carefully composed so no one in the family missed out on an event. Proving families are a priority in the town of Yale.
After witnessing the community reaping the results of Yale volunteers, it is clear, simply making a profit is not the primary focus for the town of Yale. A friendly volunteer, Donna Meyer explained to me that funds collected for the reasonably priced items such as: meals, raffle tickets and a community cookbook support the funding of the annual event.
Making a visitor feel welcome seems to come natural to the town of Yale. I see a comfortable town filled with hospitality as they warmly invite the community to decorate the streets with neighborly faces wearing our red, white and blue with pride as they eagerly swing open the town door and genuinely lay out the welcome mat for a value packed family celebration of our country’s Independence Day!