These days, in our social media driven world, people are always on the look out for that cool "insta-worthy" spot. Luckily, Iowa is full of beautiful, interesting, and photogenic stops. However, there is one community that has quite literally made "I O W A" a place to get your picture taken. That community is Manning in southwest Carroll County.
In recent years, they have added a huge I O W A statue to their Trestle Park (named because you can see the trestle bridge behind it) on the north side of town. It's the first step in a multi-step process to really make this park a marquee destination stop.
The statue was designed by Iowa State University design students and is made of concrete. I'm not sure how tall the letters are, but I would say they are at least 10 or 12 feet in height. I'd hate to guess how much each of the letters weigh.
Even the shadows produce a cool effect.
As I was taking my own selfie and other photos, a neighbor dog was barking at me. I felt sorry for the nice lady that came out to calm it down. I'm guessing that is a regular occurrence.
They've also added what I believe to be a wooden train structure just to the west of the IOWA statue.
Manning is part of the Main Street Iowa program and they are a community that has really bought into their efforts to make the town a very attractive place to work, live, and visit.
There is a lot of history in the town, especially with its German heritage, and they are doing a great job capitalizing and building on it.
Dare I say it is "refreshing" to see a town work so hard to keep things progressing?
There are plans to add a lot more amenities to this park in the next few years, but some of it is already moving forward.
You can spend a lot of time in this town as they have lots of other tourist and historical stops. They also have a very healthy looking downtown with some really fun businesses. If you've ever wanted to find a great "insta-worthy" photo opportunity, it's best that you adventure on over to Manning.
I O W A is definitely big there.