The 13th-annual GCC Progressive Dinner will be held Wednesday, Aug. 16, from 5-7 p.m. in Story City. The event is held each year to promote the local business community and to welcome guests to the downtown district.

Businesses that choose to participate in the Progressive Dinner sign up in advance to provide a specific one-course appetizer, soup, side, entree or dessert item. Attendees purchase their tickets and stroll from business to business sampling each of the various food and dessert items.

“Roughly 250 people attended and enjoyed the dinner, conversations with old and new friends, and played some fun games between their dinner stops,” said Abby Huff, GCC director, regarding last year’s Progressive Dinner.

This year’s theme is “Making a Splash in Story City,” which is a nod to two recreation areas in town: the new swimming pool and the river in the newly renovated South Park. It is also meant to evoke memories of getting together with friends and family for backyard barbecues, Huff said.

About 30 businesses are signed up to participate, and the GCC will provide maps to each participating location, along with their menu items.

Participating businesses include Pete Tekippe Photography/Central Iowa Carpet Care, Century 21 Signature Real Estate, Story City Floral and Garden, Alley’s Pizza, Romsey Art and Gifts, ACT Insurance/Eby Trailers/Gookin Ford/Peterson Floors, Town and Country Insurance, State Farm Insurance, NuCara Pharmacy, GNB Bank; Huffer, Coleman, Ward; Bethany Life, True Value/Infinite Home Creations, Reliance State Bank, Norsemen Realty, Edward Jones, Tin Chandelier, Story City GCC, PDG Printing, Impressions, KaffeGeita, Story City Dental and Red Granite Farms.

Menu items will include homegrown watermelon, ribs, jalapeno corn, ham balls, frozen lemonade, ice latte, beef brisket, baked beans, “peanut butter sandals,” strawberry spinach salad, coleslaw, little smokies, grilled barbecue shrimp, hot dogs, salads, “tiki soda pop bar,” cupcakes, “pool party Jell-O,” sand pudding, pinwheels, “pool dip, pool water and poolside treats,” cookies, lemonade, pizza, pasta salad, “Take a Dip with Us” dips, and meatballs.

The Progressive Dinner will also be an opportunity for visitors downtown to vote in the 2x2xWho? public art competition. Over the past several weeks, local artists have purchased 2x2-foot canvases from the GCC and created their art that is now hanging in the windows of downtown businesses. The artists remain anonymous until the votes have been cast.

Tickets for the Progressive Dinner are on sale now — adults, $10; kids age 11-18, $5, and kids 10 and under are free. Adult tickets increase to $12 the night of the dinner, so get your tickets from the GCC now.