As the year, and the decade, come to a close, take a look back at some of the Homegrown highlights of 2019. Click on the links to learn what happened behind the headlines:
One of the first stories of the year turned out to be one of the most read, after a shot fired at a deer struck a woman cleaning her kitchen.
The shooter, perhaps unsurprisingly, was said to be intoxicated.
In February, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library was host to a naturalization ceremony, and Kirkwood Community College was the site of the Linn County Master Gardeners annual Winter Gardening Fair.
In March, Cedar Rapids confronted flooding, again, but preparations helped avoid major damage.
EcoFest 2019 drew thousands of people to New Bohemia on a picture-perfect April day.
Rain and cool temperatures gave Iowans nearly a month of ideal morel mushroom weather, just in time for the annual Houby Days festival in Czech Village in May.
Thousands of patrons also greeted spring by attending the first Downtown Farmers Market of the season in May.
Related: Find a list of indoor farmers markets in Eastern Iowa.
June brought the annual Freedom Festival Parade through New Bohemia and Czech Village, and in another of the most-viewed stories of the year, readers got a behind-the-scenes look at volunteers making thousands of kolaches for the St. Ludmila Kolach Festival.
In July, presidential hopefuls continued their visits to Iowa, including numerous candidates who spoke during the Progress Iowa Corn Feed at NewBo City Market.
Market After Dark drew a record number of attendees to downtown Cedar Rapids in August, while blues artists drew crowds to Czech Village during Czech Village Blues.
In another top story of 2019, a poignant ceremony was held in September, as the remains of an Iowa sailor killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor were finally laid to rest in Cedar Rapids. Also that month, organizers launched a new, sold-out event in Cedar Rapids, with Dinner on the Bridge of Lions.
In October, thousands of supporters greeted teen climate activist Greta Thunberg to Iowa City in an event to call attention to climate change, while days later, climate activists also delivered a message to senators Grassley and Ernst in Cedar Rapids.
A crowd marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November, by tearing down a smaller version built by students, and a grassroots movement grew to oppose a proposed industrial railyard being built in a residential neighborhood along a nature corridor in Cedar Rapids.
By December, the residents in that neighborhood learned their fate, as the Cedar Rapids City Council voted in favor of ag giant Cargill, cementing their anti-environmental legacy for generations to come.
In another top-viewed story, an Iowan was charged with killing six trumpeter swans in December, and, on a more positive note to end 2019, a crowd celebrated the Czech holiday known as Svatý Mikuláš, in Czech Village.
Here’s to a happy 2020 for all of our Homegrown readers!
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