Beemer’s, Boxcars, Bikes, and Boats

When you hear someone mention a film festival in Iowa, what’s the first thing to pop into your head? Miles of farmland interspersed with boring little towns and not much to do?
Well wrap your wrinkled little brain around this. Burlington, Iowa, home of The Snake Alley Festival of Film is anything but boring. In fact, you can’t see or do everything there is to see and do in the three or four days you’re here. This artsy-cool (and becoming cooler by the day) little town sits on the banks of the mighty Mississippi and extends to high bluffs overlooking the river.
Put this image in your mind. You’ve just left a 1920’s restored theater having seen great films from some of the more talented film-makers on the planet. As you sit in your car waiting for a line of boxcars to pass, it almost feels like you’ve gone back in time. Then you notice the new Beemer in the next lane. Beside him is a group of cyclists who are competing in a criterium. In your rear-view mirror there’s a Rolls Royce and between the boxcars you spot an old Mississippi paddle-wheeler putting into the town dock.
Off to your left you see a hip-looking crowd entering Mr. Moto’s Public House. By all appearances, they’re having a great time.
As the last of your preconceived notions falls away, you realize you’re having the time of your life. You make a mental note to attend The Snake Alley Festival of Film again next year and many years after that. And you’re very glad you decided to come.