ROAD TRIPPIN' Mount Pleasant: Downtown
MOUNT PLEASANT, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - You can almost feel the pressure building as the hot summer days count down to one last blast of fun as the sound of train whistles and crowds fill this bustling town in southern Iowa.
Mount Pleasant is known for its five day celebration of all things steam as giant engines, boilers and farm machinery draw tens of thousands of people to the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion, around the Labor Day weekend.
It has the town bursting at the seams as farmers and just fans of all things mechanical marvel at an era when steam powered the world. Organizers like to say the giant steam engines are here all the time at the museum, but once a year they take them outside to play and it's a sight to see. While it may be the one single event that draws the most visitors, Mount Pleasant is seeing a major revival in its downtown that is making the city a destination all year. A French Bistro, coffee shops, salons, antique stores, fine restaurants and upscale apparel shops are just a few of the businesses you might not expect to find in a town of 9,000. Add that to its claim to fame as the home of Iowa's first coed college at Wesleyan - established even before Iowa won statehood - and major renovations to save the Main Street Cinemas and bring loft apartments to the downtown and you can understand why Mount Pleasant leaders say this is a community that was and is very progressive. Just a short drive from the corridor, it is a change of pace and scenery that makes a perfect day trip or weekend getaway.