Iowa State University’s annual student-run Veishea celebration begins in Ames today. Veishea co-chair Justin Chestnut says the theme for this year’s event is “Today’s Dreams, Tomorrow’s Reality.”John Atanasoff II, the son of the Iowa State professor who invented the first electronic digital computer, will be the keynote speaker at opening ceremonies today at noon.The 78-year old event was created as a way to showcase the university’s colleges, but has been tarnished in recent years by rioting and a stabbing death. Chestnut says students are asked often about Veishea’s past. He says it’s a fair question and students have worked hard to get away from the problems.Students pledged to keep Veishea alcohol-free two years ago and he says that has helped. Chestnut says they’ll be prepared to handle big crowds.Chestnut says the forecast for good weather this weekend may play a key role in the success of this year’s celebration. The problems at Veishea have happened in years when there was good weather and large crowds. There are events on campus today through tomorrow during the day and in the “Campustown” area of Ames in the evening. The annual Veishea Parade through campus begins at 11:30 Saturday morning and will feature the men’s and women’s basketball teams as parade marshals.
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