When Lindsey Foss was looking for a place to open up shop, Uptown was a natural fit.

Foss, who runs a home decor and clothing boutique called Real Deals, 315 S.W. Maple St., has been in business for about five years. When she was looking for a storefront, she found Uptown, a historic district in Ankeny with a mom and pop feel, but also the sense that it was on the cusp of exciting things.

"It reminds me of my hometown growing up, and I hear so many people saying that too," Foss told the Des Moines Register, while also noting the transformation of Ankeny's first neighborhood over the years as new restaurants, breweries, trailside amenities and buildings have popped up.

Foss is the vice president of the Uptown business association, which has helped organize family-friendly events like the farmers market, outdoor movie screenings and Halloween trunk-or-treats that draw area residents to the neighborhood.

Now, Uptown is notching its biggest event yet: Riders on the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa will roll through the neighborhood as they pass through Ankeny, a meeting town on the July 26 leg of the route for RAGBRAI's 50th anniversary.

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