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Nebraska college students visit every Iowa town over summer break

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 2:18 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Two college students from Nebraska are going to every incorporated town in Iowa this summer.

Seth Varner and Austin Schneider first traveled to all 531 towns in their home state last summer. It started as an adventure to combat boredom during the pandemic.

“For college kids there was literally nothing to do, we were just working at Dairy Queen,” Varner told us.

This summer, they chose to visit all 939 towns in Iowa. We caught up with them in Cedar Rapids as they stopped by Sykora Bakery in Czech Village. As they stop in each town, they support local businesses, and document their journey through pictures they post to their Facebook page.

“Whether you have 20 people there, or 20,000, or 200,000 we just basically want to prove there’s always stuff to do,” Varner said.

From Mechanicsville to Oxford Junction, Tipton to Monticello, and everywhere in between, they’re proving every community has something to be proud of.

“We go there, trying to show people on Facebook that hey, there’s still stuff to do in this town. You can take a road trip to all these small towns and there’s plenty to do, there’s history, there’s people,” Varner said.

For Schneider, the people are his favorite part.

“When you go to a town and you meet somebody they’re super excited just to talk about their own town. Because when they’re growing up there they just want to share all their history that they have about it,” he told us.

At one point Schneider and Varner visited 29 Iowa towns in just a 24 hour time span. That’s why they carry around their mascot, an energizer bunny.

“It’s just like us because the energizer bunny keeps going and going,” Schneider said.

It’s not the way a lot of college students would choose to spend their summer, but they’re not stopping until every town gets the spotlight it deserves.

“Doing this is like the trip of a lifetime,” Schneider said.

They’ll be making a book showcasing each town in Iowa, after their adventure is complete.

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