On the morning of September 16, 1970, a buzzing crowd filled a new and unusual building on the west end of Dubuque. The mayor was on hand, along with other city officials. Miss USA, Debbie Shelton, joined those dignitaries to snip a ribbon, officially opening Kennedy Mall. So began ten days of Grand Opening festivities to celebrate the first enclosed shopping mall in Iowa.
In September, 2020, Kennedy Mall celebrated its 50th anniversary! Unfortunately, the pandemic restrictions of last year put a damper on any kind of celebration. That’s why it’s happening now. Throughout the month of September, Kennedy Mall will say “thank you” to the community with prize giveaways, gift-with-purchase offers and more. Guests who spend at least $300 at mall stores will be able to take their receipts to the Customer Service Center and be rewarded with a $50 Mall Gift Card, while supplies last.
On Thursdays, a Throwback Trivia Contest will challenge the memories of local players. Each week, the winner will come away with a $25 Gift Card. At the end of the contest a random drawing will reward one player with a $150 Grand Prize Gift Card.
On Saturdays in September, local radio stations will be in Center Court broadcasting live from noon to 2 PM. Radio hosts will be giving away FREE movie tickets to Phoenix Theatres as well as other prizes from Kennedy Mall stores.
To commemorate the evolution of the mall, a “Memory Lane” of displays will be created throughout the concourse featuring photos and artifacts from the past 50 years. On a long wall near Vertical Jump Park and the children’s play area, local artist Shelby Fry will create a mural with that depicts notable images and events in the mall’s development. Children ages 4-12 will be able to enter the Mall Mural Coloring Contest. Pick up a coloring sheet at the Customer Service Center and submit the finished work between September 17 and 23. The young artists’ work will be on display in the mall, where visitors may vote for their favorites. Winners will be chosen for three separate age groups, with each winning a $50 Mall Gift Card.
To conclude the celebration, Kennedy Mall will host a Grand Finale day of fun. On Saturday, October 2, 2021, from noon to 5:00pm, the community is invited to enjoy an afternoon of music, costume characters, food and entertainment for the entire family. This event is FREE for all to attend.
Kennedy Mall has been serving the people of northeast Iowa, as well as nearby communities in Wisconsin and Illinois, since 1970. Located at 555 J.F.K. Road in Dubuque, the complex encompasses nearly 700,000 square feet of space. The mall is owned and managed as part of the Cafaro family of companies, based in Niles, Ohio. For more information, visit www.cafarocompany.com and www.kennedymall.com.