Pott. Co. is packed with entertainment this weekend (September 20 & 21)! We’ve got antiques, art, acting, eating, and butterflies! Holy Cow! It’s one of those weekends where my mom would say, “Pick your poison!” lol.
The weekend kicks off early with a Thursday night classic car show at Keast Motors in Oakland. Keast Auto and Buck Snort Oakland have teamed up to present vintage cars from 4 to 8pm and it’s all free! Saw it last year and let’s just say they do it up right!
Friday afternoon/evening you can make your way to Donia for the sneak peek of the Southwest Iowa Arts Tour at The Painted Camel and then try out for a Grist Mill Production of “You Can’t Beat the House!” How often can you do that?
Saturday has even more offerings! You can catch the Art Tour both Saturday and Sunday in Avoca, Macedonia, Neola, and Oakland. And from there you can stroll on over to Walnut! Walnut will be hosting their annual Walnut Antique Fall Festival Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 3pm! After seeing their one in the spring, I can’t imagine missing it! I fell in love with sooooo many pieces!
And it’s never too early to start shopping for Christmas! I think I just heard we’re less than 100 days out!
If you’re looking to catch that last hint of summer, spend a little time outside with the butterflies! For $3, you can help do monarch tagging at Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek between 9:30am and 3:30pm on Saturday, but you must pre-register!
And speaking of summer, UMBA Hall in Underwood is doing their Summer Send-Off Block Party Saturday night starting at 8pm and it’s free admission for live band, Down and Desperate, along with a beer garden and a food truck!
Of course, if you already have tickets, don’t forget The Longest Table in Avoca from 5 to 8pm. The tradition continues as they present a 5-course meal by the chef at Milk & Honey using locally sourced foods on the main street (Elm), but rumor has it, tickets are already sold out. Contact them to verify though.
Sunday, you have another opportunity to try out your acting skills at The Grist Mill in Macedonia, buy some antiques/do a little “window” shopping in Walnut, or buy some priceless art before they become the next Monet on the Art Tour!
However, if you’d rather just sit on your tushy, drink a little wine, and relax, you can listen to one of my fave local bands, Oreo Meatwagon and have some beverages at Breezy Hills Winery in Minden from 2pm to 5pm.
And, of course, you can always watch a movie at Dreamland Theatre in Carson or The Phoenix in Neola all weekend long!
I told you it was a packed weekend in Pott. Co! And, as always, simply showing up helps! A lot of amazing people have gone to a lot of work to make these events possible, let’s do our part and #SuportLocal!
The Southwest Iowa Arts Tour is coming for you this weekend (September 20, 21, & 22) and we’ve got an Arts Tour t-shirt to give away, too!
So if you’ve never been, you need to check it out! 12 Towns. 1 weekend! Of those 12 towns, the 6th Annual Southwest Iowa Arts Tour will offer 5 Pottawattamie County options for you! The rural towns of Avoca, Macedonia, Neola, and Oakland will all be taking part in the tour, as well as Council Bluffs at the PACE building. And we wholly advocate for you to get to all 12 (we just are focused on Pott. Co. for this)!
How does it work? Well, it’s a self-guided tour. Catch as many towns as you want, see as many places as you wish, but all of the spots on the tour have added a little extra incentive to bring you in! The tour hours run Saturday 10am to 5pm and noon to 4pm on Sunday with a special “sneak peek” in Macedonia on Friday from 1pm to 7pm!
Need that perfect one-of-a-kind Christmas gift? Perhaps you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses with that exquisite painting? Headed on vacation and need the perfect jewelry? The tour has it all! There’s paintings, sculptures, fabric art, photography, pottery, wood carvings, jewelry, and mixed media all available throughout the tour!
As I mentioned, Macedonia is one of only 2 sneak preview spots on the tour and open on Friday! Be sure to head to The Painted Camel in Donia – you won’t be sorry! They just did a round of firing last month for Paul’s fabulous pottery and they have all new stuff, plus over 30 artists’ work like Robert DeWaele’s wood sculptures and Marilyn Hackett’s weaving! As I tell everyone, it is the cutest gallery straight out of the Old Market on Main Street Donia!
On Saturday and Sunday, you can also hit Neola, home of the Christensens’ amazing work! Penny’s Visions Art Gallery is home to the Russell and Penny Christensen, which you may know as the people behind the bronze eagle statues in every town in Pott. Co! They have sculptures and paintings and a little of everything. Penny has even painted amazing scenes on feathers! No lie!
In Avoca, you can find your way to the historic East Pottawattamie County Courthouse for some mixed medium surprises and check out the pop-up venue, The Latest Thing, on Elm for artists, LuAnn Barrett and Sandy Clemens! You just never know what will “pop up” there!
Last, but not least, Oakland will also be joining the art tour again this year as Impact Hill (the former Riverside High School building) hosts! They will not only have local artists (including yours truly, in full disclosure) but they will also welcome the Iowa Western Community Band and the Omaha Weavers and Spinners Guild! The range of art will be from photography to children’s books to stained glass to garden sculptures to hand-woven baskets!
Let’s just say that a lot of artists have gone to a lot of work to make one-of-a-kind art you thought you could only find in the big metropolitan areas! Plus, a lot of businesses in the area have gone above and beyond to support arts in Pott. Co. including Mertes Welding, Rolling Hills Bank & Trust, TFS Agronomy, The Bar’N & Grill, Total Farm Solutions, LLC, AgriVision Equipment, Boruff Heating, Macedonia Hamilton Development Corp., Macedonia House Bed and Breakfast, Farmers & Merchants State Bank, D’Angelo Tax & Accounting, Keast Motors, Kum & Go, Arbor Bank, Prairie Crossing Winery, TS Bank, Pottawattamie County Wide Tourism Committee, the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation, and all of it was coordinated by Golden Hills RC&D! That, my friends, is pretty impressive!
So whether you’re looking for a birthday card, a picture for your wall, a sculpture for your new reception area, or a piece of jewelry for your mom, you’ll be able to find it this weekend!
#SupportLocal #TheArtsMatter #PottCounty #SmallTownLifeIsTheBestLife #SeeIowa
P.S. – Like the WIDA Facebook page or if you already do, simply share this post for your chance to win a free Arts Tour tee! And if you need any other information about this weekend, go here!
It’s a FREE Mum Giveaway!
Do you need some giant mums to flank your doorstep? Here’s your chance to get some! We are giving away 2 large-sized mums in baskets thanks to EZ Greenhouse!
EZ Greenhouse, located in Minden, Iowa, opened in May. They did the hanging baskets for the Avoca Sesquicentennial, the hanging baskets for Neola’s downtown, put in the flowers at the Minden triangle and now they are giving you the chance to get mums from them, too!
EZ Greenhouse is open weekends this fall with plants, seedling trees, and more. You will find them at 514 Main Street in Minden or you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org, but for all the fresh specials and pictures, like them on Facebook at EZ Greenhouse LLC.
Now for the details on how to win! Simply like WIDA Western Iowa Development Association on Facebook if you haven’t already or if you already like us, just share the post about this giveaway on Facebook and you will be entered in our drawing!
One lucky winner will be awarded 2 beautiful mums. Pick-up will be at Golden Hills, RC&D in Oakland or arrangements can be made otherwise. Deadline to enter is midnight (central time) Monday, September 16.
#SupportLocal #FreeStuff #PottCounty
I say this all the time, but: we have the most AMAZING people living in Pottawattamie County!
As we all take time to reflect on 9/11, I want to make you aware of some fabulous people who put their talents where their hearts are. Susan Bentley, owner of SHECouture in Minden, and Marilyn Mickey, of Carson, use their love of quilting to give back. Susan and Marilyn take part in a program called Quilts of Valor.
The twosome show their appreciation for those that have served, and those that are serving, by making patriotic quilts. Humbly, they put their love for quilt-making to good use. Along with a few of their friends, they take on the expense and time-consuming task of gifting hand-made quilts to those that deserve them most. According to the Quilts of Valor website, “A Quilt of Valor is our award to those who have been touched by war. It says ‘thank you for your service, sacrifice and valor’ in serving our nation.”
Mickey and Bentley have been friends for a long time, doing many volunteer projects together, and then joined the Quilts of Valor Foundation as a way to put their passion for quilts into a lasting memory for a veteran. Each quilt has a label/tag sewn in and is a one-of-a-kind.
And they've made 125 quilts to be given away!
As someone who lived in a military town, I realized people who serve don’t receive nearly the credit and love they deserve. I remember the worries, the efforts, and the sacrifices of the people who served and their families who stood behind them.
It’s 9/11, and although we have a country that continues to be divided politically, we still live in the greatest country in the world where people chose to serve our country and go to war for us, where people spend extra hours of their day making quilts for others they appreciate, and where we are allowed to say what we have to say.
So God Bless the USA.
#NeverForget #PottCounty #PottawattamieLoyal
Hot Air Balloons, Blacksmiths, Pancakes, Grape Stomping, Open Mic, and Dancing in Pott Co this Weekend!
Pottawattamie has got your ticket to fun this weekend! Sure, it’s football season officially, but we’ve got way more than that for you!
The weekend kicks off with Ditmar’s Orchard doing their annual Hot Air Balloon Festival Friday and Saturday nights starting at 5:30pm and 11am on Sunday, although you can see balloons out flying all weekend! I have taken some pretty amazing pics thanks to this event! Nothing like the view!
Saturday morning starts off bright and early at Breezy Hill Winery with their last Harvest Party at 6:30am. Stop in for breakfast and grape stomping! There’s a bucket list event right there!
Botna Bend, in Hancock, will be offering you pancakes starting at 8:30am, too! You won’t get the hand-tapped maple syrup this year, but you can help make it happen for next year! After being closed for most of the season due to severe flooding, here’s your chance to take in the park and support the home team.
Of course, you can also experience Carstens Farms Days located right outside of Shelby all weekend! Show those youngsters how rough life really used to be! Lol. This annual event gives you a full-scale accurate account of life on the farm 1800’s style! See threshing, a tractor parade, and a blacksmith demonstration among other things!
Saturday also offers the grand opening of the Walnut Community Center starting at 4:30. The former Walnut High School has been transformed into an events center with building tours, a ribbon cutting, dinner, and dancing to kick off its new purpose! Can’t imagine it won’t be a good time! They always have fun in Walnut!
Finally, you can make your Sunday one to remember by taking part in Open Mic with Lil Pril at Prairie Crossing Winery in Treynor from 1 to 4pm! You know you’ve always wanted your chance to shine and here it is! Enjoy a little wine-induced courage and show Southwest Iowa what you’ve got!
Needless to say, it’s going to be a bucket-list-kind-of-weekend in Pott. Co! Text your friends and make some dates!
#PottawattamieLoyal #SmallTownLifeIsTheBestLife #SeeIowa #PottCounty
You’ve got one day left! Get yourself entered!
If it happens in Pott. Co, I want to be in on it, but I have to say that is especially true about the Queens 5K Romp on Saturday, September 14th! If you’ve seen the flyers but are still wondering about it, wonder no more. Stacy McCowen, originally from Carson, married an Oakland boy and thanks to his military dedication, they ended up in Kansas, but it has never stopped them from coming home!
Stacy set up camp in Kansas with her Candle Queens Boutique and has added on an Air BnB. Her candles have been on sale for years at the Country Store in Carson. What does that mean? That means there’s no place like home, Toto. And for that reason, Stacy is bringing her 5K home to Pott. County and Carson! She may not tell you about the huge crowds she gets in Kansas, or that she won an entrepreneurial award for the state of Kansas recently, but I will. Google her races and see picture after picture of people laughing, wearing tiaras and tutus, and sporting pink t-shirts! The key element in every one: they are having so much fun!
Sure, you can run to win, and she won’t mind, in fact, she has medals and prizes for you, but she also loves the mom with a baby stroller and the grandma with her granddaughter and the best friends of 28 years. This race is not just about exercise or fun but about solidarity in this game of life. Stacy embodies her brand, her love for life, and her hometown. It sure doesn’t hurt that she married into a family that also loves running.
And together, they have a route up and down Broadway and around the Rodeo grounds and back with t-shirts and tiaras and smiles and friends. You just gotta be signed up by Thursday, September 5! Registration is $35 and includes your t-shirt and tiara. You’ll pick up your pre-race packet on Friday, the 13th! (You won’t forget that, will you?) Pick up at the Carson Community Center 5:30pm-7pm on Friday or 7:30am - 9 on race morning.
So let’s show her that home still loves her as much as she loves it!
Get your ticket to the party here!
Plus, Carson is going to keep the day going with Rockin' After the Romp! Hear live music and catch up with friends afterwards!
#NoPlaceLikeHome #PottawattamieLoyal #SeeIowa #PottCounty #SmallTownLifeIsTheBestLife