Pott. Co. Offers Thanksgiving and Christmas all in one weekend! Camels, Turkey, Turkeyoke, Lights, Pancakes, and More!
It’s a Thanksgiving-Christmas Mash-up in Pott. Co. this weekend! The festivities start with Thanksgiving Eve at most of the local bars! Get your drink on before the family arrives or drink because they’re already here! Water, of course! Tailgators in Oakland will be having Turkeyoke! Sing the crazy away! Or make your way to The Bar’N and Grill in Carson where they will be hosting their 3rd Annual Drunksgiving Bash! And the drink specials will be flowing at the Thanksgiving Eve celebration at I-80 Sports Lounge in Underwood, too! From 8pm to 2am, your options are endless.
In fact, Tailgators is not only offering you Thanksgiving Eve plans but they will open back up on Thanksgiving for their annual Thanksgiving Day potluck. Bring a dish and see the crew! They always have a crowd.
If you’d like something a little more traditional, I am giving a big shout-out to the Riverside Community Thanksgiving event. Not only do they put on the turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy leaving you to only bring a side to the Carson Community Center but they also are starting early! No plans on Thanksgiving? That’s okay, they’ll be ready for you at 7 with coffee and rolls and will roll through the lunch hour for the turkey feast at noon! They play board games, cards, or chat. I think it’s spectacular that they go above and beyond to have a community event for all those that might want to give thanks with their neighbors (which might very well be family, too!)! Even better – you can do breakfast and be off to see the family or see the fam and then grab your yams for lunch with the whole community! And Riverside Community is used loosely – all are welcome! It is truly an event of giving in honor of the big day!
We will also give a shout-out to the Lookout Village group in the Neola community! They are hosting Thanksgiving Day dinner, as well, but you had to RSVP for it.
Black Friday can bring you some shopping at Walnut’s Christmas Antique Walk! It runs Friday through Sunday and they will have those one-of-a-kind buys you can’t get anywhere else for the person who has everything! If anyone wants to hint to my hubby that he can stroll to Walnut and get me two matching vintage bookcases from the 50’s or 60’s, I’ll take it! :)
Saturday, of course, is Small Business Saturday. I can’t say this enough: shop local, support local if you can! I will be rolling out a holiday shopping guide to help you make that happen, but for this blog, I’ll just remind you that all the little shops in Pott. Co. will be so excited about your business and Amazon, well, you’re just another credit card to them!
Saturday also brings Holidays on Main in Avoca from 3 to 7pm. You have to check it out! They have a live nativity! How cool is that? And if your kids are anything like mine, you better make time for the petting zoo! There will even be a live camel!!! Plus, there will be a pancake feed, the Loess Hills Country Cloggers will be performing, a craft fair, and indoor ice skating! Avoca is definitely the place to be Saturday evening!
Sunday is the last day of the Antique Walk in Walnut and the kick-off to Christmas in Underwood and Treynor! Underwood will be doing their Christmas Lighting Ceremony starting at 4pm at the corner of 3rd and Railroad. They have all new Christmas decorations and if you haven’t seen them yet, they are fab-u-lous! Plus, don’t miss the grand opening of Garcia’s Family Mexican Restaurant! My blog about it can be found here. Treynor will host their Christmas from 4:30 to 7:30pm with the Pancake Man there to throw you some hot cakes! You can give Santa your wish list, do a few crafts, and eat the cookies you decorate! All at the Treynor Community Building.
People – it’s a big weekend! So much fun packed into a few short days, but let it be said, that your house guests won’t be bored if you treat them to all Pott. County has to offer! And remember that volunteers go to a lot of work to make these things happen, simply showing up shows them their efforts were worth it!
But whether you’re with family or friends, may you find the real meaning behind the holidays. May you find smiles, laughs, and love. May you have stories to tell and selfies to take. And may you enjoy our home…
#PottCounty #SmallTownLifeIsTheBestLife #SupportLocal
PS - I'll be back with more info on the other Christmas events later! And be sure to look for my new podcast, too! And if you haven't signed up for the WIDA newsletter, be sure and send your email to our Facebook page or email me at EricaForWIDA@gmail.com.
There’s big news in Underwood! After much anticipation, Garcia’s Mexican Family Restaurant will open December 1st on the main street at 118 3rd St. The citizens of Underwood are excited to be getting a family restaurant and the Garcias are excited to be the ones offering it!
I had the pleasure of meeting with Santana Garcia. He and his sister, Maria, will be the ones running the new eating establishment. The family has done all the work themselves complete with a new beautiful tiled rock bar area and authentic mosaic tile arches. They even special ordered high chairs from Mexico that have cartoon faces on them for the kids. Santana told me they want people to feel like family when they come to Garcia’s. They plan to know your name and your regular order when you come in the door! And I fully expect that to be the case! Santana and Maria are part of the Garcia family that runs El Sol in Oakland and Plaza Azteca in Atlantic. As someone who’s eaten at El Sol, I can assure you they always know my order there, too!
Garcia’s will be open 7 days a week. Sunday’s hours will be 11am to 9pm and 11am to 10pm Monday through Saturdays. The new restaurant will offer all the traditional dishes in seafood, chicken, and steak combinations, and the bar area will stay open as needed beyond 10pm. Santana told me the margaritas will be flowing at the opening which happens to align with Underwood’s Christmas Lighting Ceremony. So you can eat, drink, and see the lights!
When I asked him about Underwood, he told me they like to place their restaurants in small towns because they are from a small town in Mexico. They say the little towns feel like home to them and they want that family atmosphere. He also told me that he hopes that word of mouth will get people in the doors. He says he wants the food and his famous margaritas!!! to speak for themselves!
The Garcias will also be providing catering services and next spring, they will open up a huge patio area for dining and parties. Better get dibs fast for those graduation parties!
Santana mentioned how nice everyone had been and after meeting him, I have a pretty good idea the area will be appreciative of his natural charm (and probably his margaritas lol), too.
Best of luck, Santana and Maria! We will be cheering for you!
#SupportLocal #PottCo #SmallTownLifeIsTheBestLife
PS – They told me there will be a Facebook page up by the opening for all the extra details!
Giving comes in all shapes and sizes. In Vicki Palmer’s case, it comes as a rock. Kindness rocks to be exact. (Check out the website if you are unfamiliar, but basically kindness rocks are left for others to find for inspiration, happiness, and comradery.)
What started out as a minor hobby has become a passion: a passion she spends 15 to 20 hours a week on now that she’s retired! Three and a half years ago, Vicki saw the 712 Rocks page and was immediately hooked.
She’s done over 1000 rocks at this point!
Although she says she is certainly not an artist, she started this because it makes kids and adults feel good and they can simply pass that feeling on by re-sharing the rock. Vicki has placed rocks all over Pottawattamie County when she goes to grandchildren’s games, for holidays, for special events, etc. She uses local rocks, landscape rocks, Santorini marble tiles, Alaskan flat rocks, and beach pebbles. She’ll try anything once! Same goes with her painting methods - colored pencils, spray paint, acrylic paint, gloss finish, stencils, tracing paper, stickers, gems, jewels, wood slices, alcohol ink paint, and her favorite, paint pens.
Speaking as someone who has a 5-year-old, we have found Vicki’s rocks on our travels through the local towns, and every time, my daughter is beyond excited to find it! The neighbor kids were even inspired to make their own after getting one of hers. I can’t help but think of the ripple effect and all that it can do.
I asked if Vicki had any favorites and she said, “Always the last one I did!” We love that enthusiasm! However, the most touching story she told me was about how her cousin lost his sister in a car accident. She’d made rocks for the close family members but hadn’t had a chance to give him his. She decided to leave it in the funeral home flower bed among the plants and landscaped area figuring whomever was in need of the message would find it. Guess who found it? Yes, of course, her cousin found it and he uses the mantra painted on it daily, “Just breathe.”
Those are the kinds of stories you can’t put a price tag on, nor can you disregard.
For so many, the negative news wins out, but here’s Vicki spreading joy, one rock at a time. She doesn’t do it because she has nothing better to do with her time or because she’s getting paid to or because someone told her to but because she can and because she knows happiness needs to be spread. Thank you, Vicki Palmer, for being that gift to Pottawattamie County.
So as we roll into the holidays, think about that door you can open, that friendly wave you give, that donation to the food pantry, the money or time you can give on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 3) and give in whatever capacity you can, because one person can make a difference…
#SupportLocal #PottawattamieProud #PottawattamieLoyal
Did you know that there are new owners for The Buck Snort in Oakland? That’s right! Amy Brownlee and Jason Haines (both of Oakland) took the reins last week and look forward to serving the community.
Amy, who has worked at Buck Snort in her spare time outside of work at the Pottawattamie County Courthouse, just happened to have a conversation with Bud (the original Buck Snort owner) and realized the perfect situation for both parties was for Jason and her to buy it! They will run it as a Buck Snort franchise so all your Buck Snort favorites like the Swamp Donkey will still be loud and proud on the menu! However, Amy and Jason have a few new ideas for their patrons, too! In fact, they’ve already initiated their new weekly specials. With so many regular customers, the duo thought it would be a good idea to have some weekly comfort-food specials to provide a little variety. They are even willing to take requests!
Last weekend, they served up Hungarian Goulash per request and were sold out in a flash! They look forward to providing some Thanksgiving fixins’ here in the next couple of weeks and offering some old-school, home-cookin’! Rumor has it, that they will be introducing a new veggie burger, too, to keep up with the new trends. So whether there’s a Swamp Donkey or a plate of hot turkey and gravy in your future, you’ll definitely find plenty to eat at Buck Snort in Oakland!
Congrats, Amy and Jason! Thanks for supporting local!
Blog sponsored by the Oakland Industrial Foundation
There’s Turkey Bingo and more in Pott. Co. this weekend! Yes, you heard me right, we have multiple turkey bingos. We have a Grist Mill production. We have 3 open houses – one with wine and two with art. We have a craft fair, and we have a church dinner with yummy food! That’s a packed weekend, people!
It all kicks off Thursday, or Friday Eve as some people like to call it. Russ and Penny Christensen will be hosting their annual open house at their art gallery in Neola: Penny’s Visions Art Gallery. You may know their work from the bronze eagle sculptures found throughout Pottawattamie County! That’s just the start though. They have paintings, monuments, notecards, you name it! You can check out all their work on Thursday from 5 to 9pm, Friday from 10am to 6pm, Saturday from 10am to 8pm, and Sunday from 11am to 6pm.
Blossom’s in Oakland will also be having their open house Friday and Saturday. You may know that Blossom’s started out as a floral shop but has turned into so much more! They carry women’s clothing, jewelry, wine, flowers, figurines, and this weekend, a new Christmas room will be introduced to the public! Debbie is offering a 10% discount and a 15% one if you donate certain things to be given to the veterans at Victory Apartments in Omaha. Plus, she will have wine to taste! You can see what she has to offer for the holidays 9am to 6pm on Friday and 9am to 3pm on Saturday.
Last, but definitely not least, The Painted Camel in Macedonia will also be hosting an open house featuring over 30 different artists! Open Friday noon to 7 pm, Saturday 10 am to 7 pm, and Sunday noon to 2:30 pm to coincide with the Grist Mill plays, they look forward to showing off all the new pieces of pottery Paul has made and the artists’ works for the holidays. (In full disclosure, I happen to be one of those new artists, but no, they are not paying me to talk about it!) As I always say, it is a shop right out of the Old Market!
Friday is, therefore, also the first night of performances at the Grist Mill Theater in Macedonia. You can catch “You Can’t Beat the House” a comedy I wrote about in my giveaway last week (read more about it here) on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as Sunday afternoon. Plus, ½ price appetizers after the shows at The Back 40!
Rocks to be you!
Saturday brings the Viking Vendor and Craft Fair at AHSTW. From 9am to 3pm, you can get those extra special Christmas gifts or do a little personal shopping if you’d rather! Proceeds support the Viking Booster Club! It’s always good to shop local for a good cause!
Saturday evening brings you two options for turkey bingo. Yes, you heard me! Do you know what turkey bingo is? Well, let me tell you! Turkey Bingo is playing bingo to win turkeys to use for that mouthwatering Thanksgiving meal! Your first option is to make your way to the Shelby Community Building where it’s 3 games for $1. All proceeds go to the Shelby Community Club Scholarship Fund. Food and drinks will be available throughout the evening and doors open at 5:30pm. Your other option is a little different. You can head to the Soup Supper at the Hancock Fire Hall from 5 to 7pm and play bingo for turkeys and hams starting at 6:30pm. Proceeds go to the Hancock Fire Department.
Let’s just say you can’t go wrong with either place!
Sunday is your chance to eat well at the Minden United Church of Christ Fall Dinner starting at 11am and they will be doing an auction following at 12:30. Support the church and get some goodies while you’re at it!
Well, folks, it’s another busy weekend with options you can’t find just anywhere! So find your fave and enjoy the warm weekend ahead! It’s going to be a good one!
#SupportLocal #PottCounty #SmallTownLifeIsTheBestLife
Win 2 free tickets to Friday night’s performance of “You Can’t Beat the House,” a fun-filled comedy put on by the Grist Mill Theater in Macedonia! You won’t want to miss it! The actors are a hoot so you know that means the play will be, too!
The inside scoop is that Gene Sanny and Austin Lorenz are a modern day Abbott and Costello as they master the madcap twists and turns of being burglars unable to get out of the house they’ve come to rob! With skills only Gene has up his sleeve, Gene plays Merle who will transform from burglar to real estate agent and even have the pleasure of meeting up with the cops out to get him and a medium who obviously can see Merle and Howie’s future, which apparently isn’t looking so bright!
The play is directed by local, Sue Duhachek, and includes a cast of Gene Sanny, Austin Lorenz, Deanna Fender, Jackie Neighbors, Dan Crouse, B.C. and Stacia Thompson, Heather Myers, Karla Keener and Eileen Adickes. The cast list includes some long-time Grist Mill-ers and a couple of newer additions, but they always leave a crowd laughing!
The performance is also a special one as they dedicate it to the late Mrs. Louise Merkle, an Oakland resident and retired teacher, who spent many of her days as part of the Grist Mill casts of old, and was a long-time Grist Mill member always there for opening night! In her honor, there will be laughs, content appropriate for anyone over the age of 6, and no inappropriate innuendo. She liked a tight ship!
The show runs Friday and Saturday night (November 15 & 16) along with a matinee performance on Sunday, November 17. Tickets are Adults $20; Grist Mill members $15; students under 18 $5.00. Cash or Check only. Seating can be reserved by calling 712-486-2216 and leaving a message. You are welcome to check seating availability at www.gristmillfineearts.com.
Of course, Macedonia is all about setting you up with a fun night or afternoon out! The Back Forty will offer half-price appetizers after all the performances when you simply show your ticket stubs! The Painted Camel will be open for shopping, too. Plus, if you should contribute to the Grist Mill Scholarship Fund, you will be entered in the Grist Mill’s Sunday afternoon drawing for a free stay at the Macedonia House B & B courtesy of the Clarks.
What a weekend they put together in ‘Donia! You won’t want to miss it!
And how can you be sure to make that happen? Enter our giveaway for 2 free tickets to Friday night’s show! Simply like WIDA on Facebook if you haven’t already or sign up for our WIDA county-wide newsletter if you haven’t by messaging WIDA on Facebook or emailing EricaForWIDA@gmail.com. If you know you’ve done both of those things already, then simply share this blog with all your friends to pack the house at McCready Theater! Deadline: you must be entered by midnight Central time, Tuesday, November 12th.
Fine print: This giveaway is not sponsored by, run by, or associated with, Facebook. WIDA was not compensated for this giveaway. The tickets are nonrefundable and to be used on November 15.
Veteran's Day Weekend in Pott. Co. - chicken, steak, a musical, rollerskating, live donkeys, and good will gestures!
Pott. Co. has another busy weekend on tap just for you! Whether you like fried chicken, steak, live donkeys, roller skating, or musicals, we’ve got something for you!
You can start the weekend early with a little learning by going to the Food Safety for the Home Cook class at Impact Hill on Thursday night in Oakland. They’ve got a whole list of fun classes coming up that you’ll definitely want to check out, but they are filling up! A couple are already crossed out and full!
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are your chances to see the Riverside Musical: The Addams Family. It’s the perfect follow-up to the movie you might have just seen at the Dreamland Theatre. Should be a lot of fun!
Don’t forget UMBA in Underwood has roller-skating Friday night, too!
Saturday brings a couple of options in addition to the musical! You can watch some Shelby “celebs” play donkey basketball at Cardinal Lofts to raise money for their 150th Celebration that is now only months away! My last experience seeing donkey basketball is one I won’t soon forget. I’m sure it will be a bucket list item you can cross off your list if you attend! Or you can head to the Minden Community Hall for a steak dinner and auction hosted by the Tri-Center FFA to raise money for their new ag building! They are auctioning off 200 gallons of propane and a Tri-Center Athletic Pass! That’s just a couple of the many things! WOW! Sounds like good food and a good cause!
Sunday will be your chance for a great lunch! It’s the annual Veteran’s Day Chicken Dinner in Donia! Head to the DeWitt Building for some homemade fried chicken and pie from 11am to 1pm. Trust me – it’s worth the drive!
Monday happens to be Veteran’s Day and so some of you may luck out with a long weekend. Either way, most of the area schools are having Veteran’s Day assemblies and you won’t believe this, but The Back Forty in Macedonia is giving free meals to all veterans on Monday from 11am to 9pm! What a wonderful gesture! Way to go, Brian and Amy! And from all of us at WIDA, thank you to all the veterans who have served and are serving to make our country the best place to live!
Seriously, what a great county where your options are endless and the people are generous! Thanks for coming to our page to hear about it!
#SupportLocal #PottCounty #SeeIowa
As Giving November kicks off, it’s important to think of our area food pantries and make sure they are well-stocked! As the holidays approach, typically they get donations, but they also get more customers, too! So let’s make this an easy holiday season for Pottawattamie Area Pantries!
On a serious note, we’ve all had our own financially unstable moments. I’ve watched families that had the unexpected happen whether it was divorce with a new baby, job layoff and 4 kids, being single with a boss that didn’t pay on time, or cancer for the bread-winner, it doesn’t matter. Whether you’ve been there, or not, we all know someone who has, and if you’re not in that boat, what better way to show your thankfulness than by donating?
So here is a comprised list of where and when you can donate and if you should, for some unfortunate reason, need help instead, the times and places are listed for when you can receive donations, as well.
As Red Green always says, “we’re all in this together!”
To Donate: The Avoca Food Pantry is located at the United Church of Avoca, 1511 N. Willow St. You can call 712-343-6945 with questions, just leave a message, but they take donations on Sunday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at the church. They are in need of personal hygiene items like toothbrushes and shampoo or food items like Hamburger Helper.
For assistance: The pantry is open Mondays 4-6pm, just go behind the church to the basement door for privacy.
To Donate: The Crescent Food Pantry is located at 720 Old Lincoln Hwy. It’s open Saturdays 1-3pm and Tuesday 5-7pm but you can call 712-545-9031 for other options. The Crescent Pantry also has a Facebook page which you can message for assistance.
For assistance: The pantry is open Saturdays 1-3pm and Tuesdays 5-7pm or message them on Facebook for help in an emergency situation or call 712-545-9031.
To Donate: The Macedonia Food Pantry & Clothing Closet is located in the Macedonia United Methodist Church. Donations are welcome, and can be left, at the church Monday through Friday during day-light hours. They are happy to take food items and clothing items that are gently used.
For assistance: The pantry is open from 1-3pm every Saturday or 24/7 by phone. Call minister's cell: 402-669-5646.
*Minden (Area Food Pantry – including Underwood, McClelland, Minden, and Neola, etc.)
To Donate: The Area Food Pantry is located at the Minden United Church of Christ. Call 712-483-2903 for more information or you can donate during church hours or at the St. Patrick’s Parish Hall in Neola. Items most needed include soup crackers, cereal, sugar, flour, canned fruits, mac & cheese, spaghetti sauce, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, cake mixes, toilet paper, Kleenex, and paper towels.
For assistance: The pantry is open from 10am-12pm every Saturday or you may call 712-483-2903 for help.
*Riverside Area (including Carson, Macedonia, Oakland, Hancock, etc.)-
To Donate: The Riverside Area Food Pantry is located in the Oakland Christian Church. Call (712) 482-6240 and leave a message or you may donate Sunday mornings at the church or Monday-Friday during office hours at the Oakland United Methodist Church in the narthex. The Riverside School District is also taking donations after Thanksgiving for their food drive. Paper products, cereal, pasta and sauce are all needed regularly.
For assistance: The pantry is open Saturdays from 10:00 till 11:00am and is sponsored by the Riverside Church Association. For immediate help, contact an area pastor.
To Donate: The pantry is located at the Zion Congregational Church in Treynor. Donations are welcomed from 6:30am to 6pm Monday-Friday at the church.
For assistance: The pantry is open on the 4th Thursday of the month from 4pm to 7pm. If needed otherwise, call the church at (712) 487-3289.
To Donate: The TLC Community Food & Clothing Pantry is located at the Walnut Community Center (the old school). Call 712-249-2592 to arrange donations or M-F 8 to 5pm at the south door or drop off at Trinity Lutheran in Avoca. Items needed: personal hygiene items, spaghetti sauce and pasta, soups, pancake mixes, syrup, cereal, winter clothing.
For assistance: The pantry is open every Thursday from 4 to 6pm or call 712-249-2592 or they have a Facebook page to message them.
It goes without saying that if it’s easier for you to write a check or hand over some cash, all of the pantries will gladly take that, too!
I simply hope that by making it easier for you to find these places, you take a minute to mail a check, hit your local grocery store and church, or drop by with a load of paper products. I truly believe there is no greater joy than in giving.
Give yourself the gift of giving today.,,