You can call it cornhole or bags, but either way, I call it fun to be had at Silos in Treynor!
Silos is hosting their third session (the winter session) of a bags league.
That’s right! Kick the winter blues with some inside fun! Best part – you can drink and play!
Starting Wednesday night, January 29 at 7pm, Silos will host the first of 8 weeks of play! You just need to be registered by Monday, January 27th to get in on the action. It is played in 2-person teams and costs $50 per team but all money is paid out in the seeded tournament play on the last week. Yes, it’s inside in their back room so no need to worry about the weather! Lol.
(But they do play a summer league on the patio if you want to get that on your radar!)
The fabulous part is that they even email out team standings and the schedule for each week so you can just show up when it’s time to play! They know everyone has a tight, busy schedule so they set it up for you to be able to swing in, play, have some supper or a beer, and be on your way (or feel free to lounge if it’s your big night out, too!).
And if you haven’t been to Silos yet, it’s time you got there! Zac is a very personable guy. He and his wife run the bar and grill and take pride in offering a great small town experience! Zac says they started out with 8 teams last winter but the league has already grown with teams from Treynor, Underwood, and Council Bluffs. Personally, I think it would be cool to see all the Pott. Co. towns represented!
All you need to do is email email@example.com to get in on the action, give them a call, or Facebook message them!
And thanks, Zac and Katie, for helping make Pott. Co. fun!
Announcing the 2019 WIDA Award Winners!
So I asked all of you about your favorite places at the end of December, and I have the results! Sure, I could just list them, but you know I’d rather talk about the categories as we go, too!
First off, I asked who has the coldest beer? It was a tie!
Tailgators – Oakland
The Bar’N and Grill – Carson
We had a lot of opinions and honorable mentions went to The Back 40 in Donia and The Exchange in Avoca. I can’t wait to see if there are chilled mugs and other bars in the game by next year! But we are lucky to have so many loyal bar owners in our area! You can’t go wrong with any of them!
Next up, what store is always open for you when you need them? The winner:
Rubacks Grocery Store - Oakland
As a regular customer myself, I can tell you that they do their best to be open for holidays and they are great at donating to Riverside sports, too. Well done, Rubacks! Perhaps the most impressive part was that they beat out competition that had stores in multiple towns. Our honorable mentions went to our multiple-town-owners: Casey’s (in Avoca, Minden, Oakland, and Treynor) and Dollar General (in Avoca and Oakland). We’re glad to have both of them nearby, too!
Category #3: Where is your favorite hidden gem/best kept secret of Pottawattamie County? The clear winner:
El Sol Mexican Restaurant – Oakland
Apparently, we all love our food and you won’t go away hungry from El Sol! This category had so many great suggestions! In fact, there’s a couple on the list I’ll be headed to check out ASAP so I can share them with you! If I don’t know about them, you might not either! One that did pop up a couple of times was the Pottawattamie Recycling Center and Swap Shop right outside Oakland. It didn’t have as many votes, but I think that’s because it really does seem to be a secret! Lol. But here’s my blog about it, in case you didn’t know we had our own little version of the ReStore here!
Honorable Mentions in this category went to Botna Bend Park in Hancock which we’ll talk about more here in a second and Blossoms in Oakland. If you haven’t been to Blossoms, she has everything! From women’s clothes to fresh flowers to home décor to gift figurines! It’s worth the stop!
What’s next? Where can I get the most original, yet tasty sandwich (no burgers)? The Winner:
Buck Snort – Oakland And Neola
A multitude of different sandwiches were suggested but the one thing they had in common: they come from Buck Snort! I guess when you have a sandwich named the Swamp Donkey, you can assume they have original sandwiches! Of course, Silos in Treynor and The Bar’N and Grill in Carson were the honorable mentions. As someone who’s eaten at both, I’m on board with your choices! Although, I have to say there were a whole bunch of sandwiches I didn’t know were in existence! Guess we all have some menus to look over! Think teriyaki and pineapple and a French toast sammie!
Possibly my favorite category: What’s the first thing you’d take your visiting grandma to see? The winner by a landslide:
Botna Bend Park – Hancock
Apparently, the elk and buffalo, especially the albino, are a treat grandma would like! Plus, you can get a close view of the river, have the grandkids play in Hancock Park, and feel right at home in nature. After a rough 2019, they are back open and ready for an exciting year!
Honorable mentions go to the Nishna Heritage Museum & Mural Gardens in Oakland and the Walnut Antique Drive. With the enormous mural, beautifully-kept gardens, and a museum packed full of history, it’s no wonder the Nishna Heritage came in second. Of course, you know I love to shop and Walnut is definitely the place to get that gift you can’t find anywhere else plus, it’s that little walk down memory lane you need sometimes!
There are your fun 5 categories! Didn’t see your favorite? Be sure to vote next time around! And if you haven’t been to one or two of these, make a date right now! You won’t be sorry!
Seriously, the answers blew me away.
We live in a place that is so rich with goodness, options, history, and fun. It’s so easy to look at what isn’t, but when you look at what is – well, it’s pretty fantastic!
So here’s to all of you that make it that way –whether you’re a customer, a business owner, a volunteer, an educator, happily retired, a teenager, or somewhere in between!
Let’s make 2020 the one to remember!
This blog brought to you by the Oakland Industrial Foundation.
Time to get your tickets for the ‘80’s Lip Sync Contest and Dessert Auction, a fundraiser, hosted by the Carson Park Board! Get your calendar out, call the babysitter, and grab your tickets for a guaranteed fun evening on Saturday, January 25th at the Carson Community Center starting at 6pm with happy hour!
Want the scoop? I’ve got it!
First, let’s talk hair bands! (You really can’t say that enough, right?) Our DJ for the evening will be the one and only Bill Boruff! Our judges will be the comedy stylings of local fave couples, Randy and Wes Henderson and Shiloh and Frank Olmstead! And the bands – well, let me just tell you that Mayor Tim Todd is breaking out his moves! There will also be a teacher group you won’t want to miss and a few surprise “singers” you’re going to L.O.V.E! Plus, their make-up, outfits, and hair will be worth the ticket to the show!
And as much as I love my 80’s music, I love dessert more! The dessert auction should be A- MAZ-ING! Kara Plagman, Whitney Harrill, Linda Harrill, Marilyn Mickey, and Lori Nisley are confirmed dessert bakers! And I wouldn’t weigh what I weigh without the help of Lori’s dirt cake/cheesecakes! Make sure you have cash to get your fave!
Oh, I suppose you want to know what the real meal is, too, huh? We will be dining on a salad, roll, meat, potato, and green beans. And yes, the bar will be open!
And no, you don't have to dress up, but if you really want to, PLEASE, PLEASE DO! Break out the old 80's gear that we shall refer to as "vintage" and show us what you've got! We can't wait to see the big bangs, the off-the-shoulder ripped sweatshirt, and your bandanna headband!
Ready to buy your tickets now? Well, no problem. Just head to Rolling Hills Bank and Trust or Carson City Hall to get them. They run 1/$25, 2/$40, or a table of 8/$150.
There’s big news in Walnut! Did you hear? The Walnut Community Center is officially opening their new Wellness Center January 2nd! It’s just in time for all those New Year’s resolutions you’re making!
They’ve got TVs mounted, treadmills, free weights, ellipticals, and bikes all ready to go for you!
It will be a 24-hour, keycard-entry service. They even have a nice loop you can use to walk and talk with friends.
You can head to Walnut City Hall for your membership!
Their memberships offer you every option from family memberships to senior citizen ones!
Adult (19-61) $285/yr or $25/mo.
Couple (19-61) $340/yr or $31/mo.
Senior (62+) $220/yr or $21/mo.
Senior Couple $300/yr or $28/mo.
Single Parent (1 adult+youth) $315/yr. or $27/mo.
Family (2 adults + youth) $375/yr. or $33/mo.
Youth (16-18) $130/yr or $12/mo.
If you don’t know much about the Walnut Community Center, it is located in the former Walnut High School. They have done a tremendous job of refurbishing and redesigning the purpose of the building and the Walnut Community Center Foundation acts as a nonprofit providing community and recreation for the Walnut area.
So not only are you getting an opportunity to get in better shape, fulfill those New Year’s resolutions, and feel good about yourself but you are helping out a local nonprofit and spreading the joy of community! It’s a win-win-win!
Get your memberships today!
Kick the new year off right Pott. Co. style!
If you’re looking for a family event, the best gig in town is the Impact Hill Family New Year’s Eve. They do a ball drop at 7 for the littles and another one at midnight for the older kids. Bring a snack to share and the concession stand will be open, too, otherwise it’s all free! Yes, you heard me: free. They will have laser tag, rollerblading, bounce houses, games, etc. to ring in the new year. Impact Hill is located in Oakland at the former Riverside High School turned nonprofit. We went last year and I can honestly say it is ideal for a family with munchkins! Ours loved it!
There are also lots of restaurants in the area doing evening specials and then moving to adult fun after.
Silos in Treynor will be serving a fried chicken meal early. Later in the evening, they’ll have a DJ and free pizza and champagne to ring in the new year! Can’t go wrong with that!
Minden Bowl will be offering Surf and Turf or Prime Rib for their holiday meal. It’s 2 for $42 for the regular size or 2 for $44 for the large! Love me some Surf and Turf and Prime Rib! How does one decide??
The Station in Hancock will be serving up BOGO appetizers, $8 single topping pizzas, and $2 domestic beers to help you celebrate the evening!
The Bar’N and Grill in Carson will also be offering a steak meal early followed by drink specials, free champagne at midnight and breakfast burritos starting at 12 for those late night munchies!
But if you’re one of those people that likes to dress up, here’s your chance: Tailgators in Oakland will be having their Roaring 20’s Party for New Year’s starting at 8pm. Dress up in your 20’s attire (or not) and ring in the new year! Free glass of champagne at midnight!
Then if you recover early enough from your late night, you can spend your New Year’s Day in a couple of ways!
Impact Sports will be offering a 3-on-3 basketball tournament all day Wednesday for 7th & 8th grade boys and adults wanting to play! Yes, you can register that day! All play will be held at the Riverside High School Gym. Go here for more details.
Or if you’re more of a sit-and-watch-kind, Silos will have the bowl games on all day with $2 Busch Lights and $1 Jell-O shots!
So yes, we will keep you busy in Pott. Co. Be sure to take advantage of the fun!
It's the end-of-the-year WIDA Awards! Have your say in 6 unique categories about the best of rural Pott. Co. and get signed up to win a Painted Camel Gift Card!
Simply click on the link below and post your faves in these 6 categories:
*Coldest Beer in the County (rural parts)
*Most Original, yet Tasty Sandwich
*Best Kept Secret/Hidden Gem of the County
*1st Place you'd Take your Grandma to See in Pott. Co.
*Most Loyal Store Owners
*Best News in Pott. Co. of 2019
Just click on this link to take part: VOTE HERE!
Not only will you get to share your thoughts, but you can win a gift card to The Painted Camel Art Gallery in Macedonia for doing it! Just be sure to fill out the survey by midnight on January 3.
Yes, these are meant to a be a fun little end to the year and a chance to cheer on our favorite places in Pott. Co. because supporting local helps all of us, but it is also our chance to say "Job Well Done" to those that provide for us every day of the year.
All category winners will receive big shout-outs in our upcoming WIDA newsletter and on social media!
As we end 2019 and kick off a fresh new year in 2020, let us remember to reflect on the gift of living in rural communities where we look out for one another, win together, and cheer on those making our world a better one.
PS - Have an opinion of what awards should be added for next year? By all means, leave us a comment or email us at EricaForWIDA@gmail.com.
So time kinda got away from you and you’re doing that last-minute Christmas shopping you swore wouldn’t happen this year? And you really don’t want to face the mob scene in the city? Yep, been there. And lucky for you, Pottawattamie County is ready for you!
Think clothes from The Twisted Sisters Boutique in Neola, ReStored in Walnut, Sideline Tees in Neola, Blossoms in Oakland, or gently used clothes at Guilty Pleasures in Shelby or Ours to Yours in Oakland and Iowa Kids Outfitter in Avoca!
Think furniture from Amy's Attic in Carson or The Granary Mall in Walnut!
Think food from The Buck Snort in Neola and Oakland, The Dew Drop Inn in McClelland, Silos in Treynor, Back Forty in Macedonia, The Bar'N and Grill in Carson, Garcia's in Underwood, The Pink Poodle, Henry's Diner, and Denny's Place in Crescent! And possibly the best bakery ever at Roberts Bakery in Walnut!
Think wine from Breezy Hills in Minden or Prairie Crossing in Treynor!
Think beef jerky and cheese from Minden Meat Market, Gress Locker in Hancock, Jon's Naturals in McClelland, or Jack Links in Underwood!
Get your coffee or hot chocolate at the Treynor Java Supply!!!
Get that piece of priceless art at The Painted Camel in Macedonia or Penny's Visions in Neola!
Get that car wash kit or emergency supply kit at NAPA in Oakland or Avoca!
Grab collectibles at the Avoca Florist (Willow Tree) or Lehan's in Minden (Precious Moments) and Blossoms has all kinds of them, too!
Or find that perfect antique one-of-a-kind in Walnut!
Just remember your favorite places in town and they'll be everyone else's favorites soon, too!
#SupportLocal #ShopLocal #PottCountyLoyal #SmallTownLifeIsTheBestLife
Experience Christmas the Pott. Co. Way! It seems to me that nobody needs more stuff collecting dust on a shelf, or even the kitchen table, as the case may be! Lol.
So what do you give? You give “experiences!”
Why not buy movie passes to The Phoenix in Neola or the Dreamland Theatre in Carson? Cheaper popcorn and that small town feel!
And, in my opinion, it’s never too early to start dreaming of summer! Swing by City Hall to buy that summer pool pass to Oakland’s pool or Avoca’s. (Oh, and don’t forget to get that Dairy Queen gift card for blizzards after the pool on a hot day!)
More of a golfer than a swimmer? Buy those memberships at the Riverside-Oakland Golf Course or Treynor Recreation Area or Quail Run in Neola! Or if they already have a regular membership, just pay for green fees at one of the other courses for them to “try out” on a special day next summer!
And for those camping, fishing, hunting types, why not get them a 2020 fishing or hunting license? Park passes are free for in-staters and, with a license, they’ll be ready to go! They can start early!
Thinking maybe someone needs to keep in shape this winter instead? The Walnut Community Center is opening a brand new wellness center on January 2 and you can give the gift of membership! Oakland, Carson, Neola, Life Fitness Center in Crescent, and Treynor Fit all sell yearly gym memberships, too!
As much as I’m willing to talk gym memberships, I’d rather talk food! Why not give gift cards to some local haunts? You won’t be sorry! Back Forty in Macedonia offers some amazing specials for lunch! The Bar ‘N and Grill in Carson even offers Chinese food night! The Station in Hancock has gourmet comfort food this time of year! The Dew Drop Inn in McClelland has what I consider the best burger in Pott. Co! Silos in Treynor does prime rib night every second Saturday of the month! Walnut has possibly the best bakery this side of the Missouri. Head to the Roberts Bakery ASAP! Yum! And here’s your chance to check out the new Mexican restaurant in Underwood: Garcia’s! Rumor has it – you’ll be glad you did! And The Buck Snort in Oakland and Neola are both doing their buy $40 gift card, get a $10 card free!
On a diet for the new year? Well, there’s always getting gift cards to get your mani-pedi done with your favorite grandma or 5-year-old! Polish’d in Avoca, Teresa Algood’s shop in Oakland, and The Polish Bar in Carson all offer that!
And who doesn’t love a massage? Check out Bell Massage Therapy in Shelby or Ahh-Spirations in Oakland, get a Groupon for Taylor’s Trims and Tans Spa in Underwood, or The Compassionate Wellness Center in Crescent.
Don’t forget those hair salons, too! You can’t go wrong with those weekly hair visits or that gift card for highlights like New Image Beauty Salon in Shelby, Shear Designs by Mischa in Oakland, or Mindy’s Mane in Walnut to name a few!
And finally, be sure to contact Lynn Cody and get those tickets to the 80’s Lip Sync Contest Fundraiser on Saturday, January 25th at the Carson Community Center!
Trust me when I say that you can’t lose with a great time! The gift of time spent doing something you love or something fun is the best gift in this day and age! And Pott. County can provide it all, just for you!
It is a marathon weekend of events in Pott. Co. this weekend! If you’re looking to take advantage of the beautiful weather, no worries, we’ve got a multitude of things for you to do!
It should be perfect for the Winter Wonderland Night Hike at Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek! It starts at 6pm Friday night and they couldn’t have picked a better night to have it! It is booked full as of now, so hopefully, you already got your tickets to see the stars and feel that sense of Christmastime peace!
If you happen to be headed to the Underwood vs. AHSTW basketball game instead on Friday night, be sure to go hungry and participate in the Taco/Nacho Bar Fundraiser for the Underwood Dollars for Scholars. Chip in for a good cause and get some yummy tacos, too!
Saturday will be a big day in Shelby! It’s their annual Christmas celebration and they have plenty for you to do! It all starts with the Countdown to Christmas Craft and Vendor Fair from 9am to 3pm at Cardinal Lofts. They always have a lot of awesome stuff! Then the rest of the day is spent on “Light up the Holidays!” My personal fave is the judging of the Parade of Trees! Last year, they had some very imaginative entries! I can’t wait to see what they have this year!
The festivities run from 11am to 3pm with Santa arriving at 2. There will be a soup luncheon with desserts at the Shelby Fire Hall. There will also be make-and-take crafts, wagon rides, cookie decorating, and face-painting! So many great options for kids! Plus, add in the great weather and it’s a total score!
Also, on Saturday, the Crescent Roadhouse Bar and Grill will be hosting a Craft, Bake, and Stuff Fair! Another opportunity to shop from small vendors and get that Christmas shopping taken care of with unique gifts! It will take place from 11am to 3pm, as well.
If you can’t catch Santa at 2 in Shelby, you can see him at The Buck Snort in Oakland at 4! He sure will be making the rounds this weekend in Pott. Co! They’re also running their annual toy drive with Keast Auto Body if you’d like to drop off a gift for a local child in need!
One of my favorite treats of the holiday season happens at Impact Hill this Saturday in Oakland. They put on a Parents Night Out event! You pay $15 and they basically put on a party for your kids while you get your shopping and wrapping done or take that much needed nap! It runs from 3pm to 8pm. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Need something fun while the kids are gone, go hit the Treynor American Legion for bingo starting at 6:30! Who doesn’t like a good night of bingo?
Or get in on the American Heroes Night honoring Veterans and First Responders at The Palace Event Center. What a special gift!
Sunday brings the lighting contest in Underwood (see the flyer on our website) and 3, yes, 3 opportunities to see Santa! You can breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus in Walnut from 8 to 1 at the Walnut Community Center. How cool is it that you can have pancakes with Santa?
If you’d rather just do a meet-and-greet with the jolly old elf, head to the Hancock City Hall to talk with him starting at 10:30am (see the flyer on our website)!
Or you can catch him in McClelland at 2pm at the McClelland City Hall!
If you’re thinking Santa’s helpers need to do a little Christmas shopping instead on Sunday, make your way to the 4th Annual Holiday Fair in Neola at the NACC from 9am to 2pm.
Another option is to watch the 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Competition at the East Pott. Extension building in Oakland from 1:30 to 3 on Sunday. They had some pretty cool ones last year!
If you’d rather hear a little singing, you need to check out the Christmas Cantata being performed at the United Methodist Church in Macedonia. A community choir of AMAZING singers get together every year to put on a concert you won’t want to miss. (See the flyer on our website.)
But there will also be singing involved at the Hometown Christmas in Shelby starting at 4pm.
I truly don’t think there’s any way you can’t find something to do this weekend in Pottawattamie! I’m exhausted just listing all of it! Whatever you want, we’ve got it!
And, as always, a simple reminder that every person that walks through that door validates the efforts by so many volunteers that make our county a great one! #SupportLocal #PottCounty #SeeIowa
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.