BY LAURA CARRELL Courier staff writer
The Ottumwa Daily Courier
---- — OTTUMWA — The trivia night circuit is huge all around the country, and it’s now right here in southeast Iowa.
Only eight tables remain open for the American Gothic Performing Arts Festival’s inaugural Trivia Night this Saturday at the Ottumwa Country Club. Organizers say the event serves two purposes: It will be a fun evening of trivia, and all the proceeds will go to the upcoming summer festival.
Dennis Willhoit, president of AGPAF, says that trivia nights are an up-and-coming event all in many communities.
“Trivia nights are just coming over the horizon. There’s a whole trivia circuit around the country,” Willhoit explained. “It’s becoming wildly popular. I attended one and had such a good time.”
So while planning the schedule of events for the summer festival, a trivia night fundraiser seemed like the perfect fit.
“We’re encouraging lots of healthy competition. That really makes it fun,” Willhoit said. “They’ve been exercising their bodies, and now it’s time to exercise their minds in a recreational way.”
Teams of 10 people will compete in 10 rounds of 10 questions. The plan, Willhoit said, is to have 200 people competing.
Tickets for the trivia night event are $30 for single tickets and $250 for a table or team of 10 registering together.
The event ticket will include complimentary beer, wine and hor d’oeurves from 6-9 p.m. The competition will begin at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a dance at 9 p.m. featuring the local band SEZ WHO.
As part of the fundraising effort, mulligans can be purchased at the door for $2 each. These mulligans can be used once per round for those especially tricky questions.
Prizes will be awarded to the top-scoring teams and include gift cards and silent auction items donated by many local businesses.
“We just want it to be an evening of healthy, competitive fun. We want them to walk away with a big smile on their face because they had a great time,” Willhoit said.
For registration information, visit www.americangothicfest.org or call 641-680-1409.
All proceeds from Trivia Night will go toward the AGPAF summer festival. The three summer shows scheduled for June and July are Smoke on the Mountain, Peter Pan and Go, Dog, Go! Willhoit says Smoke on the Mountain will begin rehearsals within the week, and auditions for the other two shows will be held this weekend.
This summer’s festival will coordinate with many groups to supply activities for the events. Willhoit says that includes some special things for the fourth of July, bluegrass music and former students who now have indie bands.
One of the important parts of the festival is its educational component, Willhoit said. Included are a three-day high school camp at Indian Hills Community College and continuing education and recertification for teachers.