By LAURA CARRELL
Courier staff writer
---- — OTTUMWA — Stay close to home or hit the road for the neighboring communities this weekend. Several area towns and villages are holding special, once-a-year events, so plan your schedule accordingly.
1. The annual American Gothic Days celebration begins Friday evening with Supper in the Park at 5 p.m. in Eldon City Park. Saturday’s activities include a 5K Run/Walk, parade, BBQ chicken dinner and cardboard boat races. Sunday visitors can enjoy a breakfast at the firehouse, a bike ride and several tournaments, including bocce ball, horseshoes and mud volleyball. For more information, call 641-680-2634 or visit www.AmericanGothicHouse.net.
2. The second season of the American Gothic Performing Arts Festival kicks off with the musical, "Pump Boys & Dinettes" Friday evening. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at McHaffey Opera House. The show tells the story of the "pump boys" selling high octane on Highway 57 in Grand Ole Opry country and the "dinettes," Prudie and Rhetta Cupp, running the Double Cupp diner next door. It is heartbreak and hilarity set to music. For more information, call 641-777-9636 or visit www.AmericanGothicFest.org.
3. The Ottumwa Police Department will hold its auction of seized and forfeited property at 10 a.m. Saturday at Bridge View Center. This auction will include cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, furniture, numerous televisions, X-Box's, PlayStation, power tools, hand tools and farm machinery, including a John Deere tractor and brush cutters. Admission is free, and the doors will open at 9 a.m. to start browsing. For more information, call 641-683-0668 or visit www.CityOfOttumwa.org.
4. Join in the high-flying fun at the 2014 Fly Van Buren fly-in in Keosauqua Saturday. The all-you-can-eat breakfast, served by the Keosauqua Lions Club, will be held from 7-10 a.m. at the Keosauqua, Iowa Municipal Airport. Airplane rides will be available for purchase, and the Ottumwa Radio-Control Flyers will be demonstrating their flying skills with remote-control airplanes, which are approximately a ¼ scale of the full-size aircraft. Indian Hills' Aviation Department will be on site with an Allison 250 Turbo Shaft Jet Engine demonstration. You will also be able to learn more about an exciting career in aviation. Bring the family and your lawn chairs, and remember that all activities are dependent upon the weather. For more information, call 800-868-7822 or 319-293-7111 or visit www.villagesofvanburen.com.
5. Main Street’s Art on the Square will be held in downtown Oskaloosa from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Enjoy art sales, participate in children’s activities and find food vendors, music and more. Inclement weather will move the show to Penn Central Mall. For more information, call 641-672-2591.
— Follow reporter Laura Carrell on Twitter @CourierLauraC