5 Things

The holiday season is ramping up, and this weekend’s activities reflect that. But there’s ample opportunity to support local nonprofits as you celebrate the holidays. And, one of Ottumwa’s tastiest events returns to Bridge View Center.

1. There’s only one place to be for all things bacon: BaconTown! Head over to Bridge View Center from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, where local restaurants will be serving bacon-inspired menus. The event will also have live music and activities for kids, and admission is free. Club Sizzle, with additional entertainment, will be open to those ages 21 and over from 6-8 p.m.

2. Wander through an Enchanted Forest with the Wapello County Expo Board this weekend. The main event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Expo grounds, 13011 120th Ave., with free admission. Wander through the displays of decorated Christmas trees donated by local businesses, organizations and individuals that will be available for purchase throughout the event. Items will be released for pickup from 2-4 p.m. Saturday. The days activities also include a visit and pictures with Santa, a cookie walk, crafts, a vendor fair, carriage rids, Christmas stories, paint and canvas events and more. Those wanting a sneak peak at the items can head out to the grounds from 6-8 p.m. Friday for a $5 fee. For more information, call 641-682-5491.

If you can’t get enough of Christmas Trees, head over to Prairie Hills at Ottumwa Assisted Living Community for the Festival of Trees. The silent auction of decorated trees, wreaths and garlands runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Hot cocoa will be available while browsing, and the Village Shoppe will offer unique gift shopping. Proceeds from this event benefit Habitat for Humanity. For more information, visit the Festival of Trees Fundraiser event page on Facebook.

3. Two organizations will be holding auctions this weekend.

Victory Ranch, which helps children find hope and encouragement during difficult life circumstances with assistance from its horses, will host a silent auction fundraiser from 5-9 p.m. Friday at the Ottumwa Elks Lodge. Items include holiday gifts, home decor, children’s gifts, merchant gift certificates and more. Proceeds will benefit those in the Ottumwa area that depend on the ranch’s services. For more information, contact Victory Ranch at 641-799-8347.

Saturday evening, head over to Ottumwa Christian School for the annual basket auction. The event runs from 5-8 p.m. and is one of the school’s largest fundraisers of the year. All proceeds go toward the general operating fund and elementary playground. For more information, contact Tracey Menninga at 641-683-9119 or ocsofficemanager@gmail.com.

4. More than a dozen children will be joining “forever families” Saturday in Wapello County. In celebration of November being National Adoption Month, a local National Adoption Day is being held at 9 a.m. in the Wapello County Courthouse. During this ceremony, 17 children will be adopted into 11 families. The public is invited to attend the event and share the family stories.

5. Heartland Humane Society invites your four-legged family members to visit with Santa Claus From noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Earl May Garden Center. Children can join in on the photo, which will be ready to use on Christmas cards. A 5-inch by 7-inch color photo by Lee’s Photography runs $10 with a digital copy available for $15, and the event is a fundraiser for the animal shelter. For more information, call HHS at 641-682-1228 or Earl May.

— Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at tgoldizen@ottumwacourier.com or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.

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Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's features and magazine editor, leading production of the award-winning "Ottumwa Life" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.

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