5 Things

Events may signal that summer break is winding down, but there’s still plenty to enjoy this weekend, many of them outdoors. Take in the Iowa scenery on two wheels, visit a historic landmark or even head up to one of Iowa’s most famous events in support of local participants. There’s plenty to choose from.

1. The Ottumwa Public Library is celebrating the end of summer reading with a couple of different events. The Children’s End of Summer Reading Carnival is set for 2-4 p.m. Friday in Central Park, just outside the OPL. The event, weather permitting, will include games, crafts and outdoor fun and is open to all kids and families. The Teen End of Summer Reading Party runs from 3-4 p.m. Saturday the library and will feature a mystery game, pizza and the announcement of the grand prize winner of the summer program. It is open to all teens. For more information, contact Sonja Ferrell at 641-682-7563 or sferrell@ottumwapubliclibrary.org.

2. Enjoy a day full of beautiful southeast Iowa scenery while supporting area fire departments on the Tour de Fire, hosted by the Ottumwa Fire Department, Saturday. The fun bicycle ride, now in its second year, has a 32-mile and 67-mile rout option. Both stop by local fire departments, which will provide drinks, food, entertainment and games so participants can relax between stops. The ride begins and ends at Bridge View Center with an after party at Morgan’s Corner kicking off at 5 p.m. Registration can be made the day of for $60 (event begins at 9 a.m.), and preregistration is available online at www.getmeregistered.com/tourdefire. All proceeds will be split between participating fire departments. For more information, contact Derek Fee at 641-799-7227 or tourdefire@hotmail.com

3. Get a view of the American Gothic House many people don’t get to see — from the inside. The center continues its monthly summer tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. While there, you can also explore the museum, check out the souvenirs and have your picture taken at the new selfie station. For more information, email theamericangothichouse@gmail.com.

4. Head over to the Quincy Place Mall for the Evans United Shows Huge Carnival. Armband sessions run 6-11 p.m. Friday, 1-5 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. Saturday, with Sunday being the final day, 1-5 p.m. Ride coupons are can be purchased at all times with several packages available; all rides take three or more coupons. For more information, visit the Quincy Place Mall Facebook Page.

5. For those of you with a bit more wanderlust, head up to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines and support local exhibitors. The grounds are open from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. while the buildings are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. In addition, you can hit up traditions such as viewing the butter cow, enjoying a variety of unique foods, exploring the Midway or taking in a concert. For more information, visit www.iowastatefair.org.

— 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.