5 Things

It’s Oktoberfest weekend in Ottumwa. That means a whole slew of activities are on the docket.

1. Oktoberfest events continue through Saturday. The Oktoberfest tent opens at 11 a.m. Friday and Saturday, serving brats and brew until midnight. Bands will perform both nights as well. The annual Kiddie Parade will march down Church Street at 6 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, the Oktoberfest Parade winds its way through downtown Ottumwa with a different route due to road work. Saturday also features the Vintage Cruiser Car Show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the high school drum line competition at 1 p.m., which will be followed by band awards. For more information and a complete schedule, visit the Ottumwa Oktoberfest Facebook page.

2. Celebrate Ottumwa’s place in video gaming history with Galaxies of Gaming, which runs Friday through Sunday. The three days of video games include Hall of Fame inductions, panels, autograph sessions and more. The new “Where’s Walter” scavenger hunt takes visitors through numerous downtown businesses to find all the Walter Day cutouts. Events, aside from the scavenger hunt, take place at Old School Arcade in Quincy Place Mall. For more information or a complete schedule of events, visit www.greaterottumwacvb.org.

3. There will be no shortage of musical entertainment this weekend. On Friday, the Ottumwa Civic Music Association kicks off its 90th season with “Take Me Home: The Music of John Denver” at 7:30 p.m. at Bridge View Center. The show stars Jim Curry, who has embraced his likeness of the singer/songwriter. Season tickets will be available for purchase, and a reception will be held in conjunction with the show. OCMA members have also prepared special displays celebrating OCMA’s history. Admission is by membership or single ticket, and all students are admitted free.

Then, on Saturday, the Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 33rd season with “TAPAS” at 6:15 p.m. at St. John Auditorium on the Indian Hills Community College campus. The performance will feature a number of smaller works that encompass a mini travelogue. The evening kicks off with a glass of wine, a Tapas menu and an art exhibit int the IHCC formal lounge and art gallery. Admission is by season ticket for single ticket at the door; students are free. Cost for the dinner and art show is separate. To make a reservation, call 641-777-1691.

4. A celebration to mark the sixth anniversary of Ottumwa’s mountain bike trail is set for Saturday. The day will begin with a noon cleanup of the trail; the city is seeking volunteers to assist with the effort. Residents will meet at the Merrill log cabin in Memorial Park and are encouraged to bring their own tools, such as weed eaters, loppers, saws, gloves and boots. At 2:30 p.m., a trail ride will begin in celebration of the anniversary. For more information, contact Parks Director Gene Rathje at 641-682-8208 or organizer Jim Langland at 641-777-3212.

5. Join a community of 85,000 individuals at nearly 100 kidney walks Sunday at the Southeast Iowa Kidney Walk 2019. The event runs from 2-4 p.m. at Indian Hills Community College. The event brings patients, families and at-risk people together with these walking to help improve and extend people’s lives. The walks across the country raise funds for the National Kidney Foundation and help expand the public conversation on kidney disease and health. For more information or to register, visit the Southeast Iowa Kidney Walk Facebook page.

— 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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