5 Things to Do

This weekend is full of festivals and outdoor activities. There’s plenty available for music lovers and families alike. Take a look:

1. It’s time to kick off the American Gothic Performing Arts Festival with an 8 p.m. performance of “The Tender Land” Friday. This coming-of-age opera is “very accessible” with an “American” sound, said Dennis Willhoit, executive artistic director of the organization. The cast features student singers from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, Drake University faculty mezzo soprano Ann Cravero and local singers from the region. Willhoit has been working with Susan Bender, a Keokuk County native and current professor of music at UWSP, on the production, which is set in Iowa just after World War II. The performance will be held at the Temple of Creative Arts, formerly B’nai Jacob Synagogue, at 529 E. Main St. A freewill offering will be collected, and an ice cream and pie social will be held during intermission, and Cedar Valley Winery will be on hand prior to the show for a wine tasting.

2. Take a nice nighttime run along Ottumwa’s levies. Wilson Elementary is hosting a 5K glow run/walk Friday evening as a fundraiser for fourth- and fifth-grade camps. Registration begins at 7 p.m. at Sycamore Park (next to The Beach Ottumwa) with the run taking off at 8 p.m. Registration fee includes glow materials. For more information, call 641-684-5441.

3. The 49th annual American Gothic Days celebration runs Friday through Sunday. A street dance is set for Friday night. However, things really get rolling Saturday with the American Gothic House 5K run/walk, a used book sale at the Eldon Public Library and parade at 10 a.m. Sunday features mud volleyball in KD Park and a performance by The Chikcadees at the McHaffey Opera House.

4. The 2019 season of Central Park Cinema kicks off Saturday evening with “Hotel Transylvania.” The family-friendly movie screening begins at dusk in Central Park with kids activities available before the movie. Concessions will also be available for purchase.

5. Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra will present its annual Music on the Green concert at 7 p.m. Sunday. The free outdoor concert on the Marge Dodd Stage at Indian Hills Community College offers a unique opportunity for music patrons. Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs, a picnic and friends to enjoy the music. Food trucks will be on site at 6 p.m. for those wishing to purchase a meal or snacks. For more information, email theottumwasymphonyorchestra@gmail.com

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.