5 Things

This weekend is full of community festivals and gatherings. Explore what southeast Iowa has to offer at one or more of these events.

1. Head over to Eldon Saturday for a day of food, fun and music. The 13th annual G.A.T.E. Rib Cookoff and Apple Pie Contest will be held at the Wapello County Fairgrounds. Teams may register for the rib cookoff the day of the event. A cooks’ meeting will be held at 10 a.m., and participants must cook six pork ribs to turn in for judging. An optional appetizer round will be part of the contest this year. A traveling trophy will be awarded to the champion, and cash prizes will go to the top three teams. To preregister or for more information, call Sean at 641-455-1574. For the apple pie contest, contestants must provide one apple pie for judging and another pie of any flavor to be donated to the pie auction. Prizes will be awarded to the top three apple pies. Pie turn-in time is 2 p.m., and contestants may register the day of. To preregister, for more information or to donate a pie to the auction without competing, call Lisa at 641-777-1935. To round out the competitions, a bag toss tournament will begin with team registration and bracket assignment at 10 a.m. Bags and boards will be provided, and 50 percent of entry fees collected will be paid back to the top-placing teams. Remaining proceeds will benefit G.A.T.E. to preregister or for more information on the tournament, call Cody at 641-799-1170.

2. Breastfeeding advocates will gather Saturday for the sixth annual Breastfeeding Awareness Event. This year’s theme, “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding,” focuses on protecting the rights of a breastfeeding mother. The event promotes breastfeeding as a social norm while highlighting breastfeeding friendly and supportive services in southeast Iowa. There will be door prizes, informational booths, a cute baby contest and a photography booth. The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to noon at Market on Main, is free. For more information, visit the Nursing Mothers Support Group on Facebook or call Angie Mach at 641-682-7741 ext. 168.

3. Head over to Cantril this weekend for a full slate of activities at Cantril Dayz. The Taste of Cantril supper at 5 p.m. Friday kicks off the event. The menu includes grilled chicken, salads and desserts for a freewill offering. After the dinner, local riders will battle in donkey basketball at 6:30 p.m. with a coed softball tournament following. On Saturday, the softball tournament resumes at 8 a.m. The festival continues with bounce houses and kids’ activities at noon, and Robinson Chainsaw Carving Company will run from noon to 5 p.m. The day closes out with a parade at 6 p.m. and fireworks at dusk. For more information, call 641-777-1184 or 641-288-1075.

4. Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane with “Remembering Red: A Tribute to Red Skelton” at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Sondheim Center. Las Vegas entertainer Brian Hoffman performs the jokes and routines that made Skelton famous, including appearances of country bumpkin Clem Kadiddlhopper, seagull Gertrud and Heathcliffe and hobo Freddy the Freeloader. “Guzzlers Gin,” pantomimes and the Pledge of Allegiance round out the tribute. Tickets for the family-friendly show are available by zone seating and can be purchased at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center Ticket Office, 641-472-2787 or online at www.FairfieldACC.com.

5. Join the Mighty Men of Ottumwa for their annual Joint Church Picnic Saturday. The gathering starts at noon with lunch at 1 p.m. at the Jimmy Jones Shelter. All are welcome. For more information, call Pastor Rick at 641-680-9850.

— 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.