5 Things

Activities centered around Valentine’s Day start to fill the calendar this weekend, and bull riding action takes center stage at Bridge View Center. Here’s a look at what’s going on in and around Ottumwa this weekend.

1. It’s a weekend full of bucking action as the Bullriders of America 2019 Finals roll into Bridge View Center this weekend. Action gets under way at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and meet-and-greet sessions with the bull riders will be held after both nights of competition. Friday is family night, and Saturday’s event will feature a celebrity bull ride. Various ticket packages are available and can be found at www.bridgeviewcenter.com. A Cowboy Breakfast will precede the event from 7-9 a.m. Friday at the Bridge View Center. Breakfast tickets are $9 in advance or $10 at the door and $6 for children 12 and under. Dine with the cowboys, barrel man, funny man and even the bulls. Reservations for breakfast can be made by contacting Mary at 641-684-7000 or mary@bridgeviewcenter.com.

2. Take a “Dance Through the Decades” at the annual Chocolate Lovers Benefit Friday night. The annual fundraiser for American Home Finding Association runs from 7-11:30 p.m. at Hotel Ottumwa and features a silent auction, chocolate fountain, cash bar, free Photo Booth and a live performance by Sez Who. Come dressed in your favorite era from the 1950s to the 1980s.

3. Fairfield’s First Friday for February is a town wide open mic night. More than 20 performers, including singers, musicians and comedians, take the stage from 6:30-10 p.m. Friday at Phoenix Rising Hall, 207 W. Burlington Ave. Several other locations on and around the square will be open with activities, art and shopping. For more information, visit www.fairfieldfirstfridays.org.

4. A joint effort is bringing the story of women’s rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Ottumwa. Laura Keys, a member of the Association of Lincoln Presenters, will present the program at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Wapello County Historical Society and Museum Clubhouse as part of the celebration of the centennial of the 19th amendment. Stanton fought for equal rights for women for more than 50 years. This program, presented by the Ottumwa Public Library, the League of Women Voters of Ottumwa and the Wapello County Historical Society and Museum, centers on Stanton’s life in 1866, when the Civil War was over but the Women’s Suffrage battle was just beginning.

5. Having dinner with your sweetheart this weekend can benefit the Blakesburg Public Library. Friends of the BPL is hosting a Sweetheart Dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the cafeteria of Blakesburg Elementary School. The menu includes roast tenderloin, noodles, mashed potatoes, a choice of vegetable, salad, dessert bar and beverage for a freewill donation. All proceeds will go to the new library, with phase one beginning as soon as the weather allows.

— 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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