Step into May with a variety of activities. Take a bike ride, paint a classic landmark or attend a show or two — or even three. Here’s a rundown of some of the weekend’s highlights.
1. Paint your own version of the famous Gothic House window with Brews and Brushes Friday night. The painting fundraiser hosted by the American Gothic House Center runs from 6-9 p.m. in the ballroom of Hotel Ottumwa. Local artist Chris Abigt will lead participants through the step-by-step process of painting a vase of flowers displayed in front of the window. Doors open at 5 p.m., and food and drinks will be available for purchase. Tickets for the event can be purchased at Hotel Ottumwa, M&J Art and Frame Gallery or the American Gothic House Center. For more information, contact the AGHC at 641-652-3352 or visit americangothichouse.org.
2. Return to the days of highballs, hi-jinks and happy hour with the Rat Pack. Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show comes to the Sondheim Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday and is a celebration of 50 years of the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Dean Martin, with the look of Vegas and the feel of Broadway. The theatrical production includes new arrangements of classic songs, including “For Once in My Life,” “My Way” and “Mack the Knife,” as well as original songs and recorded voiceovers by the lat Buddy Hackett. Tickets are available by zone seating and can be purchased at Fairfield Arts and Convention Center Ticket Office, 641-472-2787 and www.FairfieldACC.com.
3. Enjoy “Springtime in Paris” — right here in Ottumwa with the Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra. The concert is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Bridge View Center. Under the direction of Dr. William LaRue Jones, the symphony will perform “Ballet Parisien” by Offenbach, “Carmen Suite No. 1” by Bizet, “Pavanne for a Dead Princess” by Riavel and “An American in Paris” by Gerswhin to begin the evening. The concert will also feature Elise Snyder, winner of this year’s Young Artist Competition, who will play Viotti’s “Concerto No. 23 for Violin.” Following intermission, guest artist Lorraine Min, critically acclaimed pianist, will perform Saint-Saens’ “Piano Concerto No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 44” while accompanied by OSO. Admission to the concert is by season ticket, by coupon for those who attended 25 Men Who Can Cook, or paid at the door. K-12 students and Indian Hills Community College students are admitted free with student ID.
4. Ride with the Clowns, a fundraiser for the Ottumwa Shrine Clown Unit, will begin with registration and departure from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Owls Nest, 116 S. Court St., Saturday. The route will take bikers across Market Street Bridge and follow the bike path to Quincy Avenue. Participants will then follow Blackhawk Road to Rock Bluff Road, then take Power Plant Road to Wapello-Monroe County Line Road. They will then head south to mark the halfway point in Blakesburg. There riders will have lunch and then follow Bluegrass Road back to Ottumwa, following West Finley Avenue to Madison Avenue. There, participants will again follow the bike path across the Wabash Railroad Bridge and return to the Owls Nest to complete the ride. The entire route is 41 miles with a 34-mile alternative route available. Both routes will be supported by the shag truck. As part of the registration fee, riders will receive a drink ticket for the Owls Nest as well as a T-shirt. Raffle prizes will also be awarded. Proceeds will benefit the Shriners Hospital Special Bikes for Special Kids program. For more information, contact Mark at 641-226-8008 or Dan at 641-208-1407.
5. Jordan Feliz, a contemporary Christian musician, makes his return to Bridge View Center Sunday night as part of his “The Changed Tour featuring the Young Escape.” He first performed in Ottumwa as an opener for Michael W. Smith in 2017. Feliz has also toured with King & Country, TobyMac and Matthew West. The performance is set for 7 p.m.; tickets are one sale now and can be purchased at the BVC ticket office or Ticketmaster.com.
Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at email@example.com or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.