5 Things to Do

It’s a weekend of festivals and family entertainment this weekend, highlighted by hot air balloons. A special museum exhibit is visiting Ottumwa, and a look back at Iowa’s unique take on girls basketball is on the slate as well.

1. Vivid colors and patterns will fill the air around Ottumwa as the Ottumwa Pro Balloon Races take lift off. A media flight is set for 6 a.m. Friday with a fun flight at 6 p.m. Friday. Competition flights will be 6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and 6 p.m. Saturday. Popular night glows return at dusk Friday and Saturday, and a carnival will be running 6-10 p.m. Friday and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday. Other events planned in conjunction with the festival include bike night, bands, vendors, Honoring Iowa’s Fallen chainsaw carving, chili cookoff, kids’ activities, Kiwanis pancake breakfast, car show and the United Way 5K glow run. For a full schedule of events, visit the Ottumwa Pro Balloon Races Facebook page.

2. Head over to the Wapello County Historical Society for a special exhibit. The museum is hosting the World War I Honor Roll exhibit through July 30 in recognition of the centennial anniversary of the war. I features thousands of names and corresponding photos collected from Iowa families who lost love ones in the war. Museum hours are noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and all veterans receive free admission to the exhibit.

3. The legacy of Iowa’s six-on-six girls basketball is the subject of a Sunday program from the Blakesburg Historical Preservation Society. The program, titled "6 on 6 Girls Basketball in Iowa: Traditions, Transitions and Legacies,” will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at Blakesburg Elementary School’s gymnasium. While many states moved away from the six-on-six format in the 1970s, Iowa only ended it in 1993. Jennifer Sterling’s program will trace the history of Iowa’s unique approach to girls’ basketball and how it related to the development of women’s sports nationally. It will also include film from some of the Blakesburg Wildcatettes’ tournament play and memorabilia from the program.

4. The Greater Jefferson County Fair continues this weekend in Fairfield. Friday features 4-H, FFA and open class exhibits, the swine show, petting zoo, commercial exhibits, kick balloons tournament, pony rides, poultry show, kids’ activities, livestock judging, truck and tractor pull and more. Exhibits and the petting zoo continue Saturday and are joined by the beef show, bottle-bucket calf show, chicken throwing contest, watermelon seed spitting contest, rabbit show, insect zoo and quad races. Sunday wraps up the weekend with church services, a Dutch oven display, horse show, beef show, pet show, 4-H style show, demo derby, more exhibits and fireworks. A complete schedule of events can be found at www.jeffersoncofair.com.

5. The Moravia Fireman’s Bash runs all day Saturday with a variety of events. Things kick off with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. and a car and bike show at 8 a.m. A 9 a.m., color run/walk 5K and one mile takes off. The Junior Firefighter Challenge runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. At 10 a.m., the scavenger hunt and Bill Riley talent show begin, followed by a three-on-three basketball tournament at 11 a.m. Additional activities include at cake walk at 11 a.m., and hot dog eating contest at noon, water fights at 1 p.m., Bingo, 50/50 raffle and bags tournament at 3 p.m. Cayleigh Whitlow performs at 4:30 p.m., with Nashville singer/songwriter Allie Colleen taking the stage at 5 p.m. Fireworks will close the event at dusk. Concert ticket information and reservations are through the Moravia Fire & Rescue, or pay via Venmo- @MoraviaFire-AndRescue. For a full schedule, visit the Moravia Fireman’s Bash featuring Allie Colleen event page on Facebook.

Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at tgoldizen@ottumwacourier.com or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.


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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