1. Head over to Eldon as the Wapello County Fair continues through Sunday. Highlights for Friday include the Bill Riley Talent Search at 11 a.m. and the Grandstand Country Concert in the evening, which will open with a battle of the bands followed by headliner Craig Morgan. There will also be two performances by the Pirates of the Columbian Caribbean, and aerial high wire thrill show, at 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. The Midway will be open from 3-10 p.m. with a wristband session from 6-8 p.m.
Saturday is Kids’ Day. The day kicks off with a fishing contest at 9 a.m. and includes the open market lamb show and open horse show. There will be a kids’ pedal pull, golf cart races and a baby contest. Several other kids’ event and games are planned for the day as well with the Midway open from noon to 10 p.m.; wristband sessions will run from noon to 3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Car races in the grandstand kick off at 6:30 p.m., and the high wire thrill show returns for more performances.
Sunday features the FFA and open beef show, the Iowa Swine Jackpot Series Show and a mule show. It’s also car show day, and Mud Bog will be at the grandstand in the afternoon. A free canvas painting will be done a 1 p.m. for those ages 5-16, and the Pirates of the Columbian Caribbean will hold additional performances. ATV barrel and drag races will kick off at 6 p.m., and Midway hours are noon to 8 p.m. with a wristband session of 2-4 p.m.
For more information or complete fair schedule, visit www.wapellocountyfair.com.
2. Kick off summer reading with Dizzy the Clown Friday. The Ottumwa Public Library will host the show at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Hub Coffee as part of its Summer Reading Program. The show is open to all kids and families, and due to the show, the library will not be holding Preschool Story Time. For more information, call 641-682-7563 or email email@example.com.
3. The International Chili Society and Iowa Youth 4-H Development are teaming up for a series of your chili cookoffs, which kicks off in Ottumwa Saturday. The pop-up cookoff event begins with check-in at 7:30 a.m. with the event running 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Quincy Place Mall. Youth ages 10-17 will prepare and cook their chili with adult supervision in a variety of categories: traditional red chili (no beans), homestyle chili (with beans), chili verde (made with green spices), and veggie chili (made without meat). To register, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/4h/chili-cook-offs. A registration fee is due to the local extension office but is waived for enrolled 4-H members.
4. American Gothic Performing Arts Festival will be hosting an open house of its new space at 529 E. Main St. The event at the Temple of Creative Arts, formerly the B’nai Jacob Synagogue, will now be utilized as the festival’s office space as well as an event and performance venue. The public is invited to tour the facility and hear about plans for the spaces development from 7-8 p.m. Saturday, June 14.
Note: This date is a correction from a previous version of the story.
5. A celebration of hymns is set for Saturday in Pella. The Heartland Gospel Sing will beign at 6 p.m. at the First Reformed Church, 603 Broadway St. The nondenominational event, designed for the whole area, will be led by Tom Brown and a mass community choir, which will be accompanied by Barb Nunnikhoven. All are invited to the celebration.
Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.