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Events Calendar

With concerts, conventions and festivals, Wapello County offers a variety of year round activities for all ages. Search by keyword or view all listings below. All events take place in Ottumwa unless noted otherwise. Have a special event you wish to feature on ExploreOttumwa.com? Or have more details to include on one already included? Click on the following: Submit an Event
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All Events

June 1 - October 18
Exhibit: American Gothic in Stitches: Quilts Inspired by the Famous Painting
American Gothic House Center
Exhibit open June 1-October 18 during regular Center hours. Exhibit opening Friday, June 5 4:30-6:30 pm. "American Gothic" has served as an inspiration for many artists, whether through a lighthearted, or more analytical interpretation. This exhibit will feature the works of skilled quilters from around the world who have created their own masterpieces influenced by this famous painting. Grant Wood's baby quilt will be on display for the duration of the exhibit opening with thanks to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Jacqueline Falco-Smith, Registrar of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, will be present during the opening to answer questions regarding the quilt. Exhibit sponsored by APQS and the Ottumwa Area Arts Council. For more information, contact Holly Berg at (641) 652-3352, or via e-mail at TheAmericanGothicHouse@gmail.com, or go to www.AmericanGothicHouse.net.
July 1 - October 18
American Gothic House Quilt/Fabric Art Challenge
American Gothic House Center
On display July 1-October 18 during regular Center hours; Entries due by June 26. In conjunction with the American Gothic in Stitches exhibit, the American Gothic House Center is hosting an American Gothic House quilt challenge. Rules and entry form can be found at www.AmericanGothicHouse.net, or picked up in person at the American Gothic House Center or at The Sewing House in Ottumwa. The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to The Sewing House in Ottumwa, Iowa. The peopleā€™s choice winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to the American Gothic House Center gift shop. Visitors will be able to place a vote for their favorite entry by donating $1 per vote. Donations support the American Gothic House Center Contest sponsored by the Ottumwa Area Arts Council and The Sewing House of Ottumwa, Iowa. For more information, contact Holly Berg at (641) 652-3352, or via e-mail at TheAmericanGothicHouse@gmail.com, or go to www.AmericanGothicHouse.net.
August 1
Adult Canoe Camp
TBD
Why should the kids have all the fun?! Join us for an adult canoe camp. Learn the basics of preparing for a canoe trip, how to transport your canoe safely, how to maneuver your canoe and much more. Pre-registration is required by July 24. Time: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Ages: Adult Cost: TBD For more information, contact Wapello County Conservation Board at (641) 682-3091, or via e-mail at wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to wapellocounty.org.
August 1
BBQ Rib Cook Off & Apple Pie Contest
Eldon IA
Two fun contests for you to enter: a bbq rib cook off and an apple pie contest. For more information, contact Stacey Doree at (641) 799-2371.
August 1
Color Me for Life
Greater Ottumwa Park
a 5K fun walk thru Ottumwa Park, registration starts at 8 with walk at 9... at 5 stations you will be "sprayed" with color. if you register by July 9th you will receive a free t-shirt. Prizes will be awarded to the top fundraisers with all proceeds going to benefit the Heartland Pregnancy Center. For more information, contact Becky Dalrmple at (641) 683-3030, or go to ottumwachoices.com.
August 4
Toddler Camp: Prairie
Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
Earlier this summer we learned about life in the forest. Now let's delve into the prairie. Surrounded by tall grass, flowers and more, we will see what animals and plants need to survive in this habitat. Pre-registration is required. Time: 10:00 am Ages: 3 and 4 with adult Cost: $5 per child For more information, contact Wapello County Conservation Board at (641) 682-3091, or via e-mail at wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to wapellocounty.org.
August 5
Live Music at Market on Main
Market on Main
From 5:30 - 6:30 on Wednesdays local singer-songwriters, pianists, and guitarists will perform in the Market on Main bar area. For more information, call (641) 682-0261, or go to www.marketonmain.org. For more information, call (641) 682-0261, or go to www.marketonmain.org.
August 7 - 8
Ole Time Country & Bluegrass
Wapello County Fairgrounds
Friday 4:00-10:00 PM and Saturday from 1:00-8:00 PM. For more information, call (641) 680-2634.
August 8
Tour the American Gothic House
American Gothic House Center, Eldon
The American Gothic House will be open for tours the second Saturday of the month from April to October from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Free admission. For more information, contact American Gothic House Center at (641) 652-3352, or via e-mail at TheAmericanGothicHouse@gmail.com, or go to www.AmericanGothicHouse.net.
August 8
BaconTown!
BridgeView Center
Join over 2,500 of your closest friends, plus over 40 vendors, hot bands and great brew for the 2nd annual KIIC Bacontown! event August 8th. There is no charge for admission-samples of bacon items and brews are just $1 each. In 2014, there were over 60 Bacon items, plus brews from Iowa breweries. Event is scheduled to run from 2:00-11:00 PM. For more information, contact Joe Milledge at (641) 932-2112, or via e-mail at joe@kiicradio.com, or go to www.kiicradio.com.
August 8
Central Park Cinema
Central Park
Free movies and kid's activities in downtown Ottumwa starting at 8:30 PM! Showing on August 8 is Annie sponsored by HyNoon Kiwanis & Morning Kiwanis. For more information, contact Main Street Ottumwa at (641) 799-3464, or go to www.mainstreetottumwa.com.
August 11
Plant Camp
Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
What do plants need to grow? How do they get all the necessary ingredients to produce, fruit, leaves, seeds, etc? We will compare/contrast the varied plants of Pioneer Ridge in search of the secrets of plant life. And we will have some fun with plant colors/dyes. Pre-registration is required. Time: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm Ages: 5 to 10 years Cost: $15 per child For more information, contact Wapello County Conservation Board at (641) 682-3091, or via e-mail at wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to wapellocounty.org.
August 13
Garden Bites
Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
The third session of Garden bites is here! Make sure to contact the ISU Extension office at 641-682-5491 to get your family signed up for this event. Pre-registration is required. Time: 5:30 to 8:30 pm Ages: Family Cost: FREE For more information, contact Wapello County Conservation Board at (641) 682-3091, or via e-mail at wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to wapellocounty.org.
August 13
Youth Canoe Camp
Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
Spend a summer morning or afternoon learning proper canoe technique and safety. We will learn how to properly prepare for time on the water, how to maneuver the canoe, and how to rescue others. Once you have honed your canoe technique, we will use games to test your new skills. At the end of the day, you will be prepared to safely head out on the water with family and friends. Time: 9:00 to 12:00 (noon) and 1:00 to 4:00 pm Ages: 10 to 15 years Cost: $10 per child For more information, contact Wapello County Conservation Board at (641) 682-3091, or via e-mail at wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to wapellocounty.org.
August 15 - September 30
Artist in Residence
Market on Main
Artist in Residence at Market on Main from August 15-September 30. The Artist in Residence program is sponsored by the Ottumwa Area Arts Council. For more information, contact Ottumwa Area Arts Council at theamericangothichouse@gmail.com, or go to www.marketonmain.org.
August 15
National Day of Flying
Ottumwa Airport, RC Flying Site
3rd National Day of Flying to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The Ottumwa RC Flyers will be sponsoring a local event at their flying field just south of the Ottumwa airport. It will be held from 9 am-9 pm. A "buddy box" RC flying lesson will be offered along with a chance to win a radio controlled airplane. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Pilot registration is $20 which includes the Saturday evening meal. For more information, contact Joel Wilson, Charles Paulk at (641) 799-4920, or via e-mail at wilsonconstuction326@gmail.com, or go to RCHAWK.com.
August 15
Fall Canoe Float
Des Moines River
The Wapello and Mahaska CCB's will be joining up again this fall for a fall canoe float on the Des Moines River. Look for location as August nears. Pre-registration is required. Free event and open to all ages! For more information, contact Wapello County Conservation Board at (641) 682-3091, or via e-mail at wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to wapellocounty.org.
August 16 - 16
Dedication of Bronze Plaque
226 East Main Street, Ottumwa
Commemorating Ottumwa's unique history as the "Birthplace of Organized, Competitive e-Sports" For more information, contact Walter Day at (641) 472-1949, or via e-mail at walterday@yahoo.com, or go to twingalaxies.com.
August 20
3rd Thursday: Cruzin Main Street
200 Block of Main Street in Downtown Ottumwa
Main Street Ottumwa will be holding another 3rd Thursday Street Party! This will be a cruise in, so if you have a great car that you would like to show off, cruise into Main Street and park it for all to see. Everyone is welcome. Food vendors, and beer will be available for purchase. Live music, and stores open late for you to shop. This event starts 6pm-9pm. Downtown Ottumwa is a great place to be this summer! For more information, contact Fred Zesiger at (641) 799-3464, or via e-mail at director@mainstreetottumwa.com, or go to www.mainstreetottumwa.com.
August 22
Central Park Cinema
Central Park
Free movies and kid's activities in downtown Ottumwa starting at 8:30 PM! Showing on August 22 is The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 sponsored by Financial Partners & Elliott Oil Company. For more information, contact Main Street Ottumwa at (641) 799-3464, or go to www.mainstreetottumwa.com.
August 24 - 25
Passport to Direct Care- Iowa CareGivers Annual DCW Conference
Prairie Meadows, Altoona, Iowa 50009
The Iowa CareGivers annual conference is designed especially for those who work in the field of direct care (nurse aides, home care aides, medication aides, hospice aides, direct support professionals, and also family caregivers). It provides two full days of high quality educational and motivational programs, recognition, resources, networking, and fun. It also provides caregivers a break from their extremely demanding caregiving roles and a time to rejuvenate. Health and oral care screenings are also provided. Times: August 24th- 6:30 am to 5:00 pm August 25th- 6:30 am to 4:00 pm REGISTER ONLINE: http://iowacaregivers.org/education/conference.php Fees: $75 for both days or $50 for one day For more information, contact Pam Biklen at (515) 223-2805, or via e-mail at pam.biklen@iowacaregivers.org, or go to iowacaregivers.org.
August 28 - 30
OCCP presents Flat Stanley Jr.
Bridge View
Stanley has always found life too boring and wishes to travel the world. Well, be careful what you wish for. One night a bulletin board falls on Stanley and flattens him. Once flat, however he is able to travel the world! Join Stanley on his musical adventures around the globe. For more information, contact Becky Ingle at (641) 226-1523, or via e-mail at bckingle@aol.com.
August 28
Wine and Canvas
Hotel Ottumwa
Wine & Canvas is holding another painting class with cocktails in the Hotel Ottumwa grand ballroom. The painting will be a beautiful sunset landscape with tropical colors. There will be signature cocktails, the full wine list, beer, and excellent food available for purchase. Spend the evening with friends. Order a margarita pizza, have a few drinks, and enjoy an evening being creative! This event is 6pm-9pm but doors open early at 5pm. Make reservations soon as seats go fast. For more information, contact Sara Gerot at (641) 682-8051, or via e-mail at sales@hotelottumwa.com, or go to www.wineandcanvas.com.
September 12
Beth Moore Simulcast
Living Hope Bible Church, Eldon, IA
Tickets are $10 Doors open at 8:00 AM and the event is from 9:30 AM-4:30 PM. Breakfast and lunch will be offered for a freewill donation. We will have snacks in afternoon and door prizes along with a great afternoon of teaching and worship. For more information, contact Living Hope Bible Church at (641) 652-3420, or go to livinghopebc.com.
September 12
Tour the American Gothic House
American Gothic House Center, Eldon
The American Gothic House will be open for tours the second Saturday of the month from April to October from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Free admission. For more information, contact American Gothic House Center at (641) 652-3352, or via e-mail at TheAmericanGothicHouse@gmail.com, or go to www.AmericanGothicHouse.net.
September 13
Ottumwa Latino Festival
Market on Main
From 2:00pm - 7:00pm Market on Main will host a community celebration of Latino culture featuring live music, dance, artisans, pageantry and food. For more information, call (641) 682-0261, or go to www.marketonmain.org.
September 17
Southeast Iowa Nonprofit Summit
Bridge View Center
This day-long event features stimulating dialogue, presentations, learning and networking opportunities addressing a variety of critical nonprofit capacity building topics. Perfect for board members, staff and volunteers! For more information, contact Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation at (641) 455-5260, or go to www.2016seiowanpsummit.eventbrite.com.
September 19
Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra POPS!
Bridge View Center
Fine food, drink and music! For more information, contact SEISO at (319) 385-6352, or via e-mail at seiso@iwc.edu, or go to www.seiso.us.
September 19 - 19
Walk on Art Street
200 Block of East Main St
Main Street Ottumwa's Annual Art Fair with over 30 artist selling their work. New location this year in the 200 block of East Main Street, Art,live music, food vendors, kids activities, and lots of fun. Art Bucks will be returning this year, we have $1,000 to give away to be spent with the artists. It all starts at 10am to 4pm on Saturday, September 19th. For more information, contact Fred Zesiger at (641) 799-3464, or via e-mail at director@mainstreetottumwa.com, or go to www.mainstreetottumwa.com.
September 25 - 27
Ottumwa High Broadway Bulldogs present Raggedy Ann & Andy
Ottumwa High School Auditorium
Celebrate the 100th Anniversary as Ottumwa High Broadway Bulldogs present Raggedy Ann & Andy! September 25 at 7:00 PM and September 26-27 at 2:00 PM. Tickets available at www.showtix4u.com, $8/Adults and $5/Students. For more information, contact Ottumwa High School at (641) 683-4444, or go to www.ottumwaschools.com.
September 26
Heartland Coin & Stamp Show
Bridgeview Event Center
Buying, selling and trading of rare coins, currency & collector stamps. Free appraisals and information on numismatic and philatelic items will be provided. The event will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and admission is $1.00. For more information, contact Denny Ross at (641) 932-2731, or via e-mail at den72ny@gmail.com.
September 29 - October 3
Ottumwa Oktoberfest
Greater Ottumwa Park
This event promises parades, food, beverage garden, carnival, live music and entertainment.
September 29
Ottumwa Rotary Chicken BBQ
Greater Ottumwa Park
The Ottumwa Rotary kicks of Oktoberfest week with their annual barbeque chicken dinner at the Jimmy Jones Shelter in Greater Ottumwa Park! Serving from 4:30-7:00 PM (Drive-up starts serving at 4:00 PM.) $9/Adults and $7/Children in advance. Prices increase by $1 on the day of the event. For more information, contact Ottumwa Rotary Club, or go to www.ottumwarotary.org.
September 30
OHS Homecoming Parade
OHS to Central Park at 6:00 PM
For more information, call (641) 684-6597 x141, or go to www.ottumwaschools.com.
October 1 - November 8
Artist in Residence
Market on Main
Chris Abigt is the Artist in Residence at Market on Main from October 1-November 8. The Artist in Residence program is sponsored by the Ottumwa Area Arts Council. For more information, contact Ottumwa Area Arts Council at theamericangothichouse@gmail.com, or go to www.marketonmain.org.
October 2
Oktoberfest Kiddie Parade
TBD
The first of two Oktoberfest parades is all about the kids. Sponsored by South Ottumwa Savings Bank. Parade route and times TBD.
October 3
Oktoberfest Parade
TBD
This parade in honor of Ottumwa's Oktoberfest Celebration is a sanctioned high school band competition that draws approximately 20 marching bands. Parade times and route TBD.
October 10
Tour the American Gothic House
American Gothic House Center, Eldon
The American Gothic House will be open for tours the second Saturday of the month from April to October from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Free admission. For more information, contact American Gothic House Center at (641) 652-3352, or via e-mail at TheAmericanGothicHouse@gmail.com, or go to www.AmericanGothicHouse.net.
October 11
Main Street Ottumwa's History Walk
Downtown Ottumwa
Come join us for a exciting walk through our downtown's past. Listen to the stories by local actors of our downtown's earlier years. This year we are going way back to the settler years to the fall of 1843. Tickets are $5.00 and can be purchased at the Main Street Office after Sept.19th. The event is on Sunday Oct. 11th from 1pm to 3pm tours leave every 15 to 20 minutes. For more information, contact Fred Zesiger at (641) 799-3464, or via e-mail at director@mainstreetottumwa.com, or go to www.mainstreetottumwa.com.
October 17
American Gothic Window Wall Hanging Workshop for Kids
American Gothic House
Workshop begins at 1:00 pm and is open to children ages 9 and above. AGHC volunteer (and quilter), Teresa Chickering, will lead the group in the creation of their own unique gothic window wall hanging. The workshop will be held inside the American Gothic House. Pre-registration is required and workshop is limited to 15 participants. Supply fee for the workshop is $10.00. For more information, contact Holly Berg at (641) 652-3352, or via e-mail at TheAmericanGothicHouse@gmail.com, or go to www.AmericanGothicHouse.net.
October 17
Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Brazil!
St. John Auditorium, Indian Hills Community College
The Orchestra, lead by David Sharp, will spice up the evening as it performs music by Brazilian composers. The featured soloist is Gabriel Espinosa. Time: 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact Patty Babb at (641) 799-2693, or via e-mail at pattybabb@pcsia.net, or go to www.ottumwasymphonyorchestra.net.
October 17
Ottumwa Zombie Fest
Greater Ottumwa Park
For more information, contact Joni Elder at (641) 799-9989, or go to www.facebook.com.
October 23
A Bewitching Evening
Hotel Ottumwa
The best costume party in Southeast Iowa will once again be at the Hotel Ottumwa! Standing Hampton will be there playing in costume. The tarot card tent will be open for business. Specialty drinks and a full bar available. Party food is included in your ticket price. Cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place best costumes. Social hour is from 7:00-8:00pm and the band will play from 8:00pm-midnight. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. All proceeds from ticket sales support the River Hills Endowment which exists to buy needed medical equipment for clinics in Appanoose, Keokuk, and Wapello counties. Join us for a BEWITCHING EVENING! For more information, contact Sara Gerot at (641) 682-8051, or via e-mail at sara@hotelottumwa.com.
October 24
American Gothic Window¯ Quilted Wall Hanging Workshop
American Gothic House
Workshop begins at 1:00 pm and is open to adult quilters. AGHC volunteer (and quilter), Teresa Chickering, will lead the group in the creation of their own unique gothic window quilted wall hanging. The workshop will be held inside the American Gothic House. Participants are asked to bring their sewing machine to the workshop. Pre-registration required and is limited to 15 participants. Supply fee is $15.00. For more information, contact Holly Berg at (641) 652-3352, or via e-mail at TheAmericanGothicHouse@gmail.com, or go to www.AmericanGothicHouse.net.
October 24
Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra Fall Classical Concert
IHCC St. John Auditorium
The evening's program will consist of: Prelude and Fugue in E flat, Karelia Suite, Alborada del Gracioso, Symphony No. 5 (Reformation) The concert begins at 7:30 PM. For more information, contact SEISO at (319) 385-6352, or via e-mail at seiso@iwc.edu, or go to www.seiso.us.
October 31
American Gothic Halloween Party
American Gothic House Center
Celebrate Halloween in front of the American Gothic House! Arrive dressed in your costume, make your own spooky American Gothic Parody, make fun crafts, play games and enjoy delicious treats. Event runs from 2:00-4:00 pm and offers free admission. Open to children Preschool ā€" 5th grade. For more information, contact Holly Berg at (641) 652-3352, or via e-mail at TheAmericanGothicHouse@gmail.com, or go to www.AmericanGothicHouse.net.
October 31
HALLOWEENAPALOOZA 6
Hotel Ottumwa
Prescribed Films presents non-stop fun and screams. This is an all day event. The only HORROR FILM FESTIVAL in Iowa. Two viewing rooms will show short, and long films from all over the world. Live music, vendors, food, costume contest, a zombie walk, a midnight screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show, and more! If you like Halloween this is the place to be. Enjoy it to the fullest. A fall beer bar featuring seasonal selections will be featured during the event. For more information check out our website. You can pre-order tickets, and overnight hotel packages are available . . . if you dare to stay! For more information, contact Sara Gerot at (641) 682-8051, or via e-mail at sales@hotelottumwa.com, or go to halloweenapalooza.wix.com.
November 14
Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra Kidsymphony
Bridge View Center
The Kidsymphony is a concert for families...lively, fun, educational, entertaining and just the right length! The concert begins at 11:00 AM. For more information, contact SEISO at (319) 385-6352, or via e-mail at seiso@iwc.edu, or go to www.seiso.us.
November 27
Holiday Tree Lighting
Central Park
A great way to start the Holiday Season come join us November 27th for the Annual Memory Tree and City Tree Lighting in Central Park. 100 smaller trees and the large City tree will adorn Central Park through the Holidays. A great way to start your family's holiday season in Downtown Ottumwa. The trees will be lit starting at 5:30pm. Santa will arrive in time to light the big tree, come see how he arrives this year. For more information, contact Fred Zesiger at (641) 799-3464, or via e-mail at director@mainstreetottumwa.com, or go to www.mainstreetottumwa.com.
November 28
Small Business Saturday
Main Street District Downtown Ottumwa
Remember to Shop Local this Holiday Season. Help support local small business this season of giving, dollars spent locally stay in our community. Watch our web site for details on this great Holiday event www.mainstreetottumwa.com For more information, contact Fred Zesiger at (641) 799-3464, or via e-mail at director@mainstreetottumwa.com, or go to www.mainstreetottumwa.com.
December 5
Gingerbread House Building
American Gothic House Center
Join in a great holiday tradition for the family! Arrive early to create your own gingerbread house made out of graham crackers, frosting and candy while supplies last! Event runs from 12:00-4:00 pm, is open to children and offers free admission. For more information, contact Holly Berg at (641) 652-3352, or via e-mail at TheAmericanGothicHouse@gmail.com, or go to www.AmericanGothicHouse.net.
February 13
Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra Winter Classical Concert
Bridge View Center
SEISO Young Artist Competition Winner (TBA) and Gustav Mahler. The concert begins at 7:30 PM. For more information, contact SEISO at (319) 385-6352, or via e-mail at seiso@iwc.edu, or go to www.seiso.us.
March 5
Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra-Farewell Downton Abbey
Indian Hills Community College dining room
Participate in an evening of activities in the drawing room at Downton Abbey with the chamber ensemble from The Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy light hors d'oeuvres as you listen to music provided by the ensemble and members of the IHCC vocal music department. The concert is 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact Patty Babb at (641) 799-2693, or via e-mail at pattybabb@pcsia.net, or go to www.ottumwasymphonyorchestra.net.
March 20
Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra Spring Classical Concert
IHCC St. John Auditorium
The evening's program will consist of: Chicago-based trombonist and 2016 Resident Guest Artist, William Baker. Also, Symphony No. 4, selections for trombones and orchestra and Sinfonietta. The concert begins at 7:30 PM For more information, contact SEISO at (319) 385-6352, or via e-mail at seiso@iwc.edu, or go to www.seiso.us.
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