Come to Bullriders of America 2017 Finals and Family Night

CVBAdmin Uncategorized

Right here in Ottumwa, IA, we have the pleasure of hosting the Bullriders of America 2017 Finals. The BOA Association’s top 25 bull riders from last year will compete for cash and prizes worth

more than $20,000. It will be in the expo hall of the Bridge View Center (BVC) on Friday Feb 2 and Saturday Feb 3 at 7:30 p.m.

More than 50 Truck Loads of Dirt and Cowboys from All Over!

In preparation for the event, the BVC crew received more than 50 truck loads containing several hundred tons of dirt that was packed down and graded into the arena, ready for the 25 bull riders to compete for the prizes. Cowboys will be coming from all over the Midwestern United States, including Texas, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Tennesee, Mississippi, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois. There will be Iowa local cowboys as well!

Come Early Friday Night for Family Night!

There will also be events before and after the show. On Friday night, it’s FAMILY NIGHT with discounted pricing and games and activities for the kids to enjoy. It goes from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., and kids will be able to go onto the dirt arena to play with stick ponies, try their hand at roping, ride an oil drum bull, and watch a lasso demonstration. It’s the perfect event to get your cooped-up kids out of the house on a cold February evening!

Meet the Bullriders

There will also be a meet and greet session at the end of each night for all fans. This is something you won’t want to miss on Saturday night because there will be a celebrity bull ride where your favorite south east Iowa celebrity will try to stay on a bull for at least eight seconds!

Get Your Tickets Now!

Get your tickets in advance because they’re $6 cheaper if you do so. Ticket pricing goes as follows:

Reserved Seats: $18.50 in advance; $24.50 day of show
Premium Seating: $27.50 in advance; $33.50 day of show
Family 4 Pack: $55.00 in advance & Friday ONLY
Children 12 and under: $12.50

For ticket information visit http://www.bridgeviewcenter.com or call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

27 Ottumwa Events You’ll Hate to Miss in February 2018

CVBAdmin Attractions, Blog, Eat, Event Spaces, Uncategorized

By Amber Brubaker

February 1, 2018

Can you believe how quickly January flew by? Today is February 1, and although it’s a short month, there’s still plenty to do in Ottumwa. Get out of the cold and participate in some of these great events this month.

1. Bullriders of America 2017 Finals

Right here in Ottumwa, IA, we have the pleasure of hosting the Bullriders of America 2017 Finals. The BOA Association’s top 25 bull riders from last year will compete for cash and prizes worth more than $20,000. It will be in the expo hall of the Bridge View Center (BVC) on Friday Feb 2 and Saturday Feb 3 at 7:30 p.m.

In preparation for the event, the BVC crew received more than 50 truck loads containing several hundred tons of dirt that was packed down and graded into the arena, ready for the 25 bull riders to compete for the prizes. Cowboys will be coming from all over the midwestern United States, including Texas, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Tennesee, Mississippi, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois. There will be Iowa local cowboys as well!

There will also be events before and after the show. On Friday night, it’s FAMILY NIGHT with discounted pricing and games and activities for the kids to enjoy. It goes from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., and kids will be able to go onto the dirt arena to play with stick ponies, try their hand at roping, ride an oil drum bull, and watch a lasso demonstration. It’s the perfect event to get your cooped-up kids out of the house on a cold February evening!

There will also be a meet and greet session at the end of each night for all fans. This is something you won’t want to miss on Saturday night because there will be a celebrity bull ride where your favorite south east Iowa celebrity will try to stay on a bull for at least eight seconds!

Get your tickets in advance because they’re $6 cheaper if you do so. Ticket pricing goes as follows:

Reserved Seats: $18.50 in advance; $24.50 day of show
Premium Seating: $27.50 in advance; $33.50 day of show
Family 4 Pack: $55.00 in advance & Friday ONLY
Children 12 and under: $12.50
For ticket information visit http://www.bridgeviewcenter.com or call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

2.Rhonda Vincent and the Rage

Rhonda Vincent is considered one of the most talented musicians in the U.S. Although her genre is described as bluegrass, it goes far beyond that. Her award winning voice has earned her the title The Queen of Bluegrass, and her amazing band delivers a truly magical performance. They were awarded the Most Award Winning Band in Bluegrass Music History and have wonmore than 100 awards.

Tickets range from $15 to $38, depending on seating, and you can purchase them on the BVC website or in person at the office. You won’t regret attending this incredible show!

 

3. Take Your Child to the Library Day

This Saturday is “Take Your Child to the Library Day,” and the Ottumwa Public library has a couple of great events to celebrate. They’ll be hosting a special Saturday story time at 10:30 a.m. (recommended for children 5 and younger, but older siblings are welcome). There will also be a Saturday Crafternoon where kids of all ages can participate in self-directed craft projects.

There are just two of the many totally free events that the library offers every month. They also feature:

Music & Movement Mondays

Songs and Stories with Sarah Martindale

Tail Waggin’ Tutors

Teen Anime/Manga Club

Teen Writing Club

Reader’s Ink Book Club

Speculative Literature Book Club

Preschool Story Time

Lego Club

Family Movie Night

Curious Kids Science Club

Adult Coloring Party

Reminisce Society

These events go throughout the entire month every month. Visit their website to get dates and times for each.

4. Chocolate Lovers Benefit

American Home Finding Association is holding a delicious public event at Hotel Ottumwa on February 9. Their Chocolate Lovers benefit raises money for needy children and families in Southeast Iowa. This year’s theme is Alice in Wonderland, and along with endless delicious chocolate treats included with the price, there will be heavy appetizers, a glass of pink champagne, and specialty drinks from the cash bar.

There’s also a silent auction, entertainment from the band Sez Who, and artwork featured from local artists. Prices are $30 per person or $50 per couple, and your donations will go to a great cause.

5. Masquerade Ball

The Wapello County Expo Grounds is offering a Masquerade Ball for all ages where you can dress in formal wear (if you choose) and hide behind masks at a fun dance with DJ White. Admission is just $5 or a donation of paper products such as toilet paper or paper towels. Masks are required and can be purchased at the door for $1. Concessions will be available for purchase.

6.  Battle of the Brushes

The Ottumwa Area Arts Council will be hosting round two of Battle of the Brushes as local artists compete to be on top. Artists will have 90 minutes to paint a canvas related to a theme revealed at the beginning of the event. When time is up, the judges will review the works and declare a winner.

All works created will then be live auctioned with half of the proceeds going to the Ottumwa Area Arts Council and half to each artist. It will be a fun and exciting competition meant to raise funds for the arts council, while also connecting the public to the many talented artists in our community!

Attendees can check out the artist’s work while they race against the clock. A silent auction will also take place with funds raised going to the Ottumwa Area Arts Council. Food and beer and wine will be available for purchase throughout the event. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the action starts at 7:00 p.m. Purchase your tickets in advance for $5 at Hotel Ottuwma or M&J Art and Frame Gallery or for $7 at the door.

 

7.  Wine Pairing Dinner

This fun, four-course dinner and wine tasting is an Ottumwa classic! On February 7 at 6:00 p.m., you can go to the Market on Main for a delicious meal, and learn all about the proper wine pairings for each meal. The cost is $25 per person and reservations are required ahead of time.

8. Live2Lead Simulcast

Entrepreneurs, business leaders, and those who want to develop their leadership skills can attend this Live2Lead recorded simulcast on February 8. Presented in a “lunch & learn” format, each presenter will talk about real challenges faced by local business professionals and help you develop an action plan to accomplish your goals.

9.Legislative Forum

Working with CVB and the chamber of commerce, the League of Women Voters of Ottumwa has put together a legislative forum featuring Senator Mark Chelgren, Senator Ken Rozenboom, Representative Mary Gaskell, and Representative Larry Sheets.

The event, located in the BVC studio, is no cost and open to the public. Each legislator will be given the opportunity to answer questions from members of the public and then meet and greet after the forum. This is Saturday, February 3 at 9:30 a.m.

 

11.Wine and Canvas

This edition of painting while drinking your favorite glass of wine is brought to you by Wine and Canvas Des Moines and will be hosted at Hotel Ottumwa. It’s happening Friday Feb 2 at Hotel Ottumwa from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Along with a full bar and excellent wine list, there will be food for purchase from the Second Street Café. Cost is $35 per person.

12. Unique Gardening Methods

Do you lack a green thumb? Have you always wondered how you can make your plants grow better? There’s a free class provided by the ISU Extension and Outreach on February 12 at 6:00 p.m. all about using unique gardening methods to grow a better garden. They’ll discuss methods ranging from straw bales gardening to building keyhole beds. There will also be discussion on a variety of common gardening methods and the pros and cons of each. It’s a great class to welcome spring, which is right around the corner.

 13. A Night of Theatre

Indian Hills Community College presents a fun night of theatre favorites performed by Indian Hills theatre students. There will be selections from both historical and contemporary theatre performances. The event is put together by student directors under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Boyenga and Dr. Ray Slavens.

14.  Voice and Piano Recital

There will also be an Indian Hills voice and piano recital where students will perform classic, pop, and world music. It’s directed by Dr. Janene Sheldon, Alejandra Escobar-Restrepo, and Sandra Parker, but the real music will be coming from the talented students.

15. The Vine Coffee and Canvas Events

The Vine Coffeehouse will be hosting another of it’s highly successful acrylic painting classes. The price ($35 for one canvas or $60 for two) includes an 11 x 14 stretched canvas, all the art supplies, the drink of your choice from The Vine, and chocolate fountain hors d’oeurves.

There will be two dates for this on Feburary 16 at 6:00 p.m. and February 17 at 10:00 a.m. Please make your reservation ahead of time so they can have the supplies on hand for you.

16. 100 Men on a Mission Meeting

There will be a meeting for the charitable organization 100 Men on a Mission on February 22 at 5:30 at Market on Main. You’ll hear from local non-profits about good causes in our community and how we can band together to make a difference. The goal is to give out a gift to a local charitable organization.

17. Indian Hills Jazzfest: Opening Concert

If music is your thing, Indian Hills has plenty of it for your enjoyment this month. The Indian Hills Jazz Band along with the 2018 JazzFest guest artists John Benoit (trombone), David Kobberdahl (trumpet), Jamie Poulsen (piano), David Altemeier (bass), and Dennis McPartland (drums) will be putting on a memorable jazz show for your utter enjoyment. David Sharp is the director, and it’ll be a great opportunity to hear local talent from our students along with some incredible guest artists.

If you haven’t gotten enough jazz in your life, there will also be a high school jazz band competition on February 24, so come support your local high school students!

18. Dr. Seuss Birthday Party

Any Dr. Seuss fans out there? There will be a birthday party on Saturday February 24th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Wapello County Extension and Outreach. It’s free, and there will be crafts and activities for the whole family. What a great way to spend a Saturday celebrating one of the greatest writers of children’s books!

19. Beekeeping Class

There will be three beekeeping classes in February provided by the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Wapello County. They’re designed for beginners who are interested in keeping bees or those who have minor experience and want to expand their knowledge. The cost is $45 for a two hour class.

20. Hey Look What I Made III

This will be the third installment for this popular show in the Indian Hills Art Gallery. This exhibit will feature art work from Indian Hills staff, faculty, retirees, and family members. Please contact Beverly Bethune (Beverly.bethune@indianhills.edu) if you have art for this showcase

21. Market on Main Events

 As always, Market on Main has a collection of fun and exciting events for everyone. This month’s lineup includes the following:

22. Live Music with Luke Davids on February 2 at 5:30 p.m.

23. Live Music with Kevin McGinity on February 9 at 5:30 p.m.

24. Comedy Night at the Market – Husker Edition on February 10 at 7:00 p.m.

25. Live Music with Tom Blew on February 16 at 5:30 p.m.

26. Courtney Krause Live at the Market on February 11 at 8:00 p.m.

27. Live Music with Cam Steinbach on February 23 at 5:30 p.m.

As always, you can hit up the market for their delicious restaurants, specialty shops, Iowa craft beers, and other specialty drinks at any time.

That’s what’s happening in February! For more information about events and things to do in the Greater Ottumwa area, contact the Greater Ottumwa Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at (641) 684-4303 or info@greaterottumwacvb.org. You can also subscribe to our events newsletter and like us on Facebook so you never miss out on what’s happening in the great town of Ottumwa!

 

25 Men Who Can Cook: The Tastiest Two Hours in Ottumwa!

CVBAdmin Blog, Do

By Amber Brubaker

January 19, 2018

If you’ve never been to Ottumwa’s 25 Men Who Can Cook, put it on your calendar’s for Saturday, 11:00 a.m. at the Bridge View Center. Around here, it’s known as “the tastiest two-hours in Ottumwa!”

As the name suggests, 25 Men Who Can Cook is an event composed of a group of men cooking their best dishes, much to the delight of your taste buds! You can try as many delicacies as you like and then vote on your favorite chef.

Last year’s winner, Fletcher.

There is also a silent auction taking place throughout the event.

Last year’s silent auction and the prize for the winner.

It costs $12.50 for adults, who can purchase their tickets ahead of time. If not, you can get them for $15 at the door. You can also purchase children’s tickets at the door for $5.

Creative table decorations.

“During the past 7 years, 25 Men Who Can Cook has emerged as the “January thing to do on a Saturday afternoon in Ottumwa” event,” says Bob Morrissey, the man in charge of the event. “From its humble beginning in the lobby at Bridge View Center that attracted less than 200 people, our crowds have grown to more than 500 attendees annually who pack the Exhibition Hall to taste the luscious and savory offerings these guys prepare. The Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra works hard to make this happen each year – but once the doors open, there is no secret to this event’s popularity. It’s all about the chefs and the delicacies they prepare.”

Can you think of a better thing you could be doing on a cold January Saturday afternoon? I think not!

For more information about events in Ottumwa, contact the Greater Ottumwa Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at 641-684-4303 or at info@greaterottumwacvb.org. You can also sign up for our events newsletter so you never miss out on our great events here in Ottumwa.

 

Iowa Is Like a “Second Home” to Vocal Trash

CVBAdmin Blog, Do

By Amber Brubaker

January 18, 2018

Have you ever seen or heard of the hit New York show Stomp? This group of eclectic singers and dancers use brooms, garbage cans, matchboxes, lighters, and more to create an energetic, rhythmic experience and one of the most incredible shows you’ve ever seen.

Well, Stomp is staying in New York City, but we have a band very much like them coming right here to Ottumwa this Friday, January 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bridge View Center. They’re called Vocal Trash, and they cover some of your favorite songs acapella style while playing trash can drums, wooden guitars, and other uniquely recycled musical instruments.

Described as “Glee with a kick,” Vocal Trash has played coast to coast, from Las Vegas to Madison Square Gardens. They’re undeniably goofy on stage, but that’s what makes them so much fun to watch!

The show started 19 years ago by Steve Linder and Kelsey Rae. Linder graduated with a Percussion degree from Hardin Simmons University. He was involved in music his entire life and he came up with the idea of the show while he was singing and playing a trash can (which is the entire concept of the show).

Rae has also been involved with music and stage her entire life. She’s done more than 15 national commercials and sang at many NFL games. She’s also written a book called THINK…Before You Throw It Away, which is available on Amazon.

Since that time, they’ve added more instruments, amped up the choreography, and entranced audiences around the world. They’ll be heading to Liberia in February to share their message of love, music, hope, and peace to those in this nation.

“We have been to 3 countries these past few years representing the United States with the U.S State Department,” Rae said to me in an informational email. “Our next trip overseas, we are headed Back to Africa for a week. We’ve been to Morocco already, but next is Liberia in February. The other countries were Mongolia and Romania. Have loved each country for different reasons. The people have been so warm to us and love the USA.”

She also said that they’ve been all over the country on their Let Peace Begin Tour, based on their 15th album “Let Peace Begin,” which features only original songs including “Harmony,” “Conversations,” and “Raise Your Voice.” Last fall, they signed with a record label called Peace Tones, which delivers the same message of promoting peace and justice through music.

It’s not only entertaining, but it also packs an important message of reusing and recycling what’s around us. Their eco-friendly shows demonstrate a cool way to care for the environment around us. They also speak highly of opportunities to do good and be a force for good in the both the physical and socioeconomic environment.

“Around 6 years ago, we decided to take our musical performance in to a new direction,” Rae said. “We have always played trash cans, water bottles, pots and pans, have guitars made of tool boxes, a bass made of an old milk urn- we’ve always ‘rescued items from landfills to repurpose in to instruments,’ but we wanted to take it a step further.”

“That is when we became ‘music with a message,’” Rae continues. “We now consider ourselves environmental activists traveling the globe promoting peace, love, and saving our planet through music and dance.”

Kelsey, Steve, and the other members of the Vocal Trash group (Greg Dugan, Pablo Barragan, and Anthony Silva) are so excited to come to Ottumwa tomorrow.

“Iowa means so much to us as they have supported our group for years. We have been at the Iowa State Fair off and on for over 13 years. The people in Iowa feel like family and are so kind and loyal. Iowa is like a second home to us, and we can’t wait to come back.”

It’ll be another 10 months until they’re back performing in Iowa, so don’t miss your chance to see this incredible group perform tomorrow night. You can get your tickets online at the Bridge View Center (BVC) website or in person at the BVC front office.

As always, you can contact the Greater Ottumwa Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for any information regarding events, travel, and tourism in the area. Email us at info@greaterottumwacvb.org, call us at 641-684-4303, and/or sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with the happenings in Ottumwa.

Hairball Is Back in Town!

CVBAdmin Blog, Do, Hotels & Motels, Recreation, SLEEP

By Amber Brubaker

January 11, 2018

The Bridge View Center in Ottumwa, IA is pleased once again to host Hairball, the “bombastic” 80’s tribute band that travels across the U.S. with ground-shaking shows. They’ll be performing January 13, 2018. As the opener for this epic show will be the local band The Boys, who won Battle of the Bands at the Bridge View Center last week.

Forget everything you know about 80’s tribute bands, because Hairball is in a league of its own. Not only do they present the lights, sound, video screens, smoke, fire, blood, bombs, confetti, and everything else you’d expect in a classic 80’s rock concert, but they also dress the parts of Van Halen, Kiss, Motley Crue, Journey, Aerosmith, Twisted Sister, and more. All these killer acts taking place in a single night will leave you with an 80’s rock hangover that lasts for days.

The vocalists are Bobby, Steve, and Joe Dandy, and their performances of some of the world’s most sacred songs and bands will floor you. They hit every lick and chop, adding their own personal style and flare to the mix. They’re also great with audience participation!

If you don’t believe that this tribute band is something special, look at their 16 years of performing to hundreds of thousands of people across the country. Their shows are always major sellers, and everyone who sees it has nothing but good things to say. If you don’t believe me, see what the Twitter-verse is saying about it.

And if that’s still not enough for you, I’ll let these videos do the talking. They can’t possibly replace the experience of going in person, but it’s enough to get you excited, am I right??

This show is seriously awesome! If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet (Remember, it’s January 13 at 7:30 p.m.!), you can do so on the Bridge View Center website (expect a service fee), or in person at the Bridge View Center front office. There’s also a meet and greet before the show if you’re interested!

If you’re coming in from out of town, book your hotel as soon as possible. We’re expecting it to be a relatively busy weekend with such a popular event. Here’s the information for local hotels in the area:

Hampton Inn 641-814-8888

Hotel Ottumwa 641-682-8051

AmericInn Ottumwa 641-684-8222

Quality Inn & Suites 641-682-8526

Lexington Inn & Suites 641-682-0000

Super 8 Ottumwa 641-684-5055

Days Inn Ottumwa 641-954-5122

Oak Meadow Delight Bed and Breakfast 641-682-0580

And, of course, if you’re planning to extend your stay, don’t forget to stop and see us at the Greater Ottumwa Convention and Visitor’s Bureau office inside the Bridge View Center or give us a call at 641-684-4303. We’ll provide information about things to do, places to eat (There are some excellent restaurants in our little town!), area events, and more.

Check out our website for upcoming events and information about Ottumwa, and if you always want to know what’s going on in the area, subscribe to our events newsletter!

 

What’s Happenin’ Ottumwa? 22 Must-Attend Events for January 2018

CVBAdmin Uncategorized

By Amber Brubaker

January 4, 2018

The holidays have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean the fun is over in Ottumwa, IA. This month’s events will be your highlight of the year thus far (Did you see what I did there??). As you plan your vacation time this month, consider spending a few days in Ottumwa. Here are 22 events you don’t want to miss.

1. Hairball

This 80’s rock tribute is back in Ottumwa for a fantastic performance at the Bridge View Center. This tribute brand has composed an incredible concert for 2+ hours of mind-blowing rock and roll on January 13 at 7:30 p.m. You’ll hear songs from Van Halen, KISS, Motley Crue, Queen, Journey, Aerosmith, and more brought to life with lights, sound, video screens, smoke, confetti, and all the favorite features of 80’s rock.

Don’t expect a typical 80’s tribute band. This performance is one of the best in its class as far as attitude, expression of music, and showmanship. They’ve been performing for 16 years to crowds, and their tickets sell out fast.

Hairball is by far one of Ottumwa’s most popular events, so don’t wait until the last minute to get your tickets or book your hotel reservations for the weekend. You can purchase tickets on the Bridge View Center website or in person at the Bridge View Center front office.

2. Battle of the Bands

In preparation of Hairball on January 13, the Bridge View Center will be hosting Battle of the Bands on January 6 at 8:00 p.m. Courtside Bar & Grill, Saints Pub Ottumwa, and Benchwarmers Eatery & Sports Lounge will each host 3 local bands (The Bazooka Joe Rock Show, The Boys, and Jennifer Lynn Handling and Revolution Band) as they compete to be the opening band for the Hairball performance. The doors open at 7:00 p.m.

3. Southern Iowa Bridal Showcase

Participants will come from all over Southern Iowa for this exciting bridal show and wedding expo. Those who are engaged, planning a wedding or social event, or who simply love weddings won’t want to miss the Southern Iowa Bridal Showcase on Sunday January 7th at the Bridge View Center. $5 gets you in, and you’ll have your pick of vendors and experts to assist you in your wedding preparations.

4. Carden International Circus

Mark your calendars for Monday January 8 at 6:30 p.m. for a spectacular circus event at the Bridge View Center. Families can enjoy animals, clowns, aerialists, and more events.

For 55 years, the Carden family has performed traditional circus events all over the United States. They’re introducing a brand-new show this year for just $15 for kids and $20 for adults. The doors open an hour before performance time and families can meet the performers, learn circus skills, and ride the animals!

5. Market on Main Events

For date night food and entertainment, there’s no better venue in town than Market on Main. Whether you’re in the mood for some meaty delights at Scratch Filipino Cuisine or you need to fulfill your sweet tooth at Crazy Churros, your cravings will be satisfied at the Market.

Then, stick around for the delightful entertainment lineup. Here are some of the highlighted shows for January.

Photo Cred: Market on Main

6. Live Music with Cameron Steinbach

Pop in January 5 at 5:30 p.m. for a no-cover, original show by musician Cameron Steinbach. There’s a full bar, including Iowa Craft Beers, not to mention delicious food at the market.

7. Christopher the Conquered Live at the Market

Photo Cred: Market on Main

This self-taught musician was born to entertain with his poetic piano genius. His energetic performances are always a treat, and his musical talents are diversely wonderful. He taught himself drums, trumpet, piano, and guitar and performs regularly for churches, worship groups, and community venues. He’ll be entertaining Ottumwa on January 6 at 8:00 p.m.

8. Wine Pairing Dinner

If you loved this event last month, here’s another great opportunity to eat and learn about the perfect wine to drink with your next meal. This fun Wednesday night dinner is a four-course meal with wine-tasting included. It takes place January 10 at 6:00 p.m. and costs $25 per person. Please reserve your spot in advance.

9. Yoga on Tap

There’s no better way to unwind after a long day than with relaxing yoga poses and delicious craft brew. This yoga event is set to music with happy hour from 5:30-6:15 p.m. and yoga class from 6:15-7:15 p.m. on January 11. For $15, you get one free drink and a yoga class. Bring your friends!

Photo Cred: Market on Main

10. Live Music with Luke Davids

Here’s another classic, no-cover artist who’s no stranger to Market on Main musical events. See him for free at 5:30 p.m. on January 12.

 

11. Comedy Night: Truth or Dare with Show Us Your Pokeballs

Photo Cred: Market on Main

Show Us Your Pokeballs is a group of comedians bringing you an entertaining improv show based on the popular party game “Truth or Dare.” You can only imagine the humiliating stunts, epic punishments, and hilarious improv comedy that comes with this $5 event on January 13 at 7:00 p.m.

Photo Cred: Market on Main

12. IHCC Culinary Program “Chopped” Competition

Indian Hills Community College culinary students will end their winter term with an entertaining spinoff of the hit Food Network television show “Chopped.” Each student will cook a meal from a basket of mystery ingredients. A group of judges will analyze each of the three courses and choose a winner. The event is January 18 at 9:00 a.m. with judging starting at 11:30 a.m.

13. Live Music with Bill Allen

Photo Cred: Market on Main

The Market welcomes regular musician Bill Allen who will perform his no-cover songs. There will also be Karaoke and the Market’s ever-present selection of drinks and Iowa craft beers. See him January 19.

14. SCORE Workshop & Mixer

New or aspiring entrepreneurs can learn a lot about free business mentorships in the Ottumwa community. They can also socialize with other entrepreneurs and form useful networks to help your aspiring business. There are complimentary snacks, a cash bar, and a prize drawing at this January 25th event starting at 6:00 p.m.

Photo Cred: Market on Main

15. Live Music with the Stress Vine

Oskaloosa duo The Stress Vine will be performing a set of their indie-folk originals and covers. See their no-cost event on January 26 at 5:30 p.m.

 

16. Live2Lead

Business professionals in need of motivation and inspiration will find it at the Live-2-Lead simulcast presented by the Ottumwa Leadership Academy on January 11 at the Bridge View Center. You’ll hear from three industry-leading experts in a Lunch & Learn format.

Ideally, you’ll gain new perspectives, key takeaways, and practical tools. If you miss this event during the lunch hour on the 11th, you can catch the others in the series on February 8 and March 8.

17.  G-Hop Choir

The Greater House of Prayer Youth & Young Adult Choir (nicknamed G-hop) will be performing at various places around Ottumwa, including the First United Methodist Church on January 14 at 7:00 p.m. and St. Mary’s Church on January 15 at the same time.

G-hop is composed of youth and young adults aged 9 to 26, all hailing from the Chicago land area. The performances are free and are a great way to support music and worship.

18. MLK Day Celebration

Come to the Quincy Place Mall on the morning of Civil Rights Day (January 15) to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and all he accomplished. The United Way will provide a free breakfast along with volunteer activities. It’s a great way to unite the community and give back while memorializing a great leader in our nation’s history.

19. Beekeeping Class

Have you been harboring a secret (or not-so-secret) desire to be a beekeeper? Well, here’s your chance to realize those dreams. The ISU Extension and Outreach office in Wapello County is offering beginning beekeeping classes for just $45 a person. That fee includes all course materials and classes. Register ahead of time by calling the Extension office at 641-682-5491.

20. Coffee & Canvas

The Vine Coffeehouse is presenting another of its popular coffee drinking and canvas-painting classes on the 19th at 6:00 p.m. This month’s number is a special LED canvas class where you’ll use acrylic paints and LED lights on a stretched canvas to paint an adorable winter scene. They request that you RSVP by January 15 for the discounted price of $39. Otherwise, it’s $49 for your choice of coffee drink and all the art supplies.

21. Vocal Trash

Vocal Trash is the energetic musical group that’s been described as Glee with a kick. They’ve performed all over the U.S., including Las Vegas and Madison Square Garden. They’ll perform covers of your favorite songs using recycled musical instruments, like metal trash cans, water bottles, and other items found at the landfill.

You won’t regret attending his event with tickets starting at $15 for students and $29 for the public. Get your tickets before they sell out, and be there on January 19 for this memorable event.

22. Pheasants Forever Banquet

The 31st annual banquet for Pheasants Forever will be on January 20. This event is all about raising money for habitat enhancement, land acquisitions, and youth education.

“Over the past thirty years your fundraising has allowed the chapter to invest over $250,000 into habitat enhancement, youth education and program development projects around Wapello County,” say the event organizers. “The loss of habitat across the area is alarming. The Federal Farm Program and Iowa conservation initiatives need all of our support and will need additional investments to attempt to maintain and improve the habitat acres we have. More habitat acres and better habitat conservation equals more birds and other wildlife, cleaner water and air, and more recreational opportunities within our state.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door, and they’re always looking for more volunteers to join their team.

That’s the January lineup! For more information about events and things to do in the Greater Ottumwa area, contact the Greater Ottumwa Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at (641) 684-4303 or info@greaterottumwacvb.org. You can also subscribe to our events newsletter and like us on Facebook so you never miss out on what’s happening in the great town of Ottumwa!

See Bald Eagles This Winter in Ottumwa, IA

CVBAdmin Attractions, Blog

By Amber Brubaker

December 15, 2017

[The canvas in the featured image was taken by Ottumwa’s own Billy Young.]

Have you seen the bald eagle that hangs out near the Bridge View Center this winter? Every day, I can see it through the wall-to-wall windows on the north side of our beautiful convention center. It swoops down to the water, intimidating the flocks of seagulls and geese living nearby. Occasionally, I’ll see it dive for the river for a gulp of water or a fish.

Resting on a rock near the Bridge View Center. (Forgive the grainy iPhone picture! It was the best I could do on short notice.)

We’re so fortunate to live right on the Des Moines river, and the bald eagles are grateful for this water source. Did you know that if you live near a water source that doesn’t fully freeze, winter is one of the best times to see eagles?

Iowa is a prime winter destination for bald eagles. From September to December, they’ll begin their migration from Canada and Minnesota, ending up in parts of Southern Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri where the temperatures tend to be milder. As they migrate, they stay close to a water source, so the Des Moines river is a popular migration channel for the species.

Our section of the Des Moines river is particularly attractive to these migrating birds thanks to the dam that has a constant flow of running water to keep the river from freezing over.

According to Stephanie Shepherd, a wildlife diversity biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, “Iowa is one of the most important wintering grounds for eagles with thousands of eagles moving into the state from the north to join many of our resident breeding birds.”

Shepherd says that Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan “have some of the highest densities of nesting bald eagles in the lower 48 states and many of those eagles, especially from MN and WI move into Iowa and frequently gather in large numbers around areas of open water where they feed and roost.”

Shepherd mentioned the Des Moines and Mississippi Rivers as key destinations for these migrating birds.

Lately, the count for bald eagles in the midwinter season has been particularly low. At 1,939 bald eagles counted in midwinter of 2016, that’s the second lowest number since 2003. Because the numbers are low, we’re extremely fortunate that we have several bald eagles nesting so near the place we call home.

If you’re interested in watching for Bald Eagles in the Wapello County area, there are a few places you can look. Start at the Bridge View Center overlooking the Des Moines river where you’ll see one or two bald eagles on the water almost daily. Morning is usually the best time to see eagles, since that’s when they usually feed on the rivers.

Ready to take flight for a sip of water or a fishy snack. (Forgive the grainy iPhone picture! It was the best I could do on short notice.)

If you visit us at the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau located inside the Bridge View Center on 102 Church St, we can provide a detailed guide as to some of the best places in Wapello County to find bald eagles. You can also call at 641-684-4303 or shoot an email to info@greaterottumwacvb.org.

17 Things to Do in Ottumwa, IA in December 2017

CVBAdmin Attractions, Recreation, Something Unique to Ottumwa

By Amber Brubaker

December 7, 2017

The holiday season is one of the best times of year to be in Ottumwa. Our community goes all out to provide events and attractions anyone can enjoy. We’ve already had a breakfast with Santa at the Bridge View Center, holiday home tours to some of the most beautifully decorated homes in Ottumwa, ginger bread house making at the American Gothic House in Eldon, and a holiday tree lighting ceremony in Central Park.

Those activities are far from the end of what’s in store in Ottumwa this December. There are dozens of things you, your family, and friends can do in the greater Ottumwa region. Here are just a few of the highlights.

1. Take the Holiday Nights ‘N’ Lights Tour

Mosey on over to Greater Ottumwa Park and RV Park where the city has built an incredible light display for your enjoyment. It’s free, whether you’re driving down US 34 or you drive through the park. There are driving paths that weave throughout the light display as well as walking paths where you can examine the view a little more closely.

See the Holiday Nights ‘N’ Lights display in Greater Ottumwa Park.

Kids and adults alike will love the collection of holiday lights, each depicting a popular holiday object or theme. There are so many configurations, you’ll have to go more than once to catch them all!

  

My personal favorite? The sea monster located on the west end of the park. US 34 offers a perfect view of it, and the lights are designed to flash in such a way that it looks like the monster is moving. Look for it on your next trip through the park!Holiday Nights N Lights

2. American Home Finding’s Christmas Tour

The American Home Finding Association is opening the doors to their main office to offer you a holiday tour. Along with nativity themed rooms for your viewing pleasure, they have kids crafts, visits and pictures with Santa, a hot cocoa bar, and a cookie walk.

This event takes place on Friday, December 8 from 4:30-8:00 p.m. Drop by anytime in that time period!

3. Market on Main Events

Market on Main offers a constant stream of events for all ages. In December, they’ve already offered a concert with Brain Johannesen, a sushi demonstration class, and a wine pairing dinner. (If you missed the wine pairing dinner or you went and loved it, they will reprise the event in January and February as well.)

There’s plenty left in store for Market on Main in December. Here’s what you can do:

Live music with singer-songwriter Luke Davis on December 8 from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

4. Comedy Night with Bobby Ray Bunch

Professional stand-up comedian, on December 9 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

5. Yoga on Tap

A fitness challenge that blends craft brew with yoga poses set to music on December 14 from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m.

6. Live Music with Kevin McGinity

No cover music on December 15 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

7. A Sports Team Christmas

Featuring live music from Poorlycrafteddog, Casket Earth, Extreme Leisure, Stars Hollow, and Sports Team on December 16 from 8:00 p.m. to 11 p.m.

8. Tom Blew’s Christmas Extravaganza

Featuring live music from Tom Blew on December 22 from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

9. Latin Dance Night

Sponsored by Community First Credit Union, featuring a live DJ, drinks specials, and food on December 30 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight.

Stop in anytime throughout the holiday season to sample the incredible culinary magic of Crazy Churros and the

Photo Cred: Mike Anderson

other eateries inside Market on Main. Their gift shops will also have plenty of gifts to get you through the holidays.

10. Music by Hugo Kringle, Santa’s Little Brother

The Ottumwa Public Library presents the perfect activity for families with small children. Santa’s little brother Hugo Kringle will be visiting the library on December 13 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. to tell stories and songs straight from the North Pole.

The show is free, and there’s no registration required. Hugo has to come all the way from the “North Pole” to bring us this presentation, so the show is scheduled to go on if weather permits it to do so.

11. Indian Hills Holiday Concert

Don’t forget about the local talent offered by our students at Indian Hills Community College. The musical and theatrical department has put together a festive holiday concert, including Indian Hills choirs, jazz band, and the faculty/staff choir.

This event, located in the Indian Hills Community College St. John Auditorium, is free. You can catch it live on December 14 at 7:30 p.m.

12. Coffee and Canvas Paint Events

The Vine Coffeehouse also wants to contribute to the splendor of the holidays with a collection of stretch canvas workshops. A local artist will be teaching you how to paint various holiday scenes with acrylic paints. Each workshop is $35 apiece and includes all the supplies you’ll need and one coffee drink of your choice.

Earlier this month, participants learned to paint an Immanuel nativity scene, and it was a huge success.

13. Sugar Plum Fairy

This “Coffee and Canvas” event takes place on December 15 at 6:00 p.m.

14. Merry & Bright

The final “Coffee and Canvas” event is a decorated Christmas tree with the caption “Merry & Bright.” It takes place December 16 at 10:00 a.m.

Novice and amateur painters are welcome! These activities are a great way to meet new people and learn a talent that you didn’t know you had.

15. Holiday Hot Spot Craft and Vendor Event

From October to nearly the end of the year, the Quincy Place Mall offers a craft and vendor event in which local artists and craftsman can sell their wares. On December 16 and 17, this event will grow with more vendors focusing on holiday gifts and crafts.

It’s a great event for those seeking a last minute Christmas gift!

16. Enchanted Forest 4-H Fundraiser

Every year the Wapello County 4-H group does an “Enchanted Forest” fundraiser involving craft and food vendors, visit and pictures with Santa, a cookie walk, carriage rides, and Christmas stories. Although the 4-H fundraiser event took place on the first weekend in December (Look for it next year!), they still have a few items for sale on their Facebook page. You can reserve items on their Facebook page and pay and pick them up at the Wapello County extension Office.

17. Volunteer or Donate to the Food Bank of Southern Iowa

During this season of giving, don’t forget about your community! The Food Bank of Southern Iowa, located on Main Street, is always looking for volunteers and donations to help fill their pantry. Turn it into a family event and give back to your community.

As you can see, Ottumwa has plenty to offer, even when it’s starting to get cold and the days are much shorter that they used to be.

If I left anything off the list, please share!

For more information about the events and activities in the Greater Ottumwa region, call the Greater Ottumwa Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at (641) 684-4303, stop by our office inside the Bridge View Center, email us at info@GreaterOttumwaCVB.org, and/or subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter.

 

 

 

Spooktacular Halloween Events in the Ottumwa Area!

hpmg Blog

It’s that time of year– pumpkin spice is in the air, fall leaves are on the ground, and Halloween is days away! Here at the Ottumwa Area CVB, we love Halloween so much that we have compiled a list of the most spooktacular events in the area.

Whether you’re in search of some fun for the little gremlins, or want to raise the fright factor, we have a variety of events that will thrill Halloween lovers of all ages. Let Ottumwa give you the ultimate Halloween experience this year with a little bewitching. Costumes, horror films, live entertainment, and much more are waiting for you! Happy Haunting!

OCTOBER 30 & 31: Haunted House at Eldon City Hall, 7:00 pm to Midnight. From the creative minds of Ottumwa Nightmare on 3rd Street and the Eldon Fire & Rescue Haunted House. Admission is $6 per person and all proceeds will benefit Eldon Fire & Rescue.

OCTOBER 29: Trunk or Treat/Fall Festival at Ottumwa YMCA, 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Join the Ottumwa YMCA for a spooky fun time! This event is FREE to the public!

OCTOBER 30: Ottumwa Community Children’s Playhouse Halloween Dance at Bridge View Center. Begins at 6:00 PM

OCTOBER 31: Halloween Party at the American Gothic House, 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Celebrate Halloween in front of the famed American Gothic House while creating spooky American Gothic Parodies! Open to children ages Preschool – 5th grade.

OCTOBER 31: HALLOWEENAPALOOZA 6 at Hotel Ottumwa. Ottumwa is home to the ONLY horror movie film festival in IowaHalloweenapalooza! You don’t want to miss this! This unique film fest, presented by Prescribed Films, is Saturday, October 31 from 12:00-8:00 pm at the Hotel Ottumwa. The event includes a zombie walk, costume contests, vendors, and appearances by Jason Haxton (owner of the Dibbuk Box) and Justin Beahm (writer/director/actor). As an especially wicked treat, there will be a 6:00 showing of Nightlight, from Iowa filmmakers Scott Beck and Bryan Woods and a Midnight viewing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In addition, Main Street Ottumwa is hosting a Kid’s Cinema with treats, activities, and a screening of Hotel Transylvania from 1:00-3:00pm. Hotel packages available at the Hotel Ottumwa.

OCTOBER 31: Trunk or Treat at Willard Street United Methodist Church, 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Because what kid doesn’t want more candy?

OCTOBER 31: Halloween Party at the Ottumwa Public Library, 3:00 to 4:00 pm. Everyone is encouraged to dress up and kick off your Trick-or-Treating at the library!

OCTOBER 31: Ottumwa Trick-or-Treat, 5:30 to 8:00 pm. Watch for little ghosts and goblins roaming the streets of Ottumwa, performing tricks to receive their treats. Citizens are reminded to keep an eye out for little ghosts and goblins while driving.

Spend Your Saturday Afternoon in Eldon

hpmg Blog

What better way to spend Grant Wood’s 125th birthday than in the place where he was inspired to paint one of the most iconic paintings in America? Eldon, Iowa is home to the American Gothic House Center and the famous little white house with the gothic style window that is recognizable to millions. To celebrate Grant Wood on his very special birthday, this quaint little town is putting on three wonderful events on Saturday, February 13.

Begin your Saturday afternoon in Eldon at the Grant Wood Soup Smorgasbord dedicated to the birthday honoree himself. Come for a delicious variety of home-cooked soups and bread and stay for a slice of birthday cake and coffee. This celebration will take place from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM at the Eldon KD Center. There is no cost for this meal but freewill donations are welcome and will benefit the American Gothic House Center.

After your stomach is full and happy, mosey your way over to the American Gothic House Center to create your very own American Gothic parody and check out the brand new exhibit that will open on this Saturday of celebration: The American Scene-Prints from the 1930s and 1940s. This temporary exhibit features a selection of prints depicting a variety of rural and urban scenes from across America. Artists of the prints include Luigi Lucioni, John Steuart Curry, Jackson Lee Nesbitt, Thomas Hart Benton, Asa Cheffetz, Isabel Bishop, and Grant Wood.

To finish up your afternoon in Eldon, visit the McHaffey Opera House for a movie matinee. Take a step back in time at the historic opera house and a 2:00 PM showing of Made for Each Other with Carole Lombard and James Stewart. Admission is free.

For more information about the Grand Wood Soup Smorgasbord and The American Scene-Prints from the 1930s and 1940s, contact Holly Berg at theamericangothichouse@gmail.com. For any inquiries about the movie matinee, contact Suzanna Streeby at webmaster@eldon.lib.ia.us.

To see a complete listing of events, attractions, restaurants, and hotels in Greater Ottumwa visit ExploreOttumwa.com.

4 Things That Could Actually Be Better Than Winning the Lottery-Greater Ottumwa Edition

hpmg Blog

So you didn’t win the billion-dollar jackpot? It’s okay neither did we. Instead of spending our day deciding on what we could do with our riches, we came up with a list of things in the Greater Ottumwa area that we feel are priceless-and somewhat takes the sting out of our empty bank accounts!

Recreating the very iconic American Gothic scene at the American Gothic House in Eldon, Iowa.

Voted one of the “10 Under-the-Radar Attractions in the U.S.” by Fodor’s and the Huffington Post, the America Gothic House is iconic in American culture. Painted by Grand Wood, American Gothic is one of the most parodied pieces of art dating back to the 1960s. Dressed in an apron or overalls, a jacket, glasses, and holding a pitchfork there is nothing quite like standing in the exact spot in history where Grand Wood sketched that little gothic window many years ago.

Spotting a bald eagle soaring over the Des Moines River on a crisp, sunny, winter day.

The cool breeze moves past your checks and faint aroma of the river can be identified in the air. There is truly nothing that can beat a sunny, Iowa day by the river except for maybe a bald eagle spreading its wings right above you. It makes you feel patriotic, it makes you feel proud, and it makes you appreciate the little things in life.

That first bite of a loose-meat sandwich at the infamous Canteen Lunch in the Alley.

Since 1927, Canteen Lunch in the Alley has been satisfying the taste buds of many. Famous for their loose-meat sandwiches, the Canteen is actually surrounded by a parking garage. The reasoning for this can be found in the community’s pride for this special place. Instead of moving the location, the parking garage was built to accommodate the Canteen! The Canteen was also the inspiration for the Lanford Lunch Box restaurant that was opened by Roseanne Conner in the sitcom Roseanne. It will only take that first bite for you to realize what all of the hype is truly about. Now THAT is priceless and your stomach will thank you.

Enjoying a Tom-Tom Traditional Old Fashioned while spending some much needed time with friends at the Tom-Tom Tap

Although sometimes underrated, spending time with a long-lost friend, or even a friend that you see often is a priceless moment, especially if you are enjoying a delicious Old Fashioned made with Templeton Rye at the Tom-Tom Tap located at the Hotel Ottumwa. The Tom-Tom portrays Ottumwa’s rich Indian heritage with its name and beautiful mural behind the bar. The Tom-Tom Traditional Old Fashioned is the bar’s most popular drink and the country’s oldest cocktail. There is also the option to customize your drink using the Your-Own-Old-Fashioned menu. The bartender’s specific attention to detail comes through when you sip on this somewhat complicated cocktail. Good friends and good drinks, does it get any better than that?!

For more things to do, things to see, and things that (we think) are priceless in the Greater Ottumwa area visit our website at exploreottumwa.com.

Celebrate National Margarita Day in Ottumwa

hpmg Blog

What’s better than Margarita Monday? National Margarita Day falling on a Monday! Monday, February 22 marks this delicious day and we think that this is a holiday that should not be overlooked especially in a city with such a rich Latino culture. In honor of this festive occasion we’ve compiled a list of Latin restaurants that offer great margarita specials on Mondays or unique flavors that would be worth a try. Grab your best pals or a date and make plans to visit one of these places in Ottumwa on National Margarita Day, but only if you are 21 of course!

Fiesta Cantina
Conveniently, Fiesta Cantina offers margarita specials every Monday so a visit here on National Margarita Day just might be fate! You can purchase a half price margarita for $1.49. Fiesta Cantiana has 10 flavors to choose from with strawberry being the most popular, of course!

La Cabana Mexican Restaurant
La Cabana Mexican Restaurant is the place to be on Mondays with 10 oz., 99¢, lime on the rocks margaritas. You can’t go wrong with this classic margarita option and that great price.

Potros Garcia
Potros Garcia offers a 16 oz. lime or strawberry margarita on the rocks for $2.99. Or, if a blended margarita is more your taste, you can purchase a 16 oz. drink for $3.99. Potros Garcia also features a unique blue mint blended margarita which will be sure to transport your taste buds to somewhere tropical.

Tequila Grill
If a fruity margarita is what you’re looking for, Tequila Grill is your place to visit. Tequila Grill offers delicious tropical options to please everyone’s taste. Stop in for a blended banana or raspberry margarita.

As always, we encourage all who partake in this unique holiday to drink responsibly and call Ottumwa Cab at 641.682.5461 for a safe ride home.

For a full listing of restaurants in Ottumwa, visit our website ExploreOttumwa.com.

Kids Summer Activites

hpmg Blog

25 Activities in the Ottumwa Area That Will Minimize Your Children’s Screen Time This Summer
Trees are green, the temperatures are rising, and schools are almost done for the summer. Oh no, haven’t made your plans on just how you’ll limit the screen time this summer? Have no fear! The Ottumwa area offers a vast variety of youth activities and day camps throughout the summer months that will have your kids voluntarily putting the electronics away. With 25 different options, all keeping your children active and learning, we know that your little ones will love to try out something new this summer in Ottumwa!

Wapello County Conservation

Youth Field Day:

June 4 – Ottumwa Izaak Walton League, 11220 90th St, Ottumwa
The Youth Field Day is a great opportunity for your children to get outdoors for a day of activities. Kids will be able to try archery, bow fishing, and more! For ages 8 – 17 years, cost is $10 per child and includes a t-shirt, lunch and all instruction. The field day runs from 7:30 AM (registration) to 5:00 PM. For more information, contact Ann Van Dorin at 641.682.9902, e-mail wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to www.wapellocounty.org.

Nature Chefs:

June 6 – June 8 – Nature Chefs – Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
Kids will collect and catch edible, wild things each day and create a snack or meal cooked over an open fire. For ages 10 – 13, cost is $35/student. The camp will be from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM each day. Registration is required at least one week prior to camp. For more information, contact Annette Wittrock at 641.682.3091×102, e-mail wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to www.wapellocounty.org.

Toddler Camp:

June 7 – Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
Where and how can you find deer? What do they eat and how does their fur feel? Find out these things and more as we explore the life of white-tailed deer. For ages 3-4 with an adult, cost is $5/child. Camp will begin at 10:00 AM. Come dressed for the weather and trail conditions. Preregistration is required one week prior to camp. For more information, contact Annette Wittrock at 641.682.3091×102, e-mail wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to www.wapellocounty.org.

July 5 – Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
What animals burrow underground and why? What do they have that allows them the ability to dig and build a solid home underground? We will find out the answers to these questions, find animal burrows, and learn about the animals that make them. For ages 3-4 with an adult, cost is $5/child with an adult. Preregistration is required one week prior to camp. Come dressed to be outdoors and off the trails. For more information, contact Annette Wittrock at 641.682.3091×102, e-mail wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to www.wapellocounty.org.

August 9 – Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
What is growing in the garden and what helps it grow? We will examine the soil, insects and more as we study the garden and surrounding natural areas. For ages 3-4 with an adult, cost is $5/child. Registration is required at least one week prior to camp. For more information, contact Annette Wittrock at 641.682.3091×102, e-mail wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to www.wapellocounty.org.

Creepy Crawlies Camp:

July 18-21 – Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
Some animals are just weird, ugly, have odd eating habits, and may seem a little scary. We will spend this week searching for the odd creatures and learning their purpose in the environment. Dress for on and off trail explorations. For ages 4-6, cost is $10/child. Registration is required at least one week prior to camp. For more information, contact Annette Wittrock at 641.682.3091×102, e-mail wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to www.wapellocounty.org.

Outdoor Encounters:

July 25-28 – Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
Spend four full days outdoors immersed in the natural world. Learn how to read the signs animals have left behind; identify animals by tracks, sounds, and sight; test your archery skills; and much more. Bring a lunch and refillable water bottle each day, and be prepared to be in nature. Snacks, water refills, and all equipment will be provided. For ages 8-12, cost $30/student. Registration is required at least one week prior to camp. For more information, contact Annette Wittrock at 641.682.3091×102, e-mail wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to www.wapellocounty.org.

August 1-4 – Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
Spend four full days outdoors immersed in the natural world. Learn how to read the signs animals have left behind; identify animals by tracks, sounds, and sight; test your archery skills; and much more. Bring a lunch and refillable water bottle each day, and be prepared to be in nature. Snacks, water refills, and all equipment will be provided. For ages 13-15, cost is $30 per student. Registration is required at least one week prior to camp. For more information, contact Annette Wittrock at 641.682.3091×102, e-mail wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to www.wapellocounty.org.

Nature Detectives Camp:

August 8 – Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
How do you read the signs of nature? What clues do plants and animals leave us about their lives? Become a nature detective as we try to solve the wildlife mystery – using clues left by area animals and plants. For ages 7-11, cost is $10/child. Camp will be from 8:30 AM-12:00 (noon). Registration is required at least one week prior to camp. For more information, contact Annette Wittrock at 641.682.3091×102, e-mail wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to www.wapellocounty.org.

Moth Lighting:

August 11 – Pioneer Ridge Nature Area
We will spend the evening learning about the moths of Iowa and drawing them in for observation and identification with light. If you have ever wondered what might be silently floating through the night, this event is for you. All are welcome at this FREE event. The time will be set at a later date depending on the time of sunset. For more information, contact Annette Wittrock at 641.682.3091×102, e-mail wapellocountynaturalist@gmail.com, or go to www.wapellocounty.org.

Ottumwa YMCA

YMCA Adventure Field Trips:

June 16 – Pioneer Ridge Nature Center
Youth ages 6-12 can take an adventure field trip with us! We provide transportation to and from the location, morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack and supervision for the duration of the trip! Parents will drop their students off at 8:30 AM and pick them up at 4:30 PM. Our trip to Pioneer Ridge Nature Area will include lots of guided outdoor activities such as nature hikes and geocaching. Cost is $20. For more information, contact Garrett Ross at 641.684.6571×28, e-mail garrett@ottumwaymca.com, or go to www.ottumwaymca.com.

June 23 – Science Center of Iowa
Youth ages 6-12 can take an adventure field trip with us! We provide transportation to and from the location, morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack and supervision for the duration of the trip. Parents will drop their students off at 8:30 AM and pick them up at 4:30 PM. Our trip to the Science Center of Iowa will include many engaging science activities and an IMAX movie! The cost for this is $30. For more information, contact Garrett Ross at 641.684.6571×28, e-mail garrett@ottumwaymca.com, or go to www.ottumwaymca.com.

July 7 – Adventureland Theme Park
Youth ages 6-12 can take an adventure field trip with us! We provide transportation to and from the location, morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack and supervision for the duration of the trip! Parents will drop their students off at 8:30 AM and pick them up at 4:30 PM. Our trip to Adventureland Theme Park & Adventure Bay Water Park will include a full day of fun and will cost $40 per student. For more information, contact Garrett Ross at 641.684.6571×28, e-mail garrett@ottumwaymca.com, or go to www.ottumwaymca.com.

July 21 – I-Cubs Principal Park
Youth ages 6-12 can take an adventure field trip with us! We provide transportation to and from the location, morning snack, lunch, & afternoon snack and supervision for the duration of the trip! Parents will drop their students off at 8:30 AM and pick them up at 4:30 PM. Our trip to the Iowa Cubs, Principal Park will include a day of baseball fun! The cost will be $30 per student. For more information, contact Garrett Ross at 641.684.6571×28, e-mail garrett@ottumwaymca.com, or go to www.ottumwaymca.com.

August 4 – Blank Park Zoo
Youth ages 6-12 can take an adventure field trip with us! We provide transportation to and from the location, morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack and supervision for the duration of the trip! Parents will drop their students off at 8:30 AM and pick them up at 4:30 PM. Our trip to the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines will include a full day of safari fun and a special animal presentation for students. Cost will be $30 per student. For more information, contact Garrett Ross at 641.684.6571×28, e-mail garrett@ottumwaymca.com, or go to www.ottumwaymca.com.

Wapello County Extension

Day Camps:

June 8 – Magician’s Laboratory Day Camp – Liberty Elementary School
Want to learn magic? We’ll teach you the next best thing: science! We’ll do some experiments that are so fun they’re almost magical! Using things you probably have at home, we’ll spend the day teaching you how to be a science magician, and you can try these tricks out at home with your friends and family. This camp will be from 12:15 PM – 4:00 PM, cost is $10/child. The camp is open for kids going into grades 1-3. For more information, contact Jen Daugherty at 641.682.5491, email jenkdaugh@iastate.edu, or go to www.extension.iastate.edu.

June 9 – Magician’s Laboratory Day Camp – Liberty Elementary School
Want to learn magic? We’ll teach you the next best thing: science! We’ll do some experiments that are so fun they’re almost magical! Using things you probably have at home, we’ll spend the day teaching you how to be a science magician, and you can try these tricks out at home with your friends and family. This camp will be held from 12:15 PM – 4:00 PM, cost is $10/child. The camp is open for kids going into grades 4-6. For more information, contact Jen Daugherty at 641.682.5491, email jenkdaugh@iastate.edu, or go to www.extension.iastate.edu.

June 22-23 – Frontier Living Day Camp – Liberty Elementary School
Travel back in time and join us for a day of frontier living. Learn to make your own butter, grow your own garden, and even make your own soap! We’ll try out a pioneer recipe or two, and you’ll leave ready to start your own life on the frontier. This camp will be held from 12:15 PM – 4:00 PM, cost is $10/child. The camp is open for kids going into grades 1-3. For more information, contact Jen Daugherty at 641.682.5491, email jenkdaugh@iastate.edu, or go to www.extension.iastate.edu.

July 6 – Garden Explores Day Camp – Liberty Elementary School
Spend a day sleuthing through the garden, searching for bugs, digging up worms, planting seeds, and learning how to grow your own food. We’ll even let you pick some fresh veggies and make a delicious, healthy snack! This camp will be held from 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM, cost is $10/child. The camp is open for kids going into grades 1-3. For more information, contact Jen Daugherty at 641.682.5491, email jenkdaugh@iastate.edu, or go to www.extension.iastate.edu.

July 7 – DNA for Dinner Day Camp – Liberty Elementary School
Are you ready to explore the world of DNA? At DNA for Dinner, we’ll extract strands of DNA from foods you see every day! We’ll try out some experiments to see how DNA works, what codes exist in nature, and what makes up DNA. This day camp will be held from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM, cost is $15/child. The camp is open for kids going into grades 4-6. For more information, contact Jen Daugherty at 641.682.5491, email jenkdaugh@iastate.edu, or go to www.extension.iastate.edu.

July 20 – Kitchen Adventures Day Camp – Liberty Elementary School
If you like to cook, kitchen adventures is the camp for you! We’ll do some experiments with some common kitchen ingredients, as well as test out some new recipes. We’ll even have a chance to spend some time harvesting ingredients from the garden to use in the kitchen. This camp will be held from 12:15 PM – 4:00 PM, cost is $10/child. The camp is open for kids going into grades 1-3. For more information, contact Jen Daugherty at 641.682.5491, email jenkdaugh@iastate.edu, or go to www.extension.iastate.edu.

July 21 – Kitchen Adventures Day Camp – Liberty Elementary School
If you like to cook, kitchen adventures is the camp for you! We’ll do some experiments with some common kitchen ingredients, as well as test out some new recipes. We’ll even have a chance to spend some time harvesting ingredients from the garden to use in the kitchen. This camp will be held from 12:15 PM – 4:00 PM, cost is $10/child. The camp is open for kids going into grades 4-6. For more information, contact Jen Daugherty at 641.682.5491, email jenkdaugh@iastate.edu, or go to www.extension.iastate.edu.

August 17 – Snack Attack Day Camp – Liberty Elementary School
When hunger attacks, how do you respond? With a snack attack! At this day camp, you’ll learn how to make delicious foods that are healthy. We’ll spend time in the garden learning how food grows, and time in the kitchen making our own snacks. Filled with plenty of high-energy games, snack attack day camp will be a blast! This camp will be held from 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM, cost is $10/child. The camp is open for kids going into grades 1-3. For more information, contact Jen Daugherty at 641.682.5491, email jenkdaugh@iastate.edu, or go to www.extension.iastate.edu.

August 18 – Snack Attack Day Camp – Liberty Elementary School
When hunger attacks, how do you respond? With a snack attack! At this day camp, you’ll learn how to make delicious foods that are healthy. We’ll spend time in the garden learning how food grows, and time in the kitchen making our own snacks. Filled with plenty of high-energy games, snack attack day camp will be a blast! This camp will be held from 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM, cost is $10/child. The camp is open for kids going into grades 4-6. For more information, contact Jen Daugherty at 641.682.5491, email jenkdaugh@iastate.edu, or go to www.extension.iastate.edu.

Ottumwa Swim Clinic

June 6-10 – Ottumwa Swimming Youth Technique Swim Clinic – Beach Ottumwa
Ottumwa High School Girls Swimming is sponsoring a week-long technique clinic for swimmers in upcoming grades 2-8. Special Guest Instructors include: Cherie Langland (head OHS Girls), Heidi Owens (head OHS Boys), John Webber (formerly swam for UCLA), Heather Simplot (head coach for youth YMCA Hurricanes), Rachel Goedken (formerly swam for Loras College), and Jack Langland (currently swims for Sarah Lawrence College). Current OHS Boys and Girls Swimmers will be helping instruct the clinic. All participants will receive a swim cap and t-shirt. Regristration will be the first morning of the clinic at 8:00 AM. For more information, contact Cherie Langland at 641.799.0652, e-mail langlandcherie@yahoo.com.

 

For a complete listing of events, restaurants, attractions, and lodging in the Ottumwa Area, visit ExploreOttumwa.com.

Go Where We Go

hpmg Blog

There are many things that make a community unique from the others. One thing that sets Ottumwa apart from most is the multitude of dining, shopping, and experiences available for residents and visitors. In order to present the absolute best of what Ottumwa has to offer, we created the opportunity for the community to vote on their favorite dining, attractions, and events and we are very excited to present the results!

Take the advice of the locals and come experience all the great things that Ottumwa can offer:

Favorite Happy Hour: Tom-Tom Tap

Favorite American Dining: Bubba-Q’s Restaurant

Favorite Authentic Cuisine: Tequila Grill

Favorite Family-Friendly Dining Experience: Bubba-Q’s Restaurant

Favorite All-You-Can-Eat Dining: Pizza Ranch

Favorite Place to Order Pizza: Breadeaux Pizza

Favorite Place to Grab a Burger: Joe Burger

Favorite Place to Get a Sweet Treat: Graham’s Dairy Freez

Favorite Overall Dining Experience:

  1. Bubba-Q’s Restaurant
  2. Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar
  3. Riverside Family Restaurant
  4. Jade Palace Chinese Restaurant
  5. Tequila Grill

Favorite Place to Start Your Day: Main Street Donuts

Favorite Historical or Cultural Experience: American Gothic House & Museum

Favorite Scenic Route: Two-way tie between Ottumwa Trail

System and Pioneer Ridge Nature Area

Favorite Place to Purchase a Gift: O’Hara True Value Hardware

Favorite Place to Find Something Antique or Vintage: O’Town Marketplace

Favorite Place to be Pampered: Barefoot Bodywork & Massage

Favorite Date Night: Ottumwa 8 Theater

Favorite Place to Stay: AmericInn of Ottumwa

Favorite Place to Play: The Beach Ottumwa

Favorite Events for 2015:

  1. Pro Balloon Races (July)
  2. Oktoberfest Celebration (October)
  3. Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce Holiday Nights N Lights (November-December)
  4. South Ottumwa Saving’s Bank Live After Five (Summer)
  5. Main Street Ottumwa’s Ladies Night Out (May)

Thank you to all those who participated and congratulations to all the winners. Although these winners are just a fraction of the businesses, events, and attractions in the area, the Ottumwa Area Convention & Visitors Bureau supports everyone and everything in the community. For a complete listing of restaurants, attractions, lodging, and events in the Ottumwa Area, visit ExploreOttumwa.com.

See you soon!

Four Easter Events That Your Kids Will Be Hoppy to Attend

hpmg Blog

Bunnies, egg hunts, chocolate, and spring weather – no wonder kids love Easter and the sugar that comes with it! If you are looking for a place to enjoy some family Easter festivities before the holiday itself, look no further than Greater Ottumwa. The days leading up to Easter hold four great events that your kids will be hoppy to attend!

Easter Egg Hunt & Fun Day – Sunday, March 20Ottumwa Bridge View Center
This second annual Easter Egg Hunt & Fun Day will be located inside the beautiful Bridge View Center from 2:00-4:00 PM. Regardless of the weather, a fun time will be had by all. Youth ages 1-12 years are encouraged to participate in this festive day. There many items will be given away including six bikes and thousands of Easters eggs. The Easter Bunny, Barnyard Billy, and Sparty the Fire Dog will be available for photo ops. The only entry cost to this event is a non-perishable food item. All items will be donated to the Food Bank of Southern Iowa. For more information about this event, guests can visit www.bridgeviewcenter.com.

The Barnyard Restaurant, Third Annual Easter Extravaganza – Sunday, March 20 – The Barnyard Family Restaurant, Chillicothe
Another annual Easter event is held in Chillicothe located ten miles northwest of Ottumwa. The Barnyard Family Restaurant will have food available to purchase starting at 12:30 PM. There will be drawings to win Easter baskets, free arts & crafts, face painting, the opportunity to meet the Easter Bunny, AND a photo booth with LIVE bunnies! There will be an Easter egg hunt at 1:30 PM and a Mr. and Miss Easter Pageant at 2:00 PM. The pageant is for boys and girls in age groups 0-3 years and 4-10 years. For more information, or to enter your child in the Mr. and Miss Easter pageant, contact Ashely at The Barnyard Family Restaurant at 641.935.2020, or via email at thebarnyardrestaurant@yahoo.com.

Easter Egg Dive – Saturday, March 26 – Ottumwa YMCA
If you are looking for a more unique Easter egg experience for your kids, you do not want to miss out on the Easter Egg Dive featuring Peter Aquatails! This event at the Ottumwa Family YMCA is from 9:00-11:00 AM and costs $3 per participant. All ages are welcome to attend. Children 0-5 years must have a parent accompanying them and will be hunting floating eggs. Prizes will be given out for the most eggs collected, participation, and for finding the special golden egg! For more information, visit www.ottumwaymca.com.

Easter Egg Roll at our White House – Saturday, March 26 – American Gothic House Center, Eldon
The last, but certainly not least, Easter event that should be on your calendar this year is the American Gothic House Center’s annual Egg Roll. A popular tradition at the White House in Washington D.C. this event is smaller in scale but still features a very famous white house. The event for children begins at 1:00 PM and offers free admission. Spring themed crafts and activates will also be available at the event. For more information about the event, you can visit www.AmericanGothicHouse.net.

If you are needing a restaurant or a hotel to stay at while in town, visit ExploreOttumwa.com.