Memorial Day Weekend in Winterset

This is such an action-packed weekend all over town that I’m publishing a bit earlier than usual, just to get ahead of it! As I mentioned before in a post about the John Wayne Birthday Celebration, it kicks off this Thursday night at 7:00 pm with a showing of Stagecoach at the brand-newly renovated Iowa Theater, on the square in Winterset, Iowa since 1914.

So, so glad we’re getting our beloved theater back in business.

Thursday’s presentation of Stagecoach and Friday’s presentation of Fort Apache will feature an introduction and post-screening discussion with Mr. Joseph Malham, author of John Ford: Poet in the Desert. Tickets and ticket packages are available at

Other community events in conjunction with the John Wayne Birthday Celebration include the Country Barn Dance at the Madison County Fairgrounds on Friday evening from 7:00 to 11:00 pm, the John Wayne 5K Run/Walk starting at 9:00 am on Saturday morning at the museum (register online here through May 25th, or click to download a paper registration form), and the All-Horse Parade with the Wells Fargo Stagecoach starting at 11:00 am at the Madison County Fairgrounds, traveling east on West Court to the square and the museum, then circling onto W. Washington and heading west. The parade will include riders and rolling stock from throughout the Midwest.

Of course, locals will not want to miss breakfast at the fire station served by the Winterset Fire Department on Saturday, May 27 from 6:00 am to 11:00 am. Breakfast will include pancakes, eggs, sausage and beverages. It’s a bargain at $6 per person (children 3 and under are free).

Serious John Wayne enthusiasts may also wish to attend the annual Museum Benefit Dinner and Auction, which begins at 5:00 pm at the Jackson Building on Saturday, May 27th. Tickets for the Dinner and Auction are $150, and are available for purchase at the museum, or online here. The auction, led by Jon and Chuck Garrison with celebrity host Aissa Wayne, daughter of John Wayne, will include a wide variety of collectibles and memorabilia as always. The weekend’s special guests, Johnny Crawford and Robert Carradine, are scheduled to appear at this event.

And, the John Wayne Birthday festivities conclude on Saturday evening with a free outdoor screening of El Dorado on the courthouse lawn at sundown (approximately 8:45 pm). Lawn chairs and blankets are recommended.

Also This Weekend

In addition to the John Wayne Birthday Celebration events, there’s more going on around town. Perhaps most importantly to the kids, the opening day of the Winterset Aquatic Center is Saturday, May 27th.
The pool opens this Saturday!

Well-timed for Memorial Day weekend, Winterset American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War members are raising funds for two preservation projects within Monumental Park, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. All four cannons in the park have carriages of wood and iron with a continuous cycle of deterioration and replacement… plus, the monument’s cement base is crumbling.

An awareness and fundraising event will take place on Saturday, May 27, starting at 12:30 pm with a short history of Monumental Park and how it was completed by proud citizens throughout Madison County. This will be followed by a free-will donation lunch prepared by the Madison County Beef Producers AND the Madison County Pork Producers. You may want to bring along your own chair. In the case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the Winterset Public Library meeting room.

Both the base of the monument and its marble marker were constructed in 1867. Now, a portion of the base needs to be replaced with limestone blocks, and all four Civil War cannons are to receive long-lasting aluminum carriages. Nearly $60,000 is needed for the four cannon carriages and $8,000 for the base repair.

If you’re unable to attend the event, supporters can write a check to the “American Legion Post 184” with a memo of “Monumental Park” and drop it by one of the Farmers & Merchants banks within Madison County, or mail it to F&M Bank at 101 W. Jefferson in Winterset. Your contribution will be tax deductible and our local veteran organizations thank you.

While you’re in the neighborhood during the Pancake Breakfast or the event at Monumental Park on Saturday, stop by the Winterset Public Library to see the exhibit honoring Winterset’s Don Thomas, a World War II Veteran and POW. The reception has already occurred, but the exhibit extends through June 30th.

The Winterset Cidery is now open for the season, and they’re sure to have a good crowd this weekend. On Friday and Saturday evening they’ll have “Up In Smoke” serving dinner, and on Saturday from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, the ever-popular Crosswind band will be there with live music ($5 cover charge).

Groth’s Gardens & Greenhouses at 2451 Cumming Road is having a huge Memorial Day Sale with 25% off all plants, including hanging baskets, perennials, annuals and tropicals, and 40% off garden decor and pots. They’ll be open on Memorial Day from 9:00 to 6:00.

Memorial Day Sale 25% Off All Plants

Re:home is also open this weekend on Saturday only, from 9:00 to 5:00.

After their preview events during the John Wayne Birthday Celebration, the Iowa Theater will have its own Grand Reopening festivities on Sunday, May 28th. Participants can attend a 5:00 pm screening of the Iowa-based classic Field of Dreams and then enjoy the reopening party under the tent outside the Iowa on John Wayne Drive. OR, they can attend the reopening party (starting at 7:00 pm) and then relax for a screening of The Bridges of Madison County at 9:00 pm. Limited tickets are also available for those who choose to attend the party and both films. The party will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and wine, and attendees can step on the red carpet for photo. Tickets include complimentary popcorn during the movie. Tickets can be purchased here.

Memorial Day

On Monday, the annual Memorial Day parade will begin at 10:00 am and proceed to the Winterset Cemetery for a service of honor and remembrance at 10:30 am. As part of the program, thirteen Quilts of Valor will be awarded to local veterans.

The Iowa Quilt Museum in Winterset serves as the national headquarters for the the Quilts of Valor Foundation, whose mission is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. In preparation for their current Quilts of Valor exhibit, the museum put out a call for quilt entries last winter and received over 50 responses from across the country. A committee of three board members and museum director, Megan Barrett, selected the quilts to be included in the exhibit, which will be open this weekend during the museum’s regular hours AND Memorial Day. Due to the abundance of entries for the exhibit, the museum was able to acquire more quilts than necessary for the display. Those will be awarded at the Cemetery on Memorial Day. The rest of the quilts in the exhibit will also be awarded at a special ceremony at the Iowa Quilt Museum on July 9th at 4:00 pm, open to the public. Winterset resident Jeri Beem, who recently took an appointment with the Quilts of Valor Foundation as State Coordinator in Iowa, is organizing the quilted awards for both ceremonies.

Above, Dennis “Chip” Lauer (in the plaid shirt) was treated to a preview of his quilt by his family on the opening day of the exhibit, May 2nd. Phyllis Kaldenberg successfully orchestrated the making of this quilt, coaching nineteen non-sewing family members to make the blocks.

The Iowa Quilt Museum is returning to summer hours on May 26th, Monday-Saturday 10:00 to 5:00, and Sundays Noon to 4:00. They will be open on Memorial Day.



Coming Soon

When you see the Winterset streets lined with flags on Monday, please know that this is a joint ongoing service provided by our local Optimist Club, Lion’s Club, and Boy Scouts. For just $25 per year, they will place a 3′ x 5′ US Flag on your property on five holidays (Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Veteran’s Day) and remove it at the end of the holiday day.

The Winterset Optimists meet at the Montross Cafe every Friday morning, with a meeting and program beginning at 6:45 am. On Friday, June 2nd, they’d like to invite YOU to be their guest! If you’ve ever been interested in becoming an Optimist, or learning more about the organization, this meeting is designed to answer your questions. Breakfast will be provided for your first meeting; just enter the cafe anytime after 6:15 am through the alley entrance, and you’ll be welcomed. Optimist Club is a voluntary organization of civic-minded men and women working together in community service, and its members come from all walks of life. Known for their dedication to being “Friends of Youth,” some of their most visible local projects include Family Fun Night at the Elementary school, Boys and Girls Basketball Tournaments, the annual Turkey Dinner, Fishing Derby, Toys for Tots, a Food Bank Drive with the Junior Optimists, Little League Sponsorship, and more. Take them up on this opportunity and visit them bright and early on June 2nd at Montross for more information.

The Winterset Optimists welcome new members!
Something new is happening in Winterset City Park this summer! Co-hosted by the Madison County Chamber of Commerce and the Winterset Parks and Recreation Department, the “First Friday” concert series means that once a month, on the first Friday of the month from June through August, the North Shelter area will be alive from 6:00 to 10:00 pm with live music, hot food, and cold beverages (beer, wine coolers and bottled water). The event is free, just bring a lawn chair or blanket and relax on the gently sloping hillside facing the Cutler-Donohue bridge. The first event on June 2nd will feature Hot Tamale & the Red Hots and food by Hy-Vee. The First Fridays series is sponsored for the summer by Fareway.
Catch the first one on June 2nd from 6:00 to 10:00 pm!
The annual recital for students of Winterset Ballet & Dance will be held Friday, June 9th at 6:00 pm and Saturday, June 10th at 3:00 pm in the WHS Auditorium. They will be performing Alice in Wonderland for the ballet, and the theme for the jazz, hip-hop and modern part of the recital is Moms, because all the moms are dancing in each of these dances! For the first time, tickets will be available for purchase online in advance here, starting Monday, May 8th. This means reserved seating! Tickets are just $5.00, and will also be available at the door.


Congratulations to the 2017 recipients of the Presidential Service Awards at Winterset Senior High School! Each student received a medal, signed certificate and a letter from the President. From left to right, Mr. Kent Abrahamson, Principal; Beth Stolte, Senior, 100+ hours for the Bronze Medal (Young Adult), daughter of Jason and Teri Stolte; Lexi Evans, Sophomore, 180+ hours for the Silver Medal (Young Adult), daughter of Erica and Scott Evans; Emma Lowden, Sophomore 100+ hours, Gold Medal (Teen Division), daughter of Blaine and DeAnn (Harvey) Lowden; and Ms. Jessica Gibbons, Advisor.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading The Winterset Citizen! All community announcements are provided at no charge, courtesy of the following sponsors:

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