Weekend of May 12-14 & John Wayne Birthday Celebration Lineup

It’s time to talk about the BIG event happening in Winterset in just two weeks, always providing a great influx of western enthusiasts and lots of fun for locals, too: The 10th Annual John Wayne Birthday Celebration, planned for May 25-27. Honored guests at this year’s event will include Johnny Crawford, Robert Carradine, and Aissa Wayne.

Actor/singer Johnny Crawford has been a welcome guest in millions of American homes since 1955, when he was featured as one of Walt Disney’s original Mouseketeers. Best known as young Mark McCain, Chuck Connors’ son in the hit series The Rifleman, Crawford appeared regularly in such television classics as The Lone Ranger, Wagon Train, Zane Grey Theater, The Donna Reed Show, Hawaii Five-O and Murder She Wrote. And, of course, he had the honor of being shot dead by John Wayne in Howard Hawks’ El Dorado (1967). Mr. Crawford has also enjoyed a successful musical career, first as a Billboard Top-40 teen pop star and, since 1992, as the leader of the Johnny Crawford Dance Orchestra.

Actor Robert Carradine starred as one of the young waddies who went up the trail with John Wayne in The Cowboys (1972). Among his countless other screen roles, he also appeared with his brothers David and Keith in The Long Riders, alongside Lee Marvin in The Big Red One, and as geeky Lewis in Revenge of the Nerds. Robert’s father, John Carradine (pictured below with his son and John Wayne on the set of The Cowboys) famously shared the screen with Wayne in such classics as Stagecoach, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and The Shootist. (p.s. “Waddie” is a new word I learned from Brian Downes. He’s a true fount of Western knowledge!)

Both Crawford and Carradine will appear at 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. Past years’ auction items have included autographed photos, vintage movie posters, John Wayne bourbon and brandy, original artworks, commemorative firearms and screen-worn movie wardrobe items. Sure to generate lively bidding this year is an original 16″ x 20″ oil painting of John Wayne in his prime by Artist of the Legends, Jerry Harris www.theartistoflegends.com.

And that’s not all! There’s a whole lineup events for the celebration weekend, getting an early start on Thursday, May 25th. Here is a copy of the schedule, with a printable version here, and more details below.

Thanks to the tireless restoration efforts of Marianne and Rebecca Fons and their construction crew, the Iowa Theater will return to life just in time to show John Wayne movies on the big screen like the good old days! In fact, they will kick the celebration off with Stagecoach at 7:00 pm on Thursday, May 25th, and then Fort Apache at 7:00 pm on Friday, May 26th. Both films, starring Wayne and directed by John Ford, will be followed by a discussion and book signing with Joseph Malham, author of John Ford: Poet in the Desert. Individual and package tickets for the Thursday and Friday screenings can be purchased at the-iowa.com/john-wayne-weekend.

Another fun kickoff to the John Wayne Birthday Celebration will be the Country Barn Dance at the Madison County Fairgrounds. Music and dancing will be from 7-11 pm on Friday, May 26. Admission at the door is $8. Refreshments will be available. Last year’s wingding was a huge hit, and many stayed past closing to enjoy music, dancing and the camaraderie of John Wayne fans from across the country. Those who come early might be able to admire the horses which will be participating in Saturday’s parade.

The Winterset Fire Department invites visitors and locals alike to breakfast at the fire station 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).

The John Wayne 5K Run/Walk will begin at 9:00 am in front of the John Wayne Museum. Participants can register online here (through May 25th) or click to download a race brochure/paper registration form. This event his hosted by the Winterset Rotary Club and benefits C.R.I.S.P., the Rotary Scholarship Fund, and Winterset Skate Park.

The John Wayne Birthday Celebration proudly welcomes back the world-renowned Wells Fargo Stagecoach. This crowd pleaser will be a featured attraction of the all-horse parade, which will wind through the streets of Winterset on Saturday, May 27th starting at 11:00 am at the Madison County Fairgrounds, and traveling east on West Court to the square and the museum, then circling onto W. Washington and heading west. The parade will also include riders and rolling stock from throughout the Midwest.

From 1:00 to 3:00 pm on May 27th at the John Wayne Museum, author John Farkis will be signing copies of his latest book, Alamo Village: How a Texas Cattleman Brought Hollywood to the Old West. Updated from his 2005 edition, Alamo Village has been greatly expanded with detailed information, fascinating insights, interesting interviews and numerous photographs about the important Texas film site.

Finally, in addition to the aforementioned Museum Benefit Dinner and Auction on Saturday evening from 5:00 to 8:00, the Iowa Theater will host a free outdoor screening of El Dorado on the courthouse lawn at sundown (approximately 8:45 pm) on May 27th. Just bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy as the sun sets on another great celebration weekend.

Photo by Stacy Z Photography

This Weekend

Tonight and tomorrow night at 7:00 pm in Miller Auditorium, Husky Drama presents Our Town by Thornton Wilder. Tickets are available at the door.

Also this evening (May 12th) to honor the dedication of this year’s students who participated in the 2017 National History Day competition, the students and their projects will be featured at a free open house from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Madison County Historical Museum. Refreshments will be served. Each year, Winterset’s seventh grade social studies teacher Jim Heithoff leads his students in National History Day competition activities. Personnel from the Madison County Historic Preservation Commission and Madison County Historical Society offer their assistance with a series of visits to Heithoff’s classroom to teach research skills and by meeting with individual students. Winterset seventh graders who participated in the 2017 regional competition are Anna Blader, Josie Burkett, Mia Kerr, Joel Akers, Anna Keller, Ashley Kinney, Carissa Gerwig, and Riley Kious. In addition, Nina Alvarez entered in the high school/Senior Division. Students will be present at this evening’s open house to explain the topics they chose to investigate through an exhibit, website, or document. The Madison County Historical Society and Madison County Historic Preservation Commission applaud these students in their historical endeavors.

Tonight at the Madison County Historical Museum (Anna Keller pictured)

This is the weekend of Winterset’s annual City-wide Garage Sale. This evening and Saturday morning will be very busy with sales all over town. See the Shopper for a map and description of 59 locations!

Winterset’s City-wide Garage Sale is set for May 13th.

As mentioned in detail last week, the Winterset Wine Walk is happening this Saturday, May 13th from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. At this time, some tickets remain for this annual event that is conveniently timed the day before Mother’s Day, making it the perfect opportunity to treat your mom or join your friends for an evening of wine tasting, food sampling, and strolling around the Winterset square. There are currently 25 businesses planning to participate in the wine walk, at 23 pouring stations at locations on and near the square. Wines will be from Covered Bridges Winery, Madison County Winery, and Two Saints Winery. On the north and west sides, simultaneous to the Wine Walk, the Central Iowa Auto Club will be hosting a Car Show & Shine from 4:00 to 7:00. There will be strolling entertainment on two corners, and the Madison County Cattlemen’s Club will be grilling burgers on the south side. Participants will start at the Madison County Chamber office to pick up their commemorative wine glasses and wristbands before heading out to sample. Each registered participant will also receive a $5.00 coupon toward the purchase of their favorite bottle of wine from the evening. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber office at 73 Jefferson, or online here. It’s been my pleasure to help with coordinating this event, and I hope to see you there!

While you’re out and about, be sure to stop by Re:home, which is open today until 6:00 and Saturday from 9:00 to 7:00 (participating in the Wine Walk).



Coming Soon

A special exhibit and movie screening of Honor Flight: One Last Mission is coming to the Winterset Public Library on May 23rd:

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, 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 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 also include complimentary popcorn during the movie. Tickets can be purchased here.

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 and thank you to the Madison County Women’s Giving Circle for their first quarter donation, and their LARGEST donation to date, to the Matura Neighborhood Center Friendship Fund. The Friendship Fund at Matura assists people with items like dental care, tires, car repair, small household repairs, utilities, and rent deposits when in need ($13,989 in assistance provided last year). After a few more checks were received by donors this week, the total of the “big check” increased to $5,800 since the time this photo was taken last Monday. Awesome! Ladies, join the second quarterly meeting of the Madison County Women’s Giving Circle on Tuesday, June 27th at the Sports Page Restaurant in Winterset. Contact Ester Mae Cox for more information at 515-462-6798.

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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