Weekend in Winterset • July 18

This Weekend

Madison County Fair

July 17-21
Madison County Fairgrounds

The county fair started yesterday! There’s so much offered at the fair, that it’s impossible for me to list it all but here are a few of my recommendations. You can find the full schedule HERE. Admission to the fair itself is free. Tickets for the evening grandstand shows are $12 for adults, $6 for kids age 5-12, and free for kids 4 and under.

Thursday, July 18
Day Care Day

5:30 PM – Bill Riley Talent Show (North Show Ring)

5:00-7:45 – Free Music: Rural Route
(Before the rodeo at the south end of the main concourse)

8 PM – Hy-Vee & Wyffels Hybrids Rodeo

Friday, July 19

5:00-7:45 – Free Music: Corey Jamison
(Before the rodeo at the south end of the main concourse)

8 PM – Hy-Vee & Wyffels Hybrids Rodeo

8 – 11 PM – Karaoke (North Show Ring)

Saturday, July 20

10 AM – Archery Tournament Start

1 PM – Monster Arm Wrestling (South Show Ring)

2 & 3 PM – Dancing Horses (Horse Arena)

5 PM – Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull (North Show Ring)

5:00-7:00 – Free Music: Chuggaluggers Band
(Before the rodeo at the south end of the main concourse)

7 PM – Mud Bog

Sunday, July 21

10 AM – MCF Horseshoes

10:30 AM – Cowboy Church (Horse Arena)

12 PM – Livestock Auction Event – Premium Sale

1 PM – Madison County Farm Bureau Cook-Out contest

7 PM – Circle Track Mud Run

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Movie in the Park

Friday • July 19 • Dusk
City Park North Shelter

Bring your candy, popcorn, and a blanket or chair to the city park and enjoy an outdoor screening of Super Mario Bros! I’ve not heard yet whether there will be a sing-along to the Peaches song…but I think someone should start that!

Despicable Me 4

July 19 & 20, 7:00pm • June 21, 2:00pm
The Iowa Theater

Gru welcomes a new member to the family, Gru Jr., who’s intent on tormenting his dad. However, their peaceful existence soon comes crashing down when criminal mastermind Maxime Le Mal escapes from prison and vows revenge against Gru. Rated PG, 1 hr 34 min

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Farmer’s Market

Saturday • July 20 • 8:00 – Noon
Monumental Park (next to the library)

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The Golden Years

Sunday • July 21 • 5:30pm
Sunday Movie Club at The Iowa Theater

The sixty-something couple featured in this month’s Sunday Movie Club movie is transitioning to retirement. Peter, the husband, is leaving a job he had for 37 years. Not only is he leaving, his office is being turned into a space for computer servers. Alice, Peter’s wife, is excited about a Mediterranean cruise (a gift from their adult kids) that will launch their life as retirees and hopefully rekindle the spark that got them together in the first place.

When Alice’s best friend dies suddenly, Peter invites the woman’s bereaved husband along on the voyage. Alice literally jumps ship in Marseille to go on a quest of her own. According to RogerEbert.com, “Golden Years finds its most invigorating footing as it zigs where most late-life romantic dramedies zag.”

The 2022 film is in Swiss German with English subtitles. Total running time is 1 hr 37 minutes. Doors open at 5 p.m.; the movie starts at 5:30.

The screening is part of the Iowa Theater’s Sunday Movie Club, which offers once-a-month opportunities to view thought-provoking films. Membership costs $75 per year for the 12-movie series, but anyone can attend by purchasing a ticket for $8. Sunday Movie Club screenings include a brief, optional discussion following the credit roll. The book-club-like conversations are variously facilitated by theater staff, board members, and club members.

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Next Week


Tuesday • July 23rd
The WHOLE Town!

The big event next week is, of course, RAGBRAI. Riders will be rolling in to town on Tuesday, July 23rd, and rolling out on Wednesday morning, but the action will start on Monday, July 22nd, with a street decorating party! Meet the corner of John Wayne Drive and Court Ave at 5:30 to help cover the street with chalk art. Just bring yourself (and your family!), the chalk with be provided.


The main stage will be located at the corner of Court Ave & 1st Ave. The music will kick off at 3:00 and the headliners, Not Quite Brothers, will start at 8:30. Come mingle with the riders and enjoy the fun!

Neva Alden 
3pm – 4:30pm

An Iowa based country singer.

Jordan Beem 
4pm – 5:30pm

A live acoustic artist featuring country/folk, classic rock and modern pop music based in Des Moines, IA

Standing Hampton 
6pm – 8pm

70s and 80s classic rock. 

Not Quite Brothers
8:30 – 10:30pm

The RAGBRAI committee has put together this handy guide to answer any questions you may have about RAGBRAI being in Winterset. You can also visit www.WintersetRagbrai.com for more information, including interactive maps.


Q: What is the bike route into Winterset?
A: After riders travel over 82 miles of hilly terrain, they will come into Winterset from the south on Old Highway 169/Clark Tower Road, and travel north on John Wayne Drive to the Courthouse Square, where most of the entertainment, food, and activities will be located. From there the riders will be directed to their campsites, with the main campground located at the Winterset Aquatic Center at 1201 West Jefferson, and other camping locations at the City Park, Madison County Historical Museum, the schools and ballparks.

Q: What is the bike route out of Winterset?
A: When leaving on Wednesday, the riders will be directed back to the square from their camp location and will leave town going south on John Wayne Drive to Old Highway 169/Clark Tower Road as they make their way to St. Charles. A daily gravel option also is being offered this year, and gravel enthusiasts can leave Winterset via East Court and ride past Holliwell Bridge before linking up with the road riders near St. Charles.

Q: Will there be any road closures on the bike route?
A: The square will be closed to traffic starting Monday, July 22, much like it is during the Covered Bridge Festival. In addition the following roads will be no parking:

  • 10th Street from Highway 92 to East Court Avenue
  • 4th Avenue from Highway 92 to Summit Street
  • 8th Avenue from Highway 92 to Summit Street
  • Summit Street from 8th Avenue to John Wayne Drive
  • Court Avenue from 8th Avenue to 10th Street
  • Jefferson Street from the Aquatic Center to 10th Street

The county and city will not be shutting down the bike routes, and these roads will be open to traffic. However, drivers are advised to avoid these roads for the safety of everyone. If you must use the bike route, please use caution in these areas. To help keep bikes and traffic moving, law enforcement will be monitoring major intersections.

Q: What is the committee doing to help ensure public safety?
A: Public safety is a top concern of the committee. Current plans include increased law enforcement presence, road and stage barriers, and medical and first aid tents.

Q: Where will all of these bikers and guests be staying?
A: The main campground is the Winterset Aquatic Center. Other official campgrounds include Madison County Historical Complex and Winterset Elementary. We will have bikers all over town, including residential yards, churches, and any free green space.

Q: What type of entertainment will be available?
A: Not Quite Brothers is the main act for the evening along with Standing Hampton, Jordan Beem, and Neva Alden. The square will also have a beverage garden and vendors. All of the community is welcome to come out and enjoy the day’s entertainment. Stage entertainment and beverage garden will open at 3 p.m., last call is at 10:30 p.m. and everything on the square will end at 11 p.m.

Q: What can I do before the event to help?
A: The committee will be hosting an event to decorate John Wayne Drive on Monday, July 22 at 5:30 PM. The group will meet at JWD and Court Ave, near the old Dutch Country Store. Bring the entire family out and help them decorate with sidewalk chalk! Just bring yourselves. The sidewalk chalk will be provided.

Q: Can I help during the event?
A: Yes! To pull off an event this big, the committee is looking for many volunteers. Volunteers are needed for everything from lining John Wayne Drive to welcome riders into town to beverage garden and information center workers. If you’re interested in helping, please visit www.wintersetragbrai.com.

Q: Where can I keep up-to-date on what is going on?
A: Check out the Winterset RAGBRAI website at wintersetragbrai.com for updates. You may follow the committee on Facebook (Winterset RAGBRAI 2024), Instagram (@wintersetragbrai), and X (@wintrsetragbrai). Be sure to also watch the local news outlets.

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Youth Fishing Night

Tuesday • July 23 • 6:00 – 7:30pm
Cedar Lake

If the crowds of RAGBRAI aren’t really your thing, take the kids and head out to Cedar Lake for youth fishing night. Bring your pole or borrow one from the Parks & Rec. Bait is provided. All kids must be accompanied by a licensed adult. Fishing licenses are required for anyone age 16+.

Pretty in Pink

Wednesday • July 24 • 7:00pm
Way Back Wednesday at The Iowa Theater

Five high school students from different walks of life endure a Saturday detention under a power-hungry principal (Paul Gleason). The disparate group includes rebel John (Judd Nelson), princess Claire (Molly Ringwald), outcast Allison (Ally Sheedy), brainy Brian (Anthony Michael Hall) and Andrew (Emilio Estevez), the jock. Each has a chance to tell his or her story, making the others see them a little differently — and when the day ends, they question whether school will ever be the same. 1985, Rated R, 1 hrs 37 mins

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American State Bank
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The Iowa Theater
John Wayne Birthplace Museum
Madison County Health Care System
Madison County Historical Society
Madison County Music Co.
McGowen Hurst Clark Smith
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Midwest Heritage Bank
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Winterset Ballet & Dance Studio
Winterset Optimist Club
Winterset Parks & Recreation Department