Weekend in Winterset, Sept. 23-25

It is officially Fall, and right on cue, The Pumpkin Ranch is opening TODAY for their 2016 season! They’ll continue to be open on Fridays (10am to 5pm), Saturdays (10 am to 6pm) and Sundays (12pm to 5pm) through October 30th. To get there from Winterset, take John Wayne Drive south to St. Charles Highway (G50). Go east on the St. Charles Highway for about four miles, and then turn south on Hiatt Apple Trail. The Pumpkin Ranch is the second farm on the right.


General admission to The Pumpkin Ranch is $9.00/person on Saturdays and Sundays and $7.00/person on Fridays. Admission prices include all activities offered on the day you attend. Children age two and younger are free.


In addition to a great store that sells all kinds of pumpkins and gourds, as well as locally made products and crafts, here’s what you can expect to find at The Pumpkin Ranch this season:

  • 10 acre corn maze, which includes checkpoints and a fun mystery game that is appropriate for all ages.
  • Jump Pillow, a 30′ x 50′ pillow filled with air — guaranteed to bring out the kid in everyone!
  • New in 2016: a huge 30′ x 70′ jump pad for younger guests.
  • Hay rack rides that will take you to the patch to cut your own pumpkins, gourds, and squash.
  • Adventurous zip lines, and new for 2016, additional zip lines for younger guests.
  • Two 30-foot slides.
  • Toddler Town: playground, new playhouses, jump house, Farm Tracks game, and plenty of straw bale and giant tire climbs.
  • Horseback rides (on specific dates only – view events calendar).
  • Face Painting (on specific dates only).
  • Professional Photography (specific dates only).

This weekend they’ll have free horse rides on Saturday from 1pm to 5pm, Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday from noon to 5pm. See you at 2425 Hiatt Apple Trail in Winterset!

Another great way to spend time with the family outdoors this weekend is to visit Rusty Stars Alpacas during their Alpaca and Llama Farm Days, September 24th and 25th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Located at 2054 Rustic Lane in Winterset, this is a great opportunity to bring the family to see alpacas and llamas and learn learn more about them. Sunlight Harvest Alpacas and Rustic Ridge Llamas are joining Rusty Stars Alpacas for this fun weekend event. Looking for alpaca products? Shop their new store full of hats, gloves, scarves, socks, gifts and raw alpaca fiber! You can also find them online at www.rustystarsfarm.com. Call 970-214-6103 for more information.

Alpaca and Llama Farm Days Activities
Open Barn – see 20 alpacas
Shop the brand new farm store
Excellent photo opportunities
Free raffle to win an alpaca Teddy Bear
Loom weaving and crochet demonstration (Sunday Only)

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Still more affordable family fun can be found at the Madison County Historical Museum this Saturday, with FREE ADMISSION from 11am to 4pm.

Free Museum Day (1)

Click here to download a printable ticket!

Midwest Heritage, a subsidiary of Hy-Vee, Inc., is now accepting applications for their award-winning program to help youth get a start in the cattle industry. The goal of the Midwest Heritage Youth Heifer Program is to help future young farmers gain interest and knowledge of the beef cattle industry by awarding bred heifers to program recipients. Midwest Heritage will grant up to five 7th and 8th graders, three bred heifers each. The program will span five years. During this time, recipients are responsible for management of the herd including daily care, records and breeding. At the conclusion of the five years, recipients are responsible for paying back the market value of the three bred heifers. When submitting applications for the program, the participants are required to list their goals for the program, their future, give descriptions of how they would promote it within their communities and submit three letters of recommendation.

Wayne Martens, Midwest Heritage Bank
Talk to Wayne Martens of Midwest Heritage Bank if you know a student who may be interested in the Youth Heifer Program: 515-493-8392.

“This is an excellent opportunity for youth to increase their knowledge of agriculture,” said Christopher Watkins, Midwest Heritage Senior Vice President, Market President, and Senior Lender. “By the end of the program these students will have established a foundation herd and gained financial self-sufficiency. This will be an incredible advantage as they begin their careers in agriculture.” Students from Fremont, Lucas, Madison, Wayne and Warren County are invited to apply. Applications are being accepted until October 31, and can be found online at www.mhbank.com/youth-heifer.



Coming Soon

The Madison County Women’s Giving Circle will meet Tuesday, September 27 at 6:30 pm in the back meeting room of the Sports Page Restaurant. If any Madison County women would like to come by to check out the group, feel welcome! You may arrive at 5:30 pm. for dinner and then stay for the one hour meeting, or come for the meeting only – it’s your choice. The purpose of the Madison County Women’s Giving Circle is to enhance opportunities for Madison County women and all children. Non-profit organizations are invited to bring projects for consideration for funding that evening. Three proposals will be randomly selected, each will make a brief presentation to the group, and then the members will vote for their choice of the three. The top vote-getter of the evening will receive checks for $50 from every member in the group (often totaling near $5,000).


Classes have started at Winterset Ballet & Dance Studio, but there is still time to register for the school year. Owner Nicole Eckles invites you to participate in the upcoming hip-hop workshop. She said, “On Tuesday, September 27th, Zach Benson is coming to the studio to teach hip-hop and some break dancing! Ages 6-9 will be from 4:45-5:45 pm, and ages 10 and up will be from 5:45-6:45. Zach was on So You Think You Can Dance and has since been traveling the world teaching! The workshop is included for those already enrolled in hip-hop, but you don’t have to be enrolled to participate in the workshop.” For more information, contact Nicole by email at nicole@wintersetdance.com or by phone/text at 515-201-9403.

Zach Benson will lead a hip-hop workshop at Winterset Ballet & Dance this Tuesday afternoon. There is still time for your student to participate!

Next weekend is Homecoming for Winterset High School, with parade at approximately 2:30 pm on Friday, game at 7:30 pm, and dance on Saturday evening.

I miss the good old days of painting windows on the square for homecoming!

The Iowa Quilt Museum is excited to debut its next exhibit, “Stargazing: American Star Quilts.” Once again, this exhibit will feature over 30 quilts, both antique and contemporary, and all themed on one of the many star patterns notable to American quilting. To prepare for this change, they will be closed on Wednesday, September 28th. The new exhibit will be available for viewing on Thursday, September 29th. Guests are also invited to an opening reception on Saturday, October 1st from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Enjoy the beautiful exhibit along with drinks, hors d’oeuvres and live music. Admission is $10, and tickets can be reserved here.


The 47th Annual Covered Bridge Festival is just one month away, and it’s time to get registered for the annual Covered Bridge 4k/8k race in City Park on October 8th. There will also be a children’s race that day, or you can participate as a “Family Team of Two.” Register by September 30th for best price and good luck to all! Here is the link to register online and find more info, and or click here to download a printable race brochure and registration form. Thank you to the Winterset Rotary Club for hosting and organizing this great annual activity.

The 4K/8K Run/Walk Covered Bridge Race takes place on Saturday, October 8th in City Park.

Have a great weekend in Winterset, and thank you for reading The Winterset Citizen!

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