Friday, June 5, 2009

Gothic Days one week away!

39th Annual Eldon Gothic Days

June 12-14, 2009

Announcing the Thirty-ninth American Gothic Days Schedule of Events!

Eldon— June 12-14, 2009 marks the thirty-ninth celebration of American Gothic Days in Eldon, Iowa. The slate of events includes some old favorites, such as Supper in the Park, Alumni Gathering, Little League Tournament, Used Book Sale, Parade, Craft Show, Quilt Show and Raffle, Free Kids’ Games, Barbequed Chicken Dinner, Kids’ Pedal Pull, Cardboard Boat Races and Mud Volleyball Tournament, as well as some more recent new comers over the last few years, such as a Buckskinner Camp Out, 5K Walk and Run, Ottumwa Radio Control Flyers, American Gothic House Art Contest, Knock Out Basketball Tournament, Antique Appraiser Show, 20 Mile Bike Ride and Ladies’ Nail Driving Contest. Read on for more details!

Supper in the Park will be held Friday evening, June 12 from 5-7 pm at the “Rock” Park downtown. Dinner will feature Roasted Pork. No need to make reservations, just show up and contribute to the free will donation. All proceeds benefit Gothic Area Tourism of Eldon (G.A.T.E.), a non-profit organization that supports improvement projects and promotion of Eldon.

The Eldon High School Alumni Gathering will be held at the Wapello County Regional Fairgrounds Wapello Building on Friday, June 12 from 5-7 pm. Reservations are required. This meal is served by the Eldon TTT and is for graduates of the Eldon High School which closed in 1960. Students who attended and graduated from the school travel back to the area every two years to greet old friends.

There will be a Boys’ Little League Tournament beginning Friday, June 12 at 5:30 pm at the Eldon Ball Field and will continue on through Saturday, June 13. For more information contact Jason Day at 799-5204.

Saturday, June 13 begins bright and early with a 5K Walk / Run beginning at the American Gothic House Center at 7:30 am. Registration will begin at 6:45 am. The route will take participants down the hill through the Wapello County Regional Fairgrounds, along the Des Moines River, then back through town to the American Gothic House Center via the American Gothic Park and Trail. Parents are encouraged to take their small children with them using strollers. Registration is $18.50 and includes a t-shirt, a map of the route, medals for both men and women for first, second and third place winners for each age category and a trophy for the overall winner for men and women. This event is sponsored by Libertyville Savings Bank, Kremer Funeral Home and Crossroad Graphics.

The Friends of the Library host their Used Book Sale again this year in the Library Basement from 9 am – 12 pm on Saturday, June 13.

Everything stops for the Parade on Saturday morning beginning at 10 am. This year the Parade will be announced by Lee Muntz of Fairfield. The Grand Marshall will be William Helmick with honored guests Juanita Sumner and Christine Stevenson. Allen and Rosie Morrison will ride in the parade as this year’s American Gothic couple. Other entries include the City Council and Mayor of Eldon, Drifters’ Classic Car Club, local business and church floats, Ottumwa and Fairfield Shriner’s, Baseball and Softball Teams, Scouts and Flag bearers, Eldon Alumni with their float and Cheerful Chuckles the Clown. If you would like to be in the parade, contact Linda Pool at 652-3326. All entries are welcome and there is no cost to enter. Entries will be judged that morning with the winners announced during the parade. All entries will receive a participation ribbon and there will be cash prize for first, second and third place. The parade will begin assembling on the street east of the Assembly of God Church at 9 am. The Assembly of God Church will host a hospitality room with bottled water and restrooms during this time.

The Ottumwa Radio Control Flyers will be at Franklin Farms from 10 am – 3 pm on Saturday. Come watch and see fly demonstrations of radio control float planes, sea planes, and land based airplanes.

The Craft Show continues to expand this year with displays of Frisbee Spin Art, Wood Burning, flags and clothing. Crafters will be on display along the “Rock” Park downtown from 10 am – 4 pm on Saturday, June 13. If you would like to sign up for the Craft Show, contact Shirley Stacey at 652-3339. If you enjoy crafts, you might also enjoy the Quilt Show and Raffle at the KD Center from 10 am – 2:30 pm, with the drawing taking place for the Quilt Raffle at 2:30 pm. The Quilt was quilted by the In Stitches Quilt Club and donated to G.A.T.E. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. All proceeds go to support G.A.T.E. sponsored activities.

Kids can participate in the Wards Backyard Circus hosted by Cheerful Chuckles the Clown at the KD Center from 11 am – 12 pm or take part in the Free Kids’ Games from 11 am – 1 pm at the KD Center.

The famous Barbequed Chicken Dinner will take place at the KD Center from 11:30 am – 1 pm, with hamburgers and side dishes available. You can also enjoy brats and hot dogs from the Pepsi Wagon or check out Cindy’s Cafe downtown.

The Buckskinners Camp Out is back for the day on Saturday on the Rock Island Train Depot Grounds, and the Rock Island Train Depot, McHaffey Opera House, and the American Gothic House Center will be open all weekend. More specifically, the American Gothic House Center will be open from 11 am – 5 pm on Saturday for an open house and exhibit for the American Gothic House Art Contest. See what area amateur and professional artists can do when inspired by the same house that produced “American Gothic.” Art work will be on display Saturday and Sunday, June 13-14. First and second place winners for each division win a cash prize for a total amount of $300, the same amount won by Grant Wood when he submitted his painting and won third place at the 1930 Art Institute of Chicago art show. This event is sponsored by G.A.T.E.

The Kids’ Pedal Pull is here again for kids of all ages at the KD Center. There will be a trophy for first, second and third place winners. Registration begins on Saturday, June 13 at 12 pm and the pedal pull begins at 12:30 pm. There is no charge to participate.

New this year for older children is a Knock Out Basketball Tournament. The competition will take place from 1-3 pm at the KD Courts. Contact Dustin LaRue at 799-3638 with questions.

Also new this year is an American Gothic Days Antique Appraiser Show styled after your favorite Antiques Road Show on Saturday, June 13 from 1-4 pm at the Wapello County Regional Fair Grounds Wapello Building. Bring your favorite two items per person to be appraised by one of the following appraisers: Richard Alexander, a Certified Appraisers Guild of America member with specialties in Country Store Collectibles and Advertising Items, Robert Keller with specialties in Coins and Currency, Dr. George Morris, an International Society of Appraisers member with specialties in Quality Antiques and Old Persian Carpets, Robert Norman with specialties in Art Work, and William Taylor with specialties in Coins and Currency, Military Collectibles and Small Antiques. Cost is $4 per item with a limit of two items per person.

The fun and sometimes hilarious Cardboard Boat Races will take place at the Wapello County Regional Fairgrounds Lagoon at 4 pm with registration beginning at 3:30 pm. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners.


American Gothic Bike Ride begins early Sunday morning of Gothic Days marking the second annual bike ride this year to Floris and back for 20 miles. For the adventurous and brave, continue on to the Highway 63 intersection before turning around for a 26 mile ride. The ride starts at 7:30 am on June 14, leaving from the American Gothic House Center. Registration is $18.50, and includes a t-shirt, a map and post-ride pizza. This event is sponsored by Libertyville Savings Bank and Riverside Cyclery of Ottumwa.

The Mud Volleyball Tournaments continues once again, so stop by the KD Center on Sunday, June 14 at 1 pm to encourage your favorite teams. For more information, contact Lori Franklin or Mel Ostrander.

And last, but not least, try out your skill at the Ladies’ Nail Driving Contest, a new event for the ladies. $5 will give you a chance for a cash prize awarded to the first and second place winners. You can enter that day.

Who: Gothic Area Tourism of Eldon
What: 39th American Gothic Days
When: Friday-Sunday, June 12-14
Where: Eldon, IA 52554
Contacts: Jessica Strom, 641-652-3352,
Linda Durflinger, 641-799-5149
Shirley Stacey, 641-652-3339

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