Thursday, October 25, 2012

Never a dull moment

In the near future there quite a bit in store at the American Gothic House Center and the town of Eldon. And it all starts this Saturday.

On Saturday, Oct. 27, the annual Children’s Gothic House Halloween Party, for children preschool through fifth grade, will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. This is a favorite of the Center’s director, Holly Berg, as she says it is her “only chance to be a five-year-old again.”

Activities for the day include the Pumpkin-Pitchfork Relays (don’t worry, the pitchforks are brooms), making leaf luminaries, pumpkin bowling, pictures taken in front of the American Gothic House in Halloween costumes, and a visit from a local mad scientist who will conduct spooky experiments (no live subjects). The kids will also get to make paper plate ghosts and create their own spooky cookies. Treats will be on hand including Holly’s own “putrid punch.” I’m not sure what the ingredients are but Holly has hinted there are Gummy Worms involved.

The party will be held at the Center unless the weather decides not to cooperate. If this is the case, then the festivities will move to the Eldon Library Hall located next to the Eldon Public Library. So, if you are looking for something fun to do with your children or grandchildren this Saturday put on a costume and head to the American Gothic House Center. After all, who would want to miss the “putrid punch”?

Next month, on Thursday, Nov. 15, Larry Stone, freelance writer and photographer, and former outdoor writer with the Des Moines Register, will speak at the Eldon Library Hall, Eldon, at 7 p.m. His appearance is one in a series of talks and lectures concerning Iowa, its land and people, sponsored by the American Gothic House Center and the Wapello County Conservation Board.

Stone, who has spent 40 years exploring Iowa and is the author of numerous books on Iowa life and land, will present “Iowa—Portrait of the Land.” Based on his award-winning book written for the Department of Natural Resources, “Portrait,” is a reminder to Iowans of the rich history of their natural resources.

Raised in Southern Iowa, Stone’s boyhood fascination with the creeks and woodlots on his family’s farm brings authenticity to his nature photography, writing, and lectures. With degrees in biology and journalism, he also understands the natural world and can communicate the wonders of outdoor experiences.

Stone’s program, which is cosponsored by Humanities Iowa, is free and open to the public.

In December the Holidays kick off with the Gingerbread House display at the American Gothic House Center. Gingerbread Houses will be on exhibit during normal operating hours from Dec. 1 through 14. If you are a Gingerbread House builder and wish to have your creation on display, submit your Gingerbread House at the Center by 5 pm on Nov. 30. Your house will be displayed until Dec. 14, and will serve as an inspiration for participants in the Gingerbread House making activity on Dec. 8. Amateur builders are encouraged to participate in this entertaining holiday custom.

As mentioned, the Center will host a Gingerbread House building from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 8. The Center will have on hand graham crackers, frosting and candy to construct a unique and distinct Gingerbread House that you can take home or leave on display. Volunteers will be on hand to help construct the houses and keep a sharp watch to prevent anyone from eating the building materials.

In addition to the Gingerbread House building, Eldon will be celebrating Christmas in grand style that weekend. On Friday, Dec. 7 through Sunday, Dec. 9, the McHaffery Opera House will hold its “Christmas Tree Wanderland.” Each year volunteers and local organizations decorate and display more than 100 Christmas trees at the historic and renovated opera house. Visitors are invited to “wander” throughout the trees, partake in the complimentary snacks and enjoy the live music. Admission is free. If further information is needed, call Eldon City Hall at 641-652-7510.

Also, on Dec. 8, Eldon comes alive with the spirit of Christmas with “Christmas in Eldon.” Each year Eldon holds a day full of activities to celebrate the holidays including the Christmas Tree Wanderland at the opera house, a Tour of Homes, Christmas noon lunch and the Boy Scouts soup supper, among other activities. For a special treat, the Rock Island Railroad Depot Museum will hold an open house with Christmas displays in waiting area, as well as outside the depot.  Once more, for more information, call Eldon City Hall at 641-652-7510.
And people say there is nothing to do in Southern Iowa.

Brian Chambers
Media Coordinator
The American Gothic House Center                                                                                                      

The American Gothic House Center strives to become financially independent through gift shop revenue, sponsorships, and by establishing an endowment fund. Funds raised in this campaign will be used to match the Iowa Cultural Trust Endowment Challenge Grant and will become endowment funds to support the Center's annual operations. As a subscriber to the weekly newsletter, you have already shown support for the American Gothic House Center. I invite you to strengthen your role in the valuable experience we provide the community by making a contribution to our fund drive. Click here to give your tax deductible gift, or head to our website for more information. Thank you to all who have donated so far!
        Our Mission: Integrating the puzzle pieces of American Gothic
300 American Gothic St | Eldon, IA 52554 | 641-652-3352 |

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