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CITY NOTES: Mark your calendars for fall fun

By Mark Wicks, Community Development Director

Another summer is in the books.

Thanks to all the sponsors, committee members, volunteers and public participants who helped make each of the Community Revitalization and Charles City Area Chamber of Commerce events and activities the past few months the success they were. Without the support of all of the above, these things would not be possible for all to enjoy.

In case you didn’t know, Community Revitalization brings you the Firecracker 5 races, raises funds for the annual Fourth of July Fireworks Show and, of course, organizes the multi-event Party in the Park series each year.

Mark Wicks
Mark Wicks

The Chamber, meanwhile, is responsible for bringing you the annual Charles City BBQ Challenge, Whitewater Weekend, Bill Riley Talent Show and the big Fourth of July Celebration.

Each of these events takes a lot of planning, generous sponsorships and volunteer work to put on. Then it is up to you, the general public, to attend, support and provide us with valuable feedback for future planning.

Now that school has begun, football is back and Labor Day is behind us, it’s time to celebrate the fall season with a different slate of events, most of which have become Charles City traditions, while one features a new twist.

On Saturday, Sept. 29, Central Park will host a variation on the community’s annual Brewfest event that usually takes place indoors in October. We’d like to introduce you to Keg and Bottle, an outdoor celebration of fall with sampling of both Iowa craft beers and wine.

There will also be German Oktoberfest-style games, food and music, as well as an auction of special beer or wine-themed baskets. Tickets for Keg and Bottle, which will run from 4-8 p.m., are $30 and available at the Community Development Office at 401 North Main St., as well as the Charles City Hy-Vee service counter.

In case of inclement weather (because we haven’t had any of that lately), the event will be held at the Columbus Club.

The Chamber and Charles City American Association of University Women (AAUW) Chapter will host a Candidates Forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at Trinity United Methodist Church ahead of the November general elections. Come meet your candidates for county and state offices, hear their take on the issues and educate yourself prior to voting.

The Chamber’s annual Witchfest retail promotion returns on Oct. 20. Deck out in your best witch or wizard outfit and check out the offerings and treats at our local participating shops. Keep watching for more information on this event.

One of Community Revitalization’s longest annual traditions is Spookwalk, which allows youngsters and their families to enjoy the fun of Halloween in a safe, controlled setting at no charge.

Kids can dress up in their costumes and walk along the scenic trail behind the public library, down along Riverfront Park, and visit the various decorated treat stations put on by local businesses and organizations.

Spookwalk will be 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25. An early bird session will be offered this year for children with special needs who have difficulty in a crowd. Please contact the Community Revitalization office at 228-2335 or for more information.

Then in November, mark your calendars for Shop Small Saturday on Nov. 24, along with Community Revitalization’s Holiday Lighted Parade on Nov. 30 to kick off the holiday season. That night will also feature the arrival of Santa and opening of the Chamber’s Santa House in Central Park.

There could be an additional offering or two coming your way this fall as well. Check out our Facebook page at Chucktown: Charles City, Iowa, Twitter and Instagram @charlescityia or the websites at and to stay informed and up to date!

By the way, did you know you can help support your local Fourth of July Fireworks Show by donating your empty, refundable cans and bottles? There are specially-marked collection bins at The Redemption Center, as well as a bin in the parking lot by Dollar General.

In order to make it even easier to donate, we have special Fireworks Can Donation stickers available that can be placed on the outside of your bag of cans or bottles.

They are available at the Community Development Office, as well as the service counters at Hy-Vee and Fareway. They are free and allow you to drop your bag of cans/bottles off at The Redemption Center at any time, day or night, whether The Redemption Center is open or not.

All donations toward the Fireworks Fund go to that fund only and help determine how big of show each year we are able to provide.