Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
After being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kalona Fall Festival is making its return this year.
The annual celebration will be held on the grounds of the Kalona Historical Village on Friday and Saturday.
“For the most part, everybody is excited about it coming back this year,” Nancy Roth, managing director of the Kalona Historical Society, said. “I think there are a few unknowns that we’re going to face because some of the cases are rising. We’re doing our best to have it be as normal as we can.
“We’re looking forward to having a good crowd, and people aren’t afraid to come out.”
Roth said that they are taking precautions like having masks available at the gate and hand sanitizing stations around the grounds to make people more comfortable about attending.
“We’ll have the great foods that we always have, the music, some great vendors and demonstrations,” Roth said. “We’ve got a few new exhibits in the buildings. People can go through the buildings and see what’s going on.”
Some of the food that will be available includes hand-breaded tenderloins, rib-eye sandwiches, homemade ice cream, homemade pies, apple fritters, fried cheese curds, turkey legs, pretzels and fried pies.
Area schools will have musical performances Friday beginning with the Mid-Prairie Homeschool strings at 11 a.m.
They will be followed by Pathway Christian School music at 11:45 a.m., the Mid-Prairie band at 12:45 p.m., the Mid-Prairie Choir at 1:45 p.m. and music from Hillcrest Academy at 2:30 p.m.
Other musical acts include the Great Bluegrass Herons at 6 p.m., Friday; the Old Man’s Band at 7:30 p.m., Friday; Heartstrings at 11 a.m., Saturday; and the River City 6 Steel Brass Band at noon, Saturday.
Organizers have added a new agricultural exhibit for this year’s Fall Festival.
“We’re having local representatives from different agricultural aspects either bringing animals and talking about what their particular animal does for the community or talking about their businesses,” Roth said.
Exhibitors include Farmers Hen House, Brenneman Pork and Hilltop Dairy.
Another new event will be a family movie night in the visitor’s center at 7 p.m., Friday.
“We’re looking to show ”Night at the Museum“ if our DVD is working properly,” Roth said. “How appropriate is that?
“I think that will be fun for some families who don’t necessarily want to hang outside.”
She said that the movie was chosen by a group of children at a local day care center.
Fall Festival will run from 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday.
Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children age 5-12 and free for children under 5.
“There are not pre-admissions this year,” Roth said. “We will have buttons, but they are only for souvenir purposes.
“If there are collectors out there, they can purchase one for $1 at the visitors’ center. Otherwise, we are only doing hand stamps.”