Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
After being forced to take a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kalona Quilt Show and Sale made its return over the past weekend.
Show organizer Katie Karnes, co-owner of Woodin Wheel Antiques said that, although the crowds were not huge, it was good to see people coming back to Kalona for the show at the Kalona Community Center.
“I think attendance was a little down, but we’re still having a good show,” Karnes said. “The weather has been wonderful. We didn’t know what to expect for sure.”
The show began Thursday evening, then ran all day Friday and Saturday.
“Attendance was about average on Thursday night,” Karnes said. “On Friday and Saturday, it was down.”
The Kalona show is unique in that it features only hand-stitched quilts.
About 200 quilts of all sizes and designs were on display at the show and was a mixture of antique quilts from the 1850s to the 1940s and newer quilts.
This was the second year the Kalona Community Center was the site of the quilt show.
“The new gym is fantastic, where you can actually step back and see the quilts and have room to move around,” Karnes said. “We’re very fortunate to have the facility that we have.”
Kalona Mayor Mark Robe was checking out the quilts Saturday afternoon.
He said that the quilt show is important to the town.
“It’s huge for the town,” Robe said. “The town is very busy. It obviously brings a lot of people to the town, and our merchants are busier, and stores are busier.
“It’s good to see a lot of cars downtown and a lot of people out shopping and spending time in Kalona.”
Karnes, too, noticed that the whole town was bustling over the weekend.
“The town seems busy,” she said. “The parking lots all through downtown seem pretty full.”
Robe said he hopes that it is a positive sign for the summer tourism season.
“We always look forward to the summer travel season,” he said. “We’re a tourist town, and that’s a lot of our bread and butter.
“We like having a lot of people here, and we’re hoping to see everybody here this summer.”
Karnes said that she is already looking forward to next year’s show.
“Everybody loves the show,” Karnes said. “We’re already looking forward to next year and years to come.”