5 free fall events this weekend in central Iowa


The first official fall weekend brings several events in central Iowa – opportunities to soak up the weather along with a mix of art, shopping, music, food and drink.

With an emphasis on vintage and antiques, the Central Iowa Junk Jaunt fall event – playfully nicknamed “Fall for Junk” – takes place on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with 22 dealers in Story, Boone, and Hamilton counties.

Other destinations this autumn:Pumpkin fields, apple orchards, and corn mazes in central Iowa in 2021

On Saturday the Locally Grown Showcase will take place at the Snus Hill Winery near Madrid. And on Sunday, the 50th annual Octagon Art Festival takes place in downtown Ames.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Art Harvest Tour features a 90-mile loop in the Des Moines River Valley with multiple artists at 10 venues. The stops include two in Boone and two in Ogden.

The Iowa Barn Foundation All-Iowa Tour runs Saturday and Sunday. Historic barns in central Iowa and across the state are open for free, self-guided tours.

Here is the Ames Tribune’s guide to these five events:

The Tin Chandelier in Story City is one of the vendors on the Central Iowa Junk Jaunt fall road show.

“Fall for Junk” in Central Iowa Junk Jaunt

Friday to Sunday

Now in its 13th year, the Central Iowa Junk Jaunt organizes two road shows a year – one in the spring and one in the fall – celebrating everything related to vintage and antiques, as well as the small-town businesses that sell the goods.

Shops and vendors at 22 participating locations in Story, Boone and Hamilton Counties are open on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The stages of the roadshow are judged selections that fit the geography of the event and have a vintage or antique focus.

Boone, Slater, Ames, Jewell, Randall and Story City all have stores on the Junk Jaunt menu this weekend.

“The cool thing is that people come from all over Iowa – not just central Iowa,” said Nicole Jonas, co-owner of longtime junk jaunt seller Red Granite Farm and a member of the junk jaunt committee. “They’re even from other states – Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota.”

More details and the Junk Jaunt card:Vintage shoppers are in for junk this weekend in central Iowa

The Snus Hill winery near Madrid is hosting the Locally Grown Showcase on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Admission is free.

Locally grown shop window


Organized by co-owners Jessicca Lenehan and Megan Ulrich, this locally grown market has been held at Snus Hill Winery near Madrid since 2014.

With more than 40 vendors, the show takes place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., admission to the winery is free.

Grocery vendors, musicians and a market-like atmosphere offer a diverse selection of goods, said Ulrich. And of course there is wine in abundance.

The event takes place in rain or shine. The Snus Hill winery is located at 2183 320th St. in Madrid.

Further information and a list of providers:“All autumn feels like”: Snus-Weingut organizes Locally Grown Showcase on Saturday

The 50th annual Octagon Art Festival takes place on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Ames.

Octagon Art Festival


The Octagon Center for the Arts is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Art Festival, which takes place in downtown Ames on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The free event started in Ames as Art in the Park and took place at Bandshell Park and the Hilton Coliseum, but the Octagon Art Festival moved to downtown Ames in 2003.

This year’s event includes more than 80 judged artists from across the Midwest. Live music and entertainment as well as several food trucks add to the festival feel of the event.

A map and a list of all artists are available on OctagonArts.org.

Read more about the art festival:Celebrate 50 Years: Octagon Art Festival brings more than 80 artists to downtown Ames

The Art Harvest Tour is Saturday and Sunday.  It will present 24 artists in 10 locations.

Art Harvest Tour

Saturdays and Sundays

On the last full weekend of September each year, the Art Harvest Tour offers a free studio tour of artists in central Iowa.

The seventh annual Art Harvest Tour features 24 artists in 10 locations, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“From historic downtown galleries to home studios on land, the stops are as unique as the artistic styles they host,” read the event’s Facebook post. “Local artists open their studios for the weekend to take a look behind the scenes, where they create, many also demonstrate all day. As if that wasn’t enough, most of the stops on this self-guided tour also feature guest artists, too! “

Participating artists are:

  • Mary Rose Collection, 1215 Warford St., Perry
  • Atelier at 1109, 1109 2nd St., Perry
  • Barn Pottery, 21533 Quinlan Ave., Dallas Center
  • Board and Batten, 1412 Walnut St. Dallas Center
  • Creations Looming, 17495 U Ave., Woodward
  • Billy Whittle Collection, 1229 Noble Hills Place, Boone
  • Ellen Fairchild Home Studio, 990 213rd Place, Boone
  • Flock 9 Studios, 893 210th St., Ogden
  • Ruby Willo, 2050 I Avenue, Ogden
  • Betsy Peterson Designs, 1121 2nd St., Perry

A map and more information about the Art Harvest Tour can be found on the Art Harvest Tour 2021 Facebook page.

The Rimathe Barn, 51349 Highway 210, Slater will be featured on the Iowa Barn Foundation tour on Saturday and Sunday.  It's the first farm east of Slater on Highway 210.

Iowa Barn Foundation Tour

Saturdays and Sundays

For nearly a quarter of a century, the Iowa Barn Foundation has worked to preserve the historic “Cathedrals of the Prairie” as part of Iowa’s unique landscape.

The organization offers grants to barn owners to encourage and help preserve historic barns. In return, the owners open the barns for free, self-guided tours every fall and spring.

“America seems to be at a crossroads, but Iowa’s stately and proud barns remain symbols of ancient America,” it says on its website.

The barns are open for guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Dozens of barns across the state will be included on the tour. The foundation has organized the map into nine sections, and a full list of barns is available on the Iowa Barn Foundation website, IowaBarnFoundation.org.

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