Opportunities to be entertained and educated abound in North Iowa. Enjoy theater, learn about history, architecture, landscaping - or how to draw. Mark these on your calendar so you don't miss out.

• "Noises Off," called "the funniest farce ever written," opens Aug. 17 at Mason City Community Theatre. Performances are 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 17-19 and Aug. 24-26, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20 and 27, at the theater, 215 S. Delaware Ave.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students, available at the theater, 1-5 p.m. weekdays, 641-424-6424. Box office opens one hour before performances.

• Fun and history will combine at the Prairie Homestead Antique Power & Craft Show from Friday through Sunday, Aug. 18-20, at the Jenison-Meachem Memorial Arts Center & Farmstead. The site is located two miles north and one mile east of Belmond.

It will feature old favorites plus Ford tractors and trucks, Dearborn-Wood Bros. Equipment, and Galioway Engines, as well as daily entertainment by Clayton Severson. Gates open at 7 a.m. Admission is $8 fee for all weekend; children under 5 are free. For more information, contact show manager Dave Nelson, 515-571-6838.

Mason City author Karen M. Carr will sign copies of her children’s books and mystery novel from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, at Cabin Coffee, 1304 Fourth St. S.E., Mason City.

Carr writes stories for children of all ages, receiving many ideas from her four grandchildren. A children’s book co-authored with her youngest granddaughter is in the publication process awaiting an illustrator.

Illustrations are by Joan Nixt of Nora Springs ("The Many Hats of Jeremiah Porter"); Leigh Drzycimski of Mason City ("My Hot Air Balloon"), and K.C. Snider of Oregon ("Littlest Penguin").

• Wright on the Park is seeking docents to give tours of The Historic Park Inn Hotel in Mason City. A meeting for interested people will be part of the reception for current docents at 7 p.m. Aug. 21 in the Wine Room at the hotel. It will give those considering becoming docents the opportunity to meet with current docents. Additional training sessions will be at 4 p.m. on Aug. 28, Sept. 5 and Sept. 11.

Guests from more than 50 countries and all 50 states have stayed or toured the hotel since it opened in the fall of 2011. Docents give regular tours Thursday through Sunday, and one of things they enjoy most is the opportunity to meet so many different people.

• “Birds, Butterflies, and Bees – Landscaping with Natives” will be given by Lime Creek naturalist intern Brianna Sholly at 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, at the Lime Creek Nature Center.

Sholly will discuss how to create backyard wildlife habitat, whether in 400 acres or just a few flower pots. She'll talk about key habitat components for butterflies, bees, birds, and other wildlife, as well as how to maintain the habitat. A drawing will be held for a sail boat hull that can be used as a planter. Call 641-423-5309 to register for this free program.

• Mason City artist Richard Leet will teach a day-long workshop at the MacNider Art Museum on Saturday, Sept. 9. This fast-paced, in-depth workshop, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be based on the teachings of Kimon Nicolaides (“The Natural Way to Draw”). Leet will introduce and demonstrate various concepts and techniques and lead participants in trying dozens of basic drawing exercises.

Drawing paper and a variety drawing media will be provided. Participants may bring any drawing media they wish. Cost is $45 and $40 for museum members. Register early by calling 641-421-3666. 

• The Charles H. MacNider Art Museum in Mason City is putting out a call for entries for the competitive craft exhibition, Iowa Crafts: 43.

The competition is open to all residents of Iowa above high school age. Entries must be e-mailed or postmarked by Monday, Sept. 25. Categories are clay, fiber, metal/wood, jewelry, and other craft media. Each artist may submit up to four entries. All works must be original, entirely by the entering artist, and completed since September 2015. Cash awards total $1,000 along with a one-person exhibition.

Iowa Crafts: 43 opens Nov. 3 in the Kinney-Lindstrom Gallery with an artists’ reception at 2 p.m. Nov. 4, and awards at 2:30. The exhibition continues through Jan. 3, 2018. For information or to receive an entry form, visit www.macniderart.org, or call 641-421-3666.

• The community of Protivin will celebrate its Czech heritage at the 39th annual Czech Days Celebration Aug. 18-20. Hosted by the Holy Trinity Parish of Protivin, the event includes a kick-off dance on Friday. Featured polka bands include Barefoot Becky and the Ivanhoe Dutchmen on Saturday, and Jim Busta Band with Mollie B on Sunday.

There will also be games for young and old, Polka Mass and Czech Choir, plus homemade food including kolaches and rohlikies. Protivin is located 12 miles south of Cresco on V-58. 


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