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It's still summer, and that means there's still time to get outdoors - on Main Avenue or at Central Gardens in Clear Lake, in the Hobo Jungle in Britt. Or venture indoors, to explore art, and space, meet some authors and enjoy a little comedy. You're sure to find something interesting.

Meet artist Biwer-Stewart tonight at Mason City's Art on the Plaza

Meet print-maker Lori Biwer-Stewart, at Art on the Plaza's artist of the month event. People are invited to the gallery at 11 S. Federal Ave. to meet Biwer-Stewart and enjoy light refreshments from 3 to 6 p.m. today, Aug. 10. 

The event is offered the second Thursday of each month featuring a different artist. Find Art on the Plaza on its Facebook page, Art on the Plaza Gallery Owned.

Thursdays on Main still going strong in Clear Lake

Stage Write will entertain the crowd tonight, Aug. 10, at "Thursdays on Main" in downtown Clear Lake.

The event starts at 6 p.m. with classic cars, bounce houses, kids' activities, laser tag, hand-powered kiddie train rids, crafts, vendor market, food trucks and more. Stores are also open late.

There's special entertainment with Denny's School of Dance at 6:30 p.m.

Stage Write takes the stage at 7 p.m., playing music until 9.

Thursdays on Main activities end at 9, when the fun moves to City Park for the movie "Furious 7" (PG13).

Head to Britt for its annual celebration of all things Hobo

The carnival opens at 5 p.m. today, Aug. 10, for Britt Hobo Days, along with coronation of Little Miss Britt, and the official fire lighting, four winds ceremony and entertainment in the Hobo Jungle.

Friday begins with the Hobo memorial service at Evergreen Cemetery, followed by the grand opening of the Hobo Art Gallery and unveiling of the 2016 King and Queen portraits. There will be lots of entertainment, in the Hobo Jungle and elsewhere.

Saturday's events include the morning parade, followed by the traditional free Mulligan Stew at City Park. The Armstrong-Larson House will be open for tours, and the Hobo Art Gallery and Ag Museum will also be open. Clowns, contests and entertainment continue throughout the day. Don't miss the Hobo Days Special Memorabilia auction, along with the King and Queen Coronation at the City Park Gazebo. The day ends with Hobo Entertainment in the Hobo Jungle and a family concert featuring Forever Elvis tribute band.

The National Hobo Convention ends Sunday, with a classic car, truck, motorcycle and tractor show, a craft show, music by Malek's Fishermen, and the Historical Society’s homemade pie and ice cream social.

Find the complete schedule of events at

Clear Lake Arts Center hosts authors, book signings

Stop in to the Clear Lake Arts Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, where Collette Lorentzen, Willy Green and Amy Palmer will be signing books.

Lorentzen of Clear Lake is author and illustrator of "Wilber’s Scary Day!" Green, Mason City, is author of "Frosty Saves the Day!," illustrated by Palmer of Clear Lake.

Lorentzen, mother of three boys with four grandchildren, is a multi-media artist. She created her character, Wilber, when her boys were young. Wilbur is a happy puppy that loves to play, but sometimes his nose gets him into trouble.

"Frosty Saves the Day!" is a collaborative effort between Green and Palmer, his daughter. Green has always been a storyteller — especially to his ten grandchildren. "Frosty Saves the Day!" is about young Willy and his dog, Frosty, a white cocker spaniel, and events that happen in their neighborhood. The inspiration came from events and people from the author’s childhood in Mason City.

All three will make guest appearances earlier that day at the Arts Center’s youth arts program, Art FUNdamentals, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. It is open to all ages; children under 5 must be accompanied by an adult. Class fee is $8 or a five-punch card for $30. To register, contact the arts center at 641-357-1998 or

Comedy at Mason City's Main Event on Saturday

Comedian Bob Zany returns Mason City on Saturday, Aug. 12, for a show at to the Main Event, 112 Second St. S.E. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the show at 7. Tickets are $15 in advance at 103.7 The Fox, 201 N. Federal Ave., 641-421-7744. Tickets will be $18 at the door.

Zany has appeared on more than a thousand national TV shows, from The Tonight Show to a 17-year stint on Jerry Lewis Telethon. He can be seen on Showtime in Billy Gardell's "Road Dogs."

His film credits include "Joe Dirt," "The Informant," and "23 Minutes to Sunrise," along with a documentary on his career, "Close But No Cigar."

He has performed in all 50 states, D.C. and multiple countries, and his radio appearances include the "Zany Report" on the Bob & Tom Show.

Sing along with Dawn at Hampton's Windsor Theatre

Singers and listeners are welcome to join song leader, Dawn Groszkruger at the Old Fashioned Sing-Along on Sunday, Aug. 13, for an hour of community singing in Hampton's Windsor Theatre. Doors open at 3:30 for socializing and free popcorn. Singing begins at 4.

Dan Steenhard of Sheffield and his niece, Elizabeth Nannenga of Thornton, will accompany a variety of songs on accordion and keyboard, respectively.

The freewill offering remains at the theater to benefit its ongoing restoration. For more information, call Groszkruger at 641-425-8716.

More music at Picnics and Performances in Clear Lake

Spenser Rahm will perform again this year for Picnics and Performances at Central Gardens of North Iowa.

The fourth event in the eight series program, Rahm will entertain guests from 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13.

Rahm's shows range from good old country with Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, to the rocking tunes of the Eagles, Journey and Bon Jovi, to the modern sounds of the Lumineers and Imagine Dragons. Rahm continues to record his original music.

Families are encouraged to bring picnics, beverages and lawn chairs. The event is free, underwritten by the Bertha Stebens Charitable Foundation and sponsored by Avangrid Renewables.

Celebrate 2017 at the Clear Lake Arts Center

The Celebrate 2017 Exhibit, with works by 25 local artists, is on display in the Stanton Gallery at the Clear Lake Arts Center through Tuesday, Sept. 5. A meet the artists reception and awards ceremony will be 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29.

“We’re celebrating our 15th year as the Clear Lake Arts Center and the relationships we have had with local artists as they continue to help us weave the arts into the fabric of people’s lives,” said Paula Hanus, executive director of the Clear Lake Arts Center.

The exhibit includes 39 works by Jim Larson, Sally Rasmussen, Beverly Clapsaddle, John Larsen, Delores Frederick, Steve Johnson, Craig Kienast, Bill Mateer, Laura Nicholson, Chris White-Rozendaal, Jim Reynolds, Paula Dummett, Linda Sorensen, Mike Hassig, Dolores Badje, Christina Blum, Toni Dakin, Margie Kline, Linda Dlouhy, Lucy DeBartolo, Jo Anne Willemsen, Renae Quadt, Cherie Courter, Joan Webster-Vore and Elizabeth Bucknell-Morse.

The Clear Lake Arts Council has existed since 1977, opening its first storefront at 213 Main Ave. in 2002, in property owned by the city. The retail space was an artist’s coop that maintained an office for the arts council. During this time, the "Clear Lake Arts Center" name was first used. A part time director was hired, and the development of an onsite Arts Education Program began.

In 2005, the property on Main Avenue neared demolition, leading to the search for a new home. In March of 2007, the reconstruction and additions at the current location, a 35-year-old bank building at 17 S. Fourth St., were completed.

Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Explore Space at the Algona library

"Explore Space: A Cosmic Journey," a national traveling exhibit, will be on display at the Algona Public Library from Aug. 16 to Oct. 13. The exhibit covers topics such as the formation of planetary systems, asteroids and comets, Mars exploration, and solar storms and their impacts on Earth. Admission is free.

Explore Space strives to make science fun by helping visitors answer the age-old questions: Where did we come from, and are we alone? It will teach audiences about the universe, including how stars and planetary systems form and the role that gravity plays in our universe.

Algona Public Library was one of 14 sites nationwide chosen to host the exhibit.

“We have partnered with ALA’s Public Program's Office and the Afterschool Alliance, among others, to help bring this important exhibition to our community," said Mara Strickler, library director.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of programs and events, including Grout Museum Presents: Combustion and Sanford Museum’s: Solar Technology. For a full schedule, visit, call 515-295-5476, or contact

Algona Public Library, 210 N. Phillips St., is open 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.


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