MASON CITY | For years, the Kinney Pioneer Museum and Historical Society of North Iowa have provided area residents and tourists of all ages a unique peek into north central Iowa history.
And on Sunday, the museum will celebrate the opening of its 50th season with a barbecue pork cookout, live music and tours from noon to 5 p.m.
The museum, which comprises a one-room school house, log cabin, jail, blacksmith shop and more, opened on May 11, 1968.
“There are so many stories here, and I want everybody to know about their history and what they have here,” said Kay Ingersoll, director of Kinney Pioneer Museum and Historical Society of North Iowa.
The cookout featuring barbecue pork sandwiches, homemade potato salad, baked beans, desserts and beverages will be served from noon until it’s gone.
Admission to the event, including meal, entertainment and entrance to the museum, costs $7 for adults and $3.50 for children. Admission to only the museum is $3 for adults and $1 for children.
Last year’s cookout served about 250 people, and this year, Ingersoll said attendance may double.
The Jugsluggers, a Minneapolis-based string band, will sing and play music outdoors during the event.
Ingersoll said although the museum has been open for 50 years, new items have been displayed within the past two years that people will be able to view throughout the event.
Blacksmiths, a rug-weaver and broom-makers will also be on hand throughout the museum to demonstrate their pioneer skills.
A memorial for longtime museum board president Richard Peterson, 81, of Mason City, who died in February, and others lost within the past year will be set up at a table during the event.
Ingersoll said the museum will celebrate its 50th anniversary throughout its fifth-month season, which runs from May to October. Special events are held each month.
“We’ll celebrate the 50th year the whole summer, but this will be our biggest day,” she said about Sunday’s festivities.
The museum is located off U.S. Highway 18, seven miles west of Mason City, or two miles east of Clear Lake at the entrance to the Mason City Municipal Airport. It’s open from 1 to 5 p.m. from May 1 to Oct. 1.
“Once they come, they’ll come back,” Ingersoll said.