Villages of Van Buren County, Iowa will host the countywide Scenic Drive Festival which is always held the second full weekend in October. Visitors are encouraged to follow the marked “Scenic Drive” signs through Van Buren County in Southeast Iowa and along the Historic Hills Scenic Byway to experience each of the historic Villages. There will be Fine Arts, Crafts, Flea Markets, Antiques, Car & Tractor Show, Parade, Live Music and several other activities. While in the area be sure to visit historic sites like Pearson House Museum Complex, part of the Underground Railroad located in Keosauqua, the Pioneer Historical Museum in Farmington to learn more about the Honey War, and Richardson’s Point, an 1846 Mormon Encampment site near Milton.
The extremely popular home-cooked meals will be a buffet held Friday and Saturday nights at the Sunrise Bakery, North of Bonaparte. And of course, all of the Specialty Shops & Antique Stores will be open! The festival is held rain or shine. There is no admission fee. Please practice physical distancing when possible. A face covering is strongly recommended when distancing cannot be met. For more details and a free brochure with map visit villagesofvanburen.com or call 319-293-7111 / 800-868-7822.
- 45th Annual Fine Art & Fine Craft Festival featuring high-end fine art & fine craft artist demonstrate, sell and compete for prize money. Hours: Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 10am-4pm.
- Bentonsport Riverfest with outdoor flea market, antiques, crafts, & food vendors in the Riverfront Park. Mums, Amish baked goods, leather goods, quilting and artisan demonstrations. Specialty shops will be open. Pottery, rug-weaving, woodworking and blacksmith demonstrations. Music by John Boyer both days. Free wagon rides. Hours: Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 10am-4pm.
- Indian Artifact Museum, 21929 Des Moines St. Thousands of artifacts impressively displayed. No admission fee. Hours: 10am-5pm
- Fall Festival Hours: Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 10am-4pm. Arts, craft, flea market & food vendors. Vendors set-up downtown along the river, Roberts Memorial Building and the Van Buren County Fairgrounds. Pedal Pull and Corn Hole Tournament near Hotel Manning on Saturday. Live music in Riverfront Park outdoor venue Saturday night beginning at 5pm.
- Keosauqua Rotary Grand Parade on Saturday at 10am. “We’re All In This Together” is this year’s theme honoring health care workers. Line up begins at 8am at the Van Buren County High School, 503 Henry St. Please spread yourself out along the posted route to allow for physical distancing.
- Pearson House Museum Complex, 718 Dodge St. was a “safe house” on the Underground Railroad for escaping slaves during the Civil War era. The secret hiding place under the floorboards can still be seen today. Also at the complex, is a one-room Schoolhouse and authentic Log Cabin that will be open for tours with guides in period dress depicting the pioneer lifestyle. Kids activities. Tours available Satruday 10am-3pm, Sunday 12p-3pm. No admission fee but donations for future preservation efforts are appreciated.
- Fall Festival Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show will be on Sunday. Registration from 10am- 12pm. Show from 12pm-3pm. Registration $15. For more information call: 319-293-3752.
- 14th Annual Fall 5K/10K Run or 2 mile Trail Walkat Lacey Keosauqua State Park, begins at the Lodge (22026 Iris Trail) at 9am on Sunday. Registration begins at 8:15am, $25.
- Camping with showers & electric is available at the Van Buren County Fairgrounds. $15/night with electric. Reservations: 641-919-0566.
- 3rd Annual BCIA Gun Show, held at Bonaparte School Community Center, 602 8th Buy – Sell – Trade Modern & antique guns. Unique items. Gun raffle. Fundraiser to support the Bonaparte Improvement Association. Admission: $5, under 10: Free. Hours: Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 9am-2pm.
- Fall Festival Citywide yard sales and vendors in Riverside Park. All specialty & antique stores will be open. Hours: Friday-Sunday 9am-5pm
- Sunrise Bakery Amish Dinner Buffet, 21913 White Ave. (North of Bonaparte, then East on J40.) 5pm-8pm on Friday & Saturday Adults: $11+ tax, Seniors: $10+tax, Children ages 5-12: $5.50+tax, Under age 4: Free. Bakery hours: 9am-6pm.
- Stockport Depot / Freedom Rock Open Saturday Only from 10am-4pm. No admission fee.
- Crafts & Food Vendors at the Senior Center. Crafts, food & bean bag tournament. Saturday 8am-5pm & Sunday 9am-4pm.
- Pioneer Historical Museum, 205 S. 4th (next to Casey’s). Open Saturday 10am-4pm & Sunday 12pm-4pm. Learn the fascinating story of the Honey War, historical artifacts & souvenirs. You might even see ukulele players! No admission fee.
- Yoder’s Indian Creek Furniture (22769 Rt. V-64, Milton; 3/4 miles S of Lebanon) 14th Anniversary Sale with FREE coffee & donuts all day. 10% off everything purchased or ordered. 10% off in-stock poly & wood lawn furniture and 15% off Wind Chimes. Door prizes with a Glider Rocker as the Grand Prize. Sat only 8am-5pm.
- Richardson’s Point, an 1846 Mormon Encampment Site, 11251 County Rd J40, Milton. Saturday 10am-5pm. Memorialized marked grave sites of the first deaths of the Mormon Exodus. No admission fee.
- Dutchman’s Store is an Ol’Fashion General Store with bulk food, fresh produce, deli counter, fall flowers, pumpkins, gourds, hard-to-find goods, and a quilter’s paradise! Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm and Saturday 8am-5pm.
- Milton Creamery (202 E Hwy 2) Open 8am-5pm. Free samples of over 20 flavors of locally made cheeses and fresh curds.
The Scenic Drive Festival is made possible by generous contributions from Van Buren Telephone Co., Keosauqua Lions Club, City of Keosauqua, Hotel Manning, First Iowa State Bank, Dutchman’s Store in Cantril, Milton Creamery and several Van Buren County businesses and organizations.