Country Barn Dance at the Madison County Fairgrounds

Another enjoyable kickoff to the John Wayne Birthday Celebration will be the Country Barn Dance at the Madison County Fairgrounds. Last year’s wingding was a huge hit and revelers stayed way past closing to enjoy music, dancing and the camaraderie of John Wayne fans from across the country. Come early and admire the horses which will be participating in Saturday’s parade. Music and dancing will be from 7-11pm on Friday, May 26. Admission at the door is $8. Refreshments will be available.

John Wayne Birthday Celebration 5K Run/Walk

It’s time again to lace up those running shoes for this year’s John Wayne Birthday Celebration 5K Run/Walk. Beginning and ending at the John Wayne Birthplace Museum at 9am on May 27th, the popular event benefits Community Resources in Service to People (C.R.I.S.P), the Winterset Rotary Scholarship Fund and the Winterset Skate Park. For registration information contact Robert Kaldenberg at rakaldenberg@gmail.com or call 515-462-4731.

It’s Auction Time

From the beginning, a popular feature of our John Wayne Birthday Celebration benefit dinners has been the action-packed auctions of John Wayne collectibles and memorabilia. We never know what might turn up but past auctions have included autographed photos, vintage movie posters, John Wayne bourbon and brandy, original artworks, commemorative firearms and screen-worn movie wardrobe. Returning this year as celebrity auction host will be Duke’s daughter Aissa Wayne who will join champion auctioneers Jon & Chuck Garrison in what always promises to be an exciting event. Sure to generate lively bidding is an original 16″ x 20″ oil painting of our hero in his prime by Artist of the Legends, Jerry Harris. www.theartistoflegends.com. See the “Click to Purchase Tickets” link on our 2017 Birthday Celebration page, or call toll free (877) 462-1044.

The Return of the Iowa Theater

When Winterset’s venerable Iowa Theater closed without notice in May of 2015 it seemed the end of an era. For nearly a century the vintage movie house had offered the finest in Hollywood entertainment including John Wayne’s most classic films. Thanks to preservationists Marianne and Rebecca Fons, the theater will return to life in time for the 10th Anniversary John Wayne Birthday Celebration (May 26 & 27) when it will present Stagecoach, Fort Apache and El Dorado on the big screen where John Wayne belongs. Discussing the films will be Joseph Malham, author of John Ford: Poet in the Desert. Tickets can now be ordered online at https://www.the-iowa.com/john-wayne-weekend/.

The Return of the Wells Fargo Stagecoach

The 10th Anniversary John Wayne Birthday Celebration proudly welcomes back the world-renowned Wells Fargo Stagecoach. This crowd pleaser will be a featured attraction of the all-horse parade which will wind through the streets of historic Winterset, Iowa on Saturday, May 27th. Nothing symbolizes the Old West better than the overland stage, especially since John Wayne rode to movie stardom in the 1939 film classic Stagecoach. The parade will also include riders and rolling stock from throughout the Midwest and interested participants may contact Frank Santana for details (520) 241-6442.