Fischer's Finds


July 23, 2016

Up In Smoke, In A Good Way

The Globe's Up In Smoke BBQ Bash continues today, rain or no rain! You can smell that wonderful BBQ smoke aroma all over town, and it makes you hungry even if you just had a big lunch. Here's today's schedule for the event, being held in Mason City's East Park:

11:00 a.m.

Park opens to public

Beer garden opens

Food court opens

Music by the Grant family


11:30 a.m.

KCBS Competition begins

12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Kids playground open

2 p.m. 

Music by Bolder Road

4 p.m. 

Awards ceremony

4:30 p.m.

Music by Bolder Road

6 p.m.

Event closes

Up In Smoke BBQ pic

July 23, 2016


Did you see this nice online article about Lakefest, taking place in Clear Lake this weekend? Here's the link to the article, and the schedule:

Clear Lake Lakefest

July 23, 2016

Rain, Rain, Go Away! The Forecast Says So!

It's cloudy and drizzly in North Iowa this morning (at this writing), but we don't really need the morning sun beating down now, when the weather forecast is so summery for the rest of the day, do we? Pleasant enough to hit Farmers Markets in Clear Lake and Charles City this morning; you may want to take the umbrella, just in case, though. Here are some other fun ways to spend your Saturday!

We've really been impressed by the many positive changes at the North Iowa Fair this year. A real racing professional running the racetrack now, music every day, HOT AIR BALLOONS, for heaven's sake--where else can you find THAT around here?? Here's the schedule for today:  

North Iowa Fair Logo

Saturday, July 23 Family Day
6:00 a.m.
(weather permitting)
9:00 a.m. – 11 a.m. Watercolor Class w/ MacNider Art Museum
10:00 a.m. River City Radio Control, Fun Fly
10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Open Class Exhibits
10:00 a.m. Inflatables Open
10:30 a.m. Open Beef Cattle Show
11:00 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. 5 p.m. & 7 p.m. Free Movie Screening “UP”
11:00- 4 p.m. Show Kites from Clear Lake (green space, near arenas)
11:00 a.m., 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. Dragonfire Dancing Horses
11:30 a.m. Open Feeder Calf Show
12:00 p.m. “The Shootout Challenge” Red vs. Green Truck and Tractor Pull
12:30 – Cribbage Tournament
12:30 p.m. Premier Open Cattle Show
1:00 p.m. Pedal Power Pull
1:00 p.m. Midway Opens - Next Generation Shows
1:00- 3:00 p.m .Balloon Creations by It’s Your Day-Olson Bldg.
1:00 – 7:00 p.m. Little Farmers open
2:00, 4:00, 6:00 & 8:00 Chainsaw Artist
2:00 p.m. Owen #3 Country Schoolhouse Reception
3:00 p.m. Open Bucket Bottle Calf Show
4:00 – 11:00 Beer Garden
6:00 Free Pony Rides – Indoor Arena
6:00 p.m.
(weather permitting)
6:00 p.m. Cattleman’s Dinner
6:00 p.m. Demolition Derby - Speedway
7:00 p.m. Live Music - Beer Garden “GRIN Band”
8:30 p.m.
(weather permitting)
Winnebago County Fair Logo
The Winnebago County Fair is still in full swing, too, with lots of fun, interesting things to do! Here's that schedule:

Saturday, July 23rd

8:00AM: 4-H & FFA Swine Show

12:30PM: 4-H & FFA Rabbit Show

1:00PM-7:00PM: Reptile & Amphibian Discovery Zoo

2:00PM: Cribbage Tournament

2:00PM-2:30PM: FAVA 4-H Dog Demo

3:00PM-3:45PM: Magic of Steve Kaduce

3:00PM-7:00PM: Schoolhouse Open

3:00PM-7:30PM: Carnival Games & Inflatables

4:00PM-4:30PM: Reptile & Amphibian Discovery Zoo

4:00PM: 4-H & FFA Livestock Judging Contest

4:00PM: 4-H & FFA Poultry Show

5:00PM: Sanctioned Pedal Pull Sponsored by WCTA

5:00PM-5:45PM: Magic of Steve Kaduce

5:00PM-7:00PM: Fundraiser Supper by Fairboard & Junior Fairboard

5:30PM: Barnyard Rodeo

6:00PM-6:30PM: Fatal Vision Goggles- Sheriff Department

6:00PM: 4-H Clothing Style Show

7:00PM: Circle C Rodeo- Grandstand

9:00AM-11:00PM: Teen Dance (High School Kids Only)
July 22, 2016

It's Fair Week!

“Fun Is In The Air!” is the theme for the 2016 North Iowa Fair, and they really mean it! The fair's first annual Hot Air Balloon Rally/ Fun Fly takes place today, tomorrow and Sunday, with a dozen hot air balloons and pilots scheduled to take flight in a fun fly (weather permitting each day) on the North Iowa Event Center Greenspace. See launches, glows, and fun activities throughout the grounds. Learn more about the history of hot air ballooning and enjoy this first-of-its-kind event in North Iowa. We think it's safe to say the Fair has its groove back.  

N IA Fair Hot Air Balloon Logo

The Winnebago County Fair is taking place this weekend also, in Forest City. There's a busy schedule today!

9:30AM: Pen of 3 Beef Judging

10:00AM: 4-H & FFA Beef/Dairy Show

2:00PM: 4-H & FFA Sheep/Goat Show

2:30PM: Working exhibits, Ed Presentations, & Share the Fun

3:00PM-7:00PM: Schoolhouse Open

4:00PM: 4-H Alpaca Show

5:00PM-7:00PM: Fundraiser Supper "Friends of the Fair" Pork Chop w/ Trimmings- Grandstand

5:00PM-7:00PM: Carnival Games & Inflatables

5:00PM: 4-H & FFA Open Bucket Calf/Bottle Lamb Show

6:00PM: Mystery Cooking Competition

6:00PM-6:30PM: Fata Vision Goggles- Sheriff Department

6:00PM: LA Pig Races- Grandstand

7:00PM: All American Lumber Jack Show- Grandstand

Winnebago County Fair Logo

July 21, 2016

Do You Like Barbecue? Well, Really, Who Doesn't?

How about some HOT barbecue? We've got it covered!

Up In Smoke BBQ Bash 2016

July 21, 2016

The Hot Tub May Be Redundant.

It's a steamy few days here in North Iowa, so we really need to make sure we stay cool--it's not just a luxury on days like this, it's a necessity! A tv meteorologist said "Find someplace air-conditioned and cool, and stay there as much as you can!" You can still have some fun, though, inside or out:

  • For fans of the British hit "Downton Abbey," which recently finished its run on PBS, the Masterpiece Book and Film Club presents "Downstairs at Downton: The Reality of Running A House Like Highclere Manor" at the Clear Lake Public Library. Historian Kathy J. Wilson presents the program at 4:00, including an English tea, which sounds lovely. To register, call 641-357-6133, or email

Clear Lake Public Library

  • It should cool off a bit later, so you'll be able to hit the new, improved, North Iowa Fair! Today is Seniors, Grandparents and Grandchildren Day, and events include:
11:00 a.m. Field and Garden Judging
10:00 a.m. Kiddie Barnyard
12:00 p.m. Open Class Exhibits
12:00 p.m. Pork Producers 4H Lunch
12:00 p.m. Senior’s Day Lunch-serving until gone
12:00 p.m. Quilt Show Opens
12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Mason City Civil War Council and storytelling
12:30 p.m. Floriculture Judging
1:00 p.m. Stebens Children’s Theather- “Swing Time Canteen”
1:00 p.m. 500 Card Tournament
1:00-3:00 p.m. Balloon Creations by It’s Your Day- Olson Bldg.
2:00, 4:00, 6:00 & 8:00 Chainsaw Artist
2:00 p.m. Tall Corn Contest Judging
3:00 p.m. Midway Opens - Next Generation Shows
4:00 p.m. Inflatables and Little Farmers open
4:00 p.m. Little Miss & Jr. Miss Contest
4:00 Kids Club w/MacNider Art Museum (pre-registration required!)
4:00 - 11:00 Beer Garden
6:00 p.m. Farm Bureau Appreciation Dinner
Monster Truck Racing League - Speedway
North Iowa Fair
July 19, 2016

The Lake Fest!

At one time, Lakeside Dixiefest, The Art Sail, and the Storytelling Festival were separate events. Then, Clear Lakers, in their wisdom, decided to combine them into one really big event, and the rest is history: the perfect synergy of art, storytelling, and music, in one lovely weekend. Do yourself a favor: stop over. You'll be glad you did.


Lake Fest 2016

July 16, 2016

Another Beautiful North Iowa Saturday.

From the sounds of the forecast, the other weather shoe will drop in a few days, with real late-summer temps and storms on the horizon--so that means we'd better enjoy today! Fortunately, there are LOTS of opportunities to do that. Here are some of them:

  • In Clear Lake today, the Antique and Classic Boat Show runs from 9:00-4:00 at the Seawall and city docks. Just a wonderful event, and a lovely day for it. 

Classic wooden boat

  • Also in Clear Lake, the municipal band performs a free concert this evening at 7:00 at the Band Shell, and Tommy James and the Shondells perform at the legendary Surf Ballroom! Tickets for the Tommy James show at $35 at the door, which open at 7:00.  

Tommy James


  • In Forest City, Puckerbrush Days continue today, with the parade, Rotary chicken barbecue, food truck, "Chair-ity" silent auction, municipal band concert, Pianopalooza, and fireworks. 

Puckerbrush Days picture and logo

  • The Franklin County Fair continues today in Hampton, with midway, livestock exhibits, races, and tonight's concert by Foreigner! 


Check often for everything fun in North Iowa!

July 15, 2016

Another Summer Weekend Is Here!

Oh, my gosh, there's so much to do this weekend in North Iowa, we can hardly keep track of it all! Let's get started!

  • Puckerbrush Days schedule today in Forest City includes the Lions Club corn and pork feed, Battle Of The Businesses, and music by Acoustic Rapport and the Tree Town Sliders. "Into The Woods" will be presented at 7:00 pm by the BrickStreet Theatre at the Forest City High School Auditorium; tickets $10.
  • Grafton holds the annual Turkey Days celebration, with beer garden and music on the schedule.
  • The Franklin County Fair continues tonight in Hampton, with country star John Michael Montgomery performing in the grandstand at 8:30.
  • In Charles City, Party In The Park runs from 5:00-9:00 pm in Central Park, with food, music by Milk and Honey, and children's activities including shows by the Grout Museum. Admission is free.
  • Mason City's Friday Night Live happens tonight from 6:00-10:00 pm, in and around Central Park in downtown Mason City. Highlights include music by local favorite the Split Second Band, beer tent, food by Mr. Taco, Gretchen's, Whiskey Creek, and Tropical Sno, bounce houses, laser tag and more! Bring the lawn chairs, but be ready to dance, too! 

Friday Night Live July 2016

Check often--there's always something going on!

July 14, 2016

Theatre, Music, Community Celebrations: It's Summer, All Right

It's really gratifying to see how hard communities are working to provide entertainment, and benefit their nonprofit partners, isn't it? There are so many terrific events every week, especially this time of year, that's almost difficult to pick which ones to attend! ALMOST. Let's try.

  • In Forest City, Puckerbrush Days are today through Sunday. There's so much happening, we'll just share the schedule with you! 

Puckerbrush Days 2016 poster

  • Clear Lake's Thursdays on Main events continue tonight, and it sounds like the weather will cooperate (we hope). Here's the lineup:
    6:30pm North Iowa Bulls Hockey (VFW Corner)
    7-9pm GRIN (Street Stage)
    9pm Minions (PG) (City Park)
    The usual shopping, craft & food vendors, tons of great food, classic cars, farmer's market, and activities including Main Street Trolley Rides, 2 Bounce Houses, and Laser Tag will all be available as well. It's always fun at Clear Lake in the summer!

Thursdays On Main


  • In Mason City tonight, Paul Weitzel & The Hats play live original and favorite music on the Southbridge Plaza at The Quarry & Tapas Bar. (Outdoors, Weather Permitting. In the Tapas Bar, in the event of inclement weather)
    Featuring: Paul Weitzel on Vocals/Guitar/Mandolin/Songwriter; Jeremy T True on Upright Bass; Dan True on Guitar. Excellent local band, as well as regional favorites, and there's no cover charge!

The Hats

Check often to keep up on what's going down!