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A trip down the rabbit hole, with hobbit holes to come


Scarlet the llama at Windy Goat Acres — courtesy of Jessica Kettler

This weekend, Windy Goat Acres in rural Tama County will be transformed into a wonderland.

“The Alice theme was used as an umbrella to make sense of all the varying kinds of artists,” festival organizer Jessica Kettler said in an email. “We have music, aerial and fire arts, fine arts and interactive arts. Our space here is magical and has a ‘wonderland’ feel with the biodiversity and wooded paths. We catered to the feel of the space and thought Alice in Wonderland theme would help bring everything together.”

The Queen of Hearts Wonderland Festand Masquerade kicks off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 19 and runs until 2 a.m. Tickets are $20. Kids are free.

Kettler, an artist herself, had experienced the challenge of surviving off of art shows and community support. And growing up, she saw how her mother, an art teacher, lacked the support of the school system for her artistic endeavors. So when she began the fest, her primary goal was to “create a space that would help others thrive in the arts.”

“I have a passion to inspire and be a channel for open mindedness, growth, forward thinking,” Kettler said.

The fest will be filled with musicians and artists, both showcased and vendors. There will be food and drink vendors, but attendees are allowed to BYOB. The music lineup includes Near Misses Band, Vimka and a dance party starting at 7 p.m. featuring DaeOne, Sadboi Samurai and more.

Playing at Windy Goat Acres in 2019 — courtesy of Jessica Kuttler

Among the live art events there will be painting, interactive art and Norsfyre, an aerial and fire arts troupe.

“Our fire troupe is amazing,” Kettler said. “They always have been a crowd pleaser, not only because they are extremely talented, but they interact and help people learn things about the art.”

Windy Goat Acres is more than just a one-fest spot, though. Kettler has a cabin on the property that she’s been renting out since last year, and plans for additional growth. She’s excited for festival attendees to get to experience the additional cabin and the pair of yurts (which are almost ready) there now.

Yurt at Windy Goat Acres — courtesy of Jessica Kuttler

“We plan to build one more cabin and two hobbit holes and a bathhouse. We thought as a unique event space, the camping services fit well,” Kettler said. “People can come to an event and stay, or just hide out in the yurt for a couple nights and visit with our little menagerie of animals.”

There is a coterie of goats, llamas, peacocks, horses and sheep that calls the property home.

Escape to Wonderland for a day and take in the whimsy — on-theme costumes are strongly encouraged!

Goats at Windy Goat Acres — courtesy of Jessica Kuttler

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