Sometimes the natural course of things set in and your weekend options are dictated by the turning of the earth. This is such a weekend. Summer is closing fast (school starts when?) and Iowans love a good festival. In that vein, your weekend options all depend on where you want to spend a care-free August weekend (and how far you want to drive, or bike if you’re in shape from RAGBRAI). In no particular order:
Hooverfest | West Branch | Saturday, August 2, starting at 9:30am
The big draw, of course, is the Hoover-Ball 21st Annual National Championships–and a special McCain vs Obama campaign staffers throwdown! You’ll never see a higher concentration of Hoover-Ball athletes in the world. If you’ve never seen it played, it involves a volleyball net, a medicine ball and a risk of broken fingers. It’s fantastic. But, there’s also lots of music, arts and crafts, fireworks, children’s games and more. Plus the Firefighters’ pork dinner.
Hardacre Film Festival | Hardacre Theatre, Tipton | Friday, August 1, 6pm-midnight; Saturday 9:30am-midnight
Iowa’s first film festival is back for its 11th year. The diehard crowd that comes year after year buys one $15 festival pass and makes movie-watching and popcorn-eating look like an art form, only taking a rest when the mandatory meal breaks come. Festival highlights this year include Fix, a fast-paced cinema verite look at the perils of drug addiction on Friday night and the world premiere of The Perfect Cappuccino on Saturday, a clever examination of our Starbucks culture and the possible alternatives.
Bluesmore | Brucemore Mansion, Cedar Rapids | Saturday, August 2, 4:00-9:00pm
This is the 15th year of the venerable blues fest at the Brucemore Mansion. Performers this year include Bernard Allison, Nick Moss & the Fliptops and Matt Wood & the Thunderbolts. With all the heartache in the corridor this summer, it’s no wonder that we might need the Blues to ease the pain.
White Rabbit Re-opening | White Rabbit, 109 S Linn St | Saturday, August 2, 5:00-9:00pm
It’s not often that we list a store’s grand reopening on the Weekender, but what the hey, the White Rabbit is a special store with a special mission. Plus, this party a) is gratis, b) features live music from former Iowa Citian Tim Wehrle, c) unveils new art from Iowa City artist Josh Doster and d) will be serving food from Redhead in Solon. Sounds like a rockin party, and it’s a good alternative for those of us fighting the pump or going sans-cars all together.
Oh, and speaking of gas-prices. Did John McCain really just compare Obama to Paris Hilton in his latest nonsensical “pain at the pump” attack ad? When will Jump the Shark start keeping track of political campaigns?