The town of Albia in southeast Iowa’s Monroe County is holding events this weekend that both look back and look forward. Matt Foster is chairman of Albia’s “Restoration Days,” an end-of-summer festival that began several decades ago as an effort to spruce up the community’s historic downtown square.Back in the 60s and 70s, a project called Operation Facelift was launched after someone said to a local banker that Albia had to be the ugliest town in the state. From that, a series of efforts were begun to save and restore Albia’s historic buildings, many of which are a century old. Now, 92 buildings in the downtown are on the National Register of Historic Places. Foster says residents are proud of their community and love to show it off.Events this weekend include: a run/walk, a quilt show, the art show on the town square, a book sale, threshing demonstrations, a parade, auctions and raffles — with proceeds going toward continuing restoration projects. Foster says the festival is a celebration of renewal and the continuation of small towns. For more information, surf to “”.