The 137th birthday of president and Iowa native Herbert Hoover is being celebrated tonight and tomorrow in Hoover’s birthplace of West Branch.
Delene McConnaha, spokeswoman for the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association, says several VIPs will be in eastern Iowa for the birthday bash.
Guests include: Lynda Johnson Robb, daughter of President Lyndon Johnson; Margaret Hoover, author and great-granddaughter of President Hoover; and Clifton Truman Daniel, the grandson of President Harry Truman.
Iowa native and opera star Simon Estes is also expected to attend, as is Governor Terry Branstad.
McConnaha says the weekend’s events range from a Civil War encampment and dance to foot and bike races, a magic show, a giant chess board, a soap box derby and plenty of live music.
There are more than 100 exhibitors, food vendors, entertainment, fireworks in the evening, inflatables for the kids and a bungee jump machine for older kids. The grand parade starts Saturday at 10 A-M.
McConnaha says one of the other big events of the weekend is the Hoover-Ball tournament, featuring some 30 teams competing using four-pound medicine balls.
While a four-pound ball doesn’t sound that heavy, she says when you’re tossing it over an eight-foot-high volleyball net on a 30-foot court, it gets exhausting. The game is based on one that was created decades ago to get President Hoover fit.
Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. Learn more at: www.hoovershometowndays.org
Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City