The reds, yellows, and oranges of fall are already putting on a spectacular color show across northern Iowa, with the leaves in central Iowa beginning to change hues as well.
Emily Hobbs, executive director of the Villages of Van Buren County in southeast Iowa, says her region is holding its annual countywide Scenic Drive Festival this weekend.
“You’ll just start to see some changing of the leaves this weekend but it’s still beautiful, especially a nice drive through Lacey Keosauqua State Park or Shimek Forest,” Hobbs says. “As you’re driving along, we have a lot of beautiful roads and trees while the Historic Hills Scenic Byway runs right through us.”
There are 11 communities in Van Buren County, most of which are holding special events for visitors today (Friday) through Sunday, things like antique shows, flea markets, and live music. “Keosauqua will have a Grand Parade at 10 AM on Saturday,” Hobbs says. “There’s a Sunday walk/run happening out at Lacy Keosauqua State Park. Also on Sunday is a car, truck, and motorcycle show.”
Many of the villages are having craft shows that feature the work of local artisans, ranging from pottery makers to leatherworkers and even cheesemakers. Hobbs notes that Van Buren County is like no other in Iowa and it’s more of a laid-back atmosphere.
“We actually have no stoplights in the whole county,” she says. “It’s a slower pace down here but that’s what makes it so unique and a great getaway for people. We don’t have any box stores, it’s all locally owned.”
There is no admission fee. For more details, visit villagesofvanburen.com or call 800-868-7822.