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Charles City gets out for Cabin Fever Weekend

Charles City gets out for Cabin Fever Weekend
It was standing room only at Prologue Books & Wine on Friday, Jan. 26, as people flocked to the bookstore to hear Curt Nelson talk about bird watching as part of Cabin Fever Weekend. Press photos by Travis Fischer
By Travis Fischer,

Fun and fundraisers filled the schedule for Cabin Fever Weekend as the Charles City Chamber of Commerce promoted a variety of regular activities and special events.

From a Floral Arrangement class at Otto’s Oasis to Aqua Zumba at the YMCA, the weekend featured a wide range of activities to enjoy in the area.

At Tosanak Recreation Area, Cabin Fever weekend coincided with a couple of scheduled activities. While a lack of snow limited some of the usual wintertime plans, spirits were high on Thursday as 16 people came out to enjoy Women in the Woods with Wine with naturalist Heidi Reams.

“We had a great turnout with that,” said Floyd County Conservation office assistant Amy Boggess.

Reams was busy again on Sunday with a jewelry workshop in the afternoon and the “Owl Prowl” Sunday evening, where 10 people came out to listen for the nocturnal birds.

“Everybody really enjoyed themselves,” said Boggess.

The bird enthusiasm may have been stoked on Friday as Prologue Books & Wine hosted Curt Nelson, an area bird watcher, for an introduction to bird watching.

“I told him it’d be about 10 people,” said Prologue owner Darci Tracey. More than 40 people filled the bookstore to listen to Nelson’s program.

Nelson talked about how to identify different birds, demonstrated what modern birdwatching equipment is capable of, and answered questions about how to get started in the outdoor hobby.

“I had a lot of fun,” said Nelson. “I like to pitch for wildlife and conservation.”

Involving more domestic animals, PAWS Animal Shelter held a series of open houses over the weekend for people to meet the cats and dogs in need of a family, or to learn how to volunteer with the organization.

“I’m just so excited,” said Jenean Wolterman as she signed the adoption papers for a pair of kittens she will be providing a new home for.

Foul play was afoot on Friday evening at the Charles City Public Library as more than 30 people gathered in the Zastrow Room for the Murder Mystery Dinner Party.

Looking to solve the mystery of the “Sin City Slayer,” guests sat down for dinner with a variety of Vegas-themed characters to figure out which one murdered Hollywood icon Alex Jade (played by Stacey Leerhoff.)

“It’s kind of interesting,” said Barb Richter, who said she enjoyed participating in this kind of role-playing game for the first time. “We’re not sure how to react to it.”

“They’re pretty good actors,” said Rose Qualley.

The fun at the library continued on Saturday morning as families competed in a Family Puzzle Race.

A new event for the library, six teams came in to see who could put a puzzle together the fastest, with the Soifer family taking first place in 33 minutes.

“It was fun,” said Stacey Leerhoff, who said the library may host puzzle races again this summer.

The weekend also included a number of fundraisers for area groups.

On Saturday, the Charles City Community Fund hosted its 13th annual bowling fundraiser at Comet Bowl.

“This is one we’ve been doing for quite a few years and we have a lot of fun with it,” said CCCF co-president Mike McCarty.

Twelve teams of four bowled in the nine-pin tournament with Slinger Chiropractic’s team winning the first flight, Andy Flugge’s team winning the second flight and the Valero team winning the third flight.

The event also had raffles and a 50/50 drawing, all to raise funds for the community fund to distribute to area non-profits.

Later on Saturday, the Immaculate Conception Development Board got groovy with a fundraiser of its own.

Hosting the annual fundraiser at Wrightz Auction Co. in Floyd, guests came out in their funkiest ’70s-themed outfits for an out of sight night of dinner and music.

Guests boogied to the live music of the Chocolate Crackers and the far out food was provided by Flying Bull BBQ with dessert from Sweets by Keke.

Raising funds for IC’s new playground and other classroom items, the event featured both a silent and live auction of donated goods.

“It’s really for the kids and how we can help improve the school overall,” said board member Marlowe Jung.

Teachers at the school even got students to participate, as each class helped make items to be bid on at the auction.

“It’s a really good way that the kids can help support the school,” Jung said.

On Sunday, the Charles City High School Music Department hosted a bingo fundraiser to raise money for the students’ upcoming class trip.

Borrowing cards and equipment from the Chamber of Commerce, the fundraiser saw people trickle in throughout the afternoon to try their luck while they supported the music students.

“It seems to be going OK,” said band teacher Jacob Gassman.

The music department makes a trip every two years for the students, with this year’s trip planned for New York City. Fundraiser proceeds go toward travel costs and help minimize out-of-pocket expenses for the kids.

Those that missed the bingo game can donate individually by reaching out to any of the music department directors.

Along with the special events, there were also plenty of regularly scheduled activities to enjoy over the weekend. The Charles Theatre presented five show times of “SOUL” from Friday through Sunday while the YMCA was open for roller skating on Friday and open swimming on Saturday and Sunday.

“I’d say it went pretty well. It looks like they had a good number of attendees,” said Chamber of Commerce events coordinator Eve Welton. “It was nice to see people getting out and about in Charles City to break the winter blues.”

Charles City gets out for Cabin Fever Weekend
A half-dozen families participated in the Charles City Public Library’s Family Puzzle Race on Saturday, Jan. 27.
Charles City gets out for Cabin Fever Weekend
Who is the Sin City Slayer!? More than 30 people came out to the Charles City Public Library on Friday, Jan. 26 to enjoy dinner and solve a murder mystery.
Charles City gets out for Cabin Fever Weekend
The Charles City Community Fund held a 9-pin bowling tournament fundraiser at Comet Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 27.
Charles City gets out for Cabin Fever Weekend
Malachi Eurleson made a fast friend with Buzz the cat at the PAWS open house over the weekend.
Charles City gets out for Cabin Fever Weekend
Jenean Wolterman was thrilled to meet and adopt a pair of sibling cats at the PAWS open house over the weekend.
Charles City gets out for Cabin Fever Weekend
Wednesday the cat enjoyed playing with Pancake the puppy’s leash during the PAWS open house on Saturday, Jan. 27.
Charles City gets out for Cabin Fever Weekend
Kids and adults alike came out to enjoy roller skating at the YMCA on Friday, Jan. 26.
Charles City gets out for Cabin Fever Weekend
The IC Development Board hosted a groovy evening Saturday, Jan. 27 for its fundraiser auction dinner.

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