Villages of Van Buren Scenic Drive Festival

Written by Theresa Rose on September 26, 2016


Oct. 8-9, 2016

Villages of Van Buren County, Iowa will host Southeast Iowa’s largest Arts, Crafts, Flea Market and So Much More Festival!  The Scenic Drive Festival is always held the second full weekend in October, and is full of fun activities for everyone! Visitors are encouraged to follow the marked “Scenic Drive” through Van Buren County and along the Historic Hills Scenic Byway to experience each of the historic Villages. There will be Fine Arts, Crafts, Flea Markets, Live Music, Car & Tractor Shows, Parade, Tours of Historic Barns, a Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry and so much more. Back by popular demand, fascinating tours of Millard’s Turtle Farm near Birmingham, Special Open Houses at the Wickfield Farm Sales Pavilion (Round Barn) near Cantril. The historic Clark Barn near Stockport is celebrating its 100th birthday! NEW this year, a Freedom Float, a guided river paddle hearing legends and stories of the Underground Railroad. The float concludes with a fascinating tour of the Pearson House Museum in Keosauqua which was regarded as a “safe house” for escaping slaves. Also new this year, tours and demonstrations of antique printing presses at Calico Press-Letterpress Shop near Birmingham and Taxidermy demonstrations and displays at Bonaparte.

The festival is held rain or shine. There is no admission fee. For more details and a free brochure with map visit or call 319-293-7111 / 800-868-7822.



  • Millard’s Turtle Farm Special Open House (16580 Linden Ave., Birmingham) Tour one of the largest Turtle Farms in the Midwest with special activities on site!  Fri-Sun 9am-4pm.
  • NEW!! The Calico Press-Letterpress Print Shop (23096 Rt J-16) Hands-on demonstrations of antique printing presses.  Art Prints, Greeting Cards, Shirts, Unique Handmade Gifts! Sat. 8am-5pm, Sun. 9am-3pm
  • Trash & Treasures Salefeaturing a large rummage-style and flea market sale with unique items in the Birmingham City Park (corner of Main & Wood St.) Saturday 8am-5pm & Sunday 9am-4pm.  Lunch is available both days.  To donate items contact Harry at 319-498-4201 or Arlene at 319-498-4425.  Outside vendors may display and sell in park at the same time, no charge. All proceeds benefit park and shelterhouse improvements.


  • NEW!! End of Summer Grill served Saturday from 10am-2pm (or until they run out) at the Cantril Fire Station (104 W. 3rd).  Meal is $5.00 and includes a sandwich, chips, dessert and a drink.
  • Dutchman’s Store open Saturday 8am-5pm with a Mennonite Bake Sale outside starting at 8am.
  • Wickfield Farm Sales Pavilion Special Open House (17451 260th) will have free guided tours both days 9am-5pm. NEW!! Saturday evening 4pm–7pm: Old Time Music, Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry, Smoked Pork Loin, Fried Pickles, Chips, Drinks. Free will Donation. Bring your lawn chairs.


  • “Heritage Days” at Morris Park (10938 Timber Rd.) Food, Tours, Rug Making, Crocheting, Quilts, Ancient Iron Demos, Blacksmithing, Jam Session, Tractorcade, Train Rides, Horse & Wagon rides, Possum Tails, Salsa Cook-Off, & Chili Cook-Off.  Fish Fry Friday at 5pm!  Saturday Only: SE Iowa Button Guild will present a program on antique buttons at 2pm, Music Jam from 2pm-?.  Sunday: Church at 10am. Hours: Fri. 5pm, Sat. 9-5, Sun 9-4
  • Clark Barn Open House celebrating the 100th birthday of this Old English Bank Barn, built in 1916. Free tours and free birthday refreshments. Saturday 10am-4pm & Sunday 12-4pm (27882 107th, watch for signs.)


  • Sunrise Bakery Amish Dinner Buffet 5-7:30pm on Fri. & Sat. Menu: Meatloaf, Oven-baked Chicken, mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Beef Noodles, Sweet Corn, Green Beans, Salad Bar, Homemade Bread, Homemade Pies and Homemade Ice Cream. Adults: $10+ tax, Children $5+tax, Under age 4: Free. Located north of Bonaparte on W40 (31154 210th)
  • Homemade Ice Cream and Amish Buggy Rides.  8am-4pm at Sunrise Bakery.
  • Amish School Benefit Lunch at Yoder’s Greenhouse (31856 210th).  Serving BBQ Chicken, Cole Slaw, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Noodles, Homemade Pie & Ice Cream on Saturday 10:00am-2pm.  Also holding a Bake Sale & Auction beginning at 10:00am.
  • Annual Bonaparte Public Library Soup Luncheon at the Bonaparte Opera House (614 1st St.).  Serving a variety of homemade soups, relishes, and desserts. Saturday 11am – 1pm, $6 a person.
  • NEW!! Let’s Go on a Safari at the Bonaparte Opera House (614 1st St.).  See an educational display of taxidermy and North American animals will be available for viewing.  John Jones will be doing a demonstration on taxidermy. Free admission, open Saturday 11am-2pm.
  • Bonaparte Vendor Eventin the Riverfront Park (downtown Bonaparte right off J40) on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm.  Vendors offering crafts, antiques, food, and baked goods.
  • 4th Annual Quilt Showheld at the Bonaparte United Church (412 5th St.).  View beautiful handmade quilts, free-will donations for admission fee is appreciated.  Saturday 10am-4pm & Sunday 12-4pm.
  • Historic Bonaparte Pottery(411 1st St.) will be open with hands-on pottery demonstrations by master potters.  New this year – Scavenger hunt of the historic building and grounds.  Gift shop & museum open Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm, no admission fee.


  • Antiques, Craft, Flea Market & Food Vendors set up in the Riverfront Park, Specialty Shops Open, & Bake Sales in downtown Bentonsport Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm.
  • Indian Artifact Museum open all weekend 10a-5p. No admission fee.
  • 41st Annual Fine Art & Fine Craft Festival featuring art for sale by Midwest artists, demonstrations of one-of-kind creations and live music featuring blues band, “Van & the Movers” on Sat. 2p-5p & Country Western music by “Amarillo” on Sunday 11a-4p. Hours: 10am-5pm Saturday & 10am-4pm Sunday in downtown Bentonsport.
  • Nauvoo On The Road featuring Pioneer Pastimes including Candle & Rope Making & Games on Saturday 10am-4pm in the Riverfront Park.


  • 3K Fun Run/Walk on Friday at Indian Lake Park (28163 Willow Ave.), registration 5-5:30pm, run 6pm.  Registrations fees are: Adults $25 Pre-Registered by 9/23 or $30 Walk-Up & Children $15 Pre-Registered by 9/23 or $20 Walk-Up. Wear a Super Hero costume – prizes will be given for Best Individual Costume (child & adult) and Best Family Costume.
  • Books are Fun Book Fair at the Bridge Cafe (101 Olive St.) Fri 5-9pm, Sat 8am-9pm, Sun 8am-3pm, sponsored by the Farmington UMC. All proceeds benefit Van Buren County Christmas for Kids.
  • 3rd Annual Farmington Art Show at the Farmington Community Center (201 S. 4th) Saturday and Sunday, 8am-4pm
  • Arts, Crafts & Food Vendors at the Shelterhouse downtown Saturday 8am-5pm & Sunday 8am-4pm.  Vendors, Brat Burgers & Chili
  • Pioneer Historical Museum Open House (205 S. 4th) Open special hours Saturday 9am-5pm & Sunday 12-4pm.


  • NEW!! Archie’s Banquet Center(202 Cass St.) will have their weekly All-You-Can-Eat Fried Chicken Buffet on Friday, Oct.7 from 4:45pm- 8:00pm for just $10.95 +tax. (Note: This week it will not be served on Wed. Oct. 5)
  • Keosauqua Lions Food Tent Saturday and Sunday in the City Park serving All-You-Can-Eat Pancake & Sausage Breakfast from 7am-10 & Lunch 11am-5pm featuring Tater Ribbons, Catfish Nuggets, Chicken Strips, Corn Dogs, French Fries (Plain, Chili &/or Cheese) and NEW this year, Hot Wings!
  • NEW!! Archie’s Banquet Center(202 Cass St.) will be serving brats and enchiladas from 11am-6pm on Saturday and 11am-2pm on Sunday.  There is plenty of indoor seating and cool drinks. Arts and crafts vendors will be set up in the parking lot.
  • Keosauqua Library Book Sale free will donation sale located outside the library, Friday 12-4pm and Saturday 9am-5pm.
  • Fall Festival,in downtown Keosauqua with craft and food vendors. Hours: Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 10a-4pm. Vendors also set-up at Roberts Memorial Building, Hwy. 1 North. Activities for the whole family include live music (see schedule below), National Guard Climbing Wall at 12:30 on Saturday. On Sunday, Kids Pedal Pull at 1:00pm and the Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show registration begins at 10:00am, show starts at 12:00pm. NEW this year, there will be a carnival all weekend with discounted tickets available at Libertyville Savings Bank, First Iowa State bank & Tropical Tan.
    Music Line-up (musical performances will be held at the New Riverfront Stage, across from Circle B C-Store):
    8:30am – Junior High Chorus
    11:30am (after the parade)- High School Chorus
    1:00pm- Double Dose
    3:00pm- Curtis Oliver
    11:30am-Church Services with Kevin Mote and the Sonshine Band.
    1:00pm – Tarnished Brass Band
  • Keosauqua Rotary Parade on Saturday. “Today’s Students-Tomorrow’s Leaders” through downtown Keosauqua, line up at 8am at the Van Buren High School, Parade starts at 10am.
  • NEW!! Freedom Float: The Underground Railroad Along the River Hear legends & stories of the Underground Railroad as you float along the Des Moines River Water Trail, ending the day at the Pearson House Museum, a confirmed station on the Underground Railroad. 10am-2pm This is an official Des Moines River Water Trails event co-sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Jefferson County Conservation. Pre-registration is required and participation is limited. If you do not have your own canoe or kayak, some are available for loan. The trip is open to all but children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants may register by calling (641)-472-4421 or emailing
  • Pearson House Museum Complex (718 Dodge St.) Interpretive Tours of Pearson House which was a safe house on the Underground RR, One-room Schoolhouse & Log Cabin. Open Saturday 1-4pm.  Free will donation.
  • Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show in downtown Keosauqua from. Registration begins at 10am on Sunday, show times 12p-3pm. Awards at 3pm.
  • 10th Annual Lacey Keosauqua Fall 5K & 10K Run & 2 mile Trail Walkat Lacey Keosauqua State Park, begins at the Lodge at 9am on Sunday.  For registration form visit or


  • Phil’s Grill at the Lunch Box Café (14191 Hwy 98) 11am-7pm on Saturday, featuring Famous Bigfoot Tenderloins, Texas Tators & Homemade Tacos.


  • Amish School (Jct. of J40 & V64) Saturday 8a-12pm Free Will Donation Breakfast serving Biscuits & Gravy, Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Cinnamon Rolls, & Drinks.
  • Yoder’s Indian Creek Furniture (22769 Rt. V-64, Milton; 3/4 m. S. of Lebanon) 10th Anniversary Sale with 10% off everything in-stock or special order.  15% off wind chimes and in-stock outdoor furniture, 5% off poly lawn furniture.  FREE coffee & donuts all day.  Door prizes.  Grand Prize Give-Away: Glider Rocker. Saturday only, 8am-5pm.


  • Milton Creamery (202 E. Hwy. 2) 8am-5pm Mon- Sat. offering free samples of over 20 flavors of locally made cheeses and fresh curds
  • Chicken & Noodle Dinner served 11am-1pm on Saturday at the Milton Christian Church (201 E. Oak St.) just like Grandma used to make!  Includes real mashed potatoes, fresh salads, and yummy desserts for only $9 per person, under 12 is just $5
  • Truck, Tractor & Car Show 9am-5pm on Saturday at the Milton Christian Church (201 E. Oak St.).  Go back in time and view restored trucks, tractors, cars and small fly wheel engines.  Refreshments available. Free admission.