Travel Iowa

Official blog for Iowa Tourism promoting Iowa's attractions, events, communities & destinations.

Get your free account at Travel Iowa.

  • Vote

    for your favorite new posts
  • Publish

    your own original blog posts
  • Earn

    $20 for your posts voted to Top Posts
  • Sign Up!
49 Incredible Things to Do in Ottumwa This June
Facebook Tweet Google+ Pinterest Email More Sharing Options

49 Incredible Things to Do in Ottumwa This June

Ottumwa is one of the best Iowa destinations to visit during the summer! We have tons of family-friendly events and activities for all ages. You won’t want to miss what’s happening in the month of June! Here are a few featured activities to put on your calendar.

1. First Annual World Championship Canteen Eating Contest

Major League Eating and our historic restaurant, The Canteen, have partnered up to bring us the First Annual World Championship Canteen Eating Contest. It’s set for June 2 in Central Park, Ottumwa at 1:00 p.m.

We have some of the world’s best professional eaters, including Gideon Oji, who is ranked number 6 in the world for professional eating. There will also be local eaters from all over Iowa and Illinois.

The eating contest will be about 10 minutes long, but the festivities are far from over. Starting Friday, June 1, and ending the evening of Saturday June 2, we’ll have dozens of activities for the entire family. Here are some of the featured events:

2. Legacy Foundation Canteen Alley Ribbon Cutting

The newly renovated Canteen Alley will be officially presented to the city on June 2 at noon. Come watch the unveiling of this incredible update to Ottumwa’s favorite historical restaurant.

3. Division BMX Bike Show

Brought to you by Riverside Cyclery in Ottumwa, the Division BMX Stunt Team will perform their elite stunt show at three different times on Saturday, June 2: 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. The show is free and an incredible experience to watch in Downtown Ottumwa!

4. Adam Miller Skateboard Show

Adam Miller is the epic internet skateboarding sensation you won’t want to miss! He was the first to successful backflip down six stairs from one skateboard to another. He was recognized by Tony Hawk and has millions of followers. This Iowa native will be performing on Saturday June 2 at the Ottumwa Skate Park at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.

5. Canteen Classic

Join us for a 7-mile family-friendly bike ride using the Ottumwa trail system. It will begin on Saturday, June 2 at 8:00 a.m. at the Ottumwa Skate Park. You’ll get a Canteen Passport to get stamped with six ingredients in a Canteen along the path. Each completed passport will be entered in a drawing for great prizes.

6. Main Street Madness Sales

There will be sidewalk sales for the 100 to 300 blocks of Main Street Ottumwa on June 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. There will be shops, music, food trucks, and so much more!

7. Julian Campbell Realtor Kids Zone

Sponsored by Julian Campbell Realty, the kids zone will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Downtown Ottumwa on June 2. There will be free bounce houses and outdoor laser tag for $5 a game.

8. Family Magic Show

Market on Main will be hosting a family-friendly magic show featuring William the Conjurer. For $8 a ticket, you can see this kid-friendly magician perform incredible tricks. The purchase of two children’s tickets gets one adult in for free!

9. Party on the Plaza with The Dweebs

The Dweebs, a family band featuring Michael Blue, his daughter, and two sons, will be performing in an outdoor concert on June 2 at 8 p.m. at the Bridge View Center. This show is high-energy and so much fun! The family performs everyone’s favorite hits from the 60’s until now. You’ll be singing along and having a great time!

Entrance to the show is $10 per person with children 12 and under getting in for free! Tickets can be purchased online or in-person at the Bridge View Center.

10. Ottumwa Public Library Chalk Art Contest

The Ottumwa Public Library is sponsoring a chalk art contest at Central Park on June 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you’re an artist who’s ready to win a great prize, head on over to Central Park before or after the Canteen Eating Contest!

11. Live Music by Tony Blew

One of Ottumwa’s favorite local artists, Tony Blew, will be performing both original and cover songs in Canteen Alley on June 1 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. He’ll be performing an original song written specifically for the Canteen Eating Contest event.

12. Ottumwa Municipal Band Performance

The Ottumwa Municipal Band will begin their 153rd year of performing at the Central Park band shell on June 1 at 7:00 p.m. They’ll be performing in preparation for the Canteen Eating Contest the following day.

13. Chickadee and Luke Davids at Top Hat Coffee and Entertainment

Top Hat Coffee and Entertainment presents the Chickadees, a local female duo band, and Luke Davids, an Ottumwan favorite. They’ll be playing live on June 1 from 6-8 p.m.

14. Kevin McGinity Live at the Market

Kevin McGinity, the talented local artist who often frequents Market on Main, will be playing during Friday Happy Hour on June 1 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. There will be food and specialty drinks available, and it’s a great way to spend your evening before the big Canteen Eating Contest the following day.

15. Sean Costanza with Steve McLain Live at the Market

Both Sean Costanza and Steve McLain are epic storytellers who know how to deliver beautiful performances. Their energy in their live performances is well worth a listen. You can hear both of these soul-searching artists from 6:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Market on Main following the Canteen Eating Contest on June 2.

16. Smithsonian Exhibit: Hometown Teams

The Smithsonian has landed in Ottumwa with their popular traveling exhibit, Hometown Teams. This exhibit features incredible artwork detailing hometown sports and how they contribute to American society. This exhibit will only be around until June 16 before it moves on to another state, so check it out while it’s in town!

17. AHFA Steak Sandwich Dinner

American Home Finding Association in Ottumwa will be hosting their third annual, delectable Ribeye Steak Sandwich Dinner on Wednesday, June 6 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Jimmy Jones Shelter in Greater Ottumwa Park. Dinner is $10, and community members are invited to join us for this event meant to raise money for the needy.

18. Market on Main Wine Pairing Dinner

One of Market on Main’s most popular events, this Wine Wednesday event on June 6 at 6:00 p.m. will teach you how to pair the best wines with a specific meal. You’ll get tasting notes, pairing ideas, and background info on delicious wines. The cost is $25 per person, and you must register ahead of time.

19. Ottumwa Municipal Band Concert

The Ottumwa Municipal Band will do another free concert on June 7 from 7-8 p.m. in Ottumwa’s Central Park. They’ll have another performance on Juen 23 at the same time and location.

This is the oldest continuously operating municipal band in the state of Iowa, and it’s always a treat to hear them play both classical and popular music in the park.

20. American Gothic Days

The American Gothic House Center will be hosting its annual American Gothic Days event from June 8-10. There’s free food on each of the days as well as a whole host of events during this time for you to enjoy, including:

21. American Gothic Art Contest

Submit your best depiction of the American Gothic House to win a cash prize for first and second place in each division. See the American Gothic House Center website for entry details.

22. American Gothic Performing Arts Festival Presents: Little Shop of Horrors

The American Gothic Performing Arts Festival presents three different performances of the hit musical Little Shop of Horrors at the McHaffey Opera House. They will be June 9 at 7:30 p.m., June 10 at 2:00 p.m., and June 11 at 2:00 p.m.

23. Tom Wurth at the McHaffey Opera House

During the American Gothic Days Festival, Tom Wurth, aGrammy-nominatedd artist, will be performing once again at the McHaffey Opera House in Eldon on June 8 at 6:30 p.m. For $15, you can hear this incredible musician play in Eldon’s historic opera house.

24. American Gothic Days 5K

At 7:30 a.m. on June 9, you can join us for a 5K walk/run in celebration of American Gothic Days. Registration begins at 6:45 a.m. and costs $20.

25. The Gothic Gala – A Farm to Table Dining Experience

Enjoy a five-course meal made from all locally-sourced products, including wine, beer, and spirits. This fine event will take place in the backyard of the famous American Gothic House where you can bask in the history of this beautiful home. There will also be live music all evening. Check it out on June 9 at 6:30 p.m.

26. Gothic Scoop

There will be an ice cream and pie social with Beth Howard, the woman who used to live in the Gothic House and make pies for all of its visitors. There will be delicious treats and live music by Those Guys? and Bluegrass Fusion on June 3 from 1-3 p.m.

27. Tom Blew Live at the Market

Enjoy the multi-instrumental gifts of Tom Blew as he plays a Friday Happy Hour Set at Market on Main. He’ll perform 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on June 8. Enjoy food and drink for those 21 and up.

28. Wine and Canvas

Des Moines Wine and Canvas will be at Hotel Ottumwa on June 8 at 6:00 p.m. to teach you how to paint a beautiful sunset. There will also be food and a full bar available.

29. The Vine Coffeehouse Coffee and Canvas

This coffee and canvas event is designed with kids in mind. Paint a fun picture of a shark for just $15 including a cookie and juice. A fun activity for all ages on June 8 at 4:00 p.m.

30. Hills Fest

Indian Hills is presenting a fun, free event that’s all about the Indian Hills Community College campus in Ottumwa. There’s free food, a 5K, a bags tournament, food trucks, inflatables, carnival games, information booths about Indian Hills and Ottumwa, Duck Drop, drive-in movie, and more! Its all happening June 9 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

31. One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure Rummage Sale

There will be a rummage sale including antiques, vintage clothing, collectibles, and so much more at the Blakesburg Elementary School Cafeteria on June 9 at 8:00 a.m. All proceeds will go to the Blakesburg Community Museum.

32. John-Paul Jones Group Live at the Market

Check out the first performance at Market on Main of John-Paul Jones Group, brought to you by H&J Entertainment. JP began his musical career in 1978, so he has a 40-year career of playing and entertaining crowds all over the country. Don’t miss his performance on June 9 at 7:30 p.m.

33. Move in the Park: The Blind Side

Come see The Blind Side shown at Ballingal Park on June 9 at 8:30 p.m. This series of sports-themed Movie in the Park showings is brought to you by Main Street Ottumwa and the Smithsonian Hometown Teams Exhibit. Don’t miss out on this great outdoor film and more like it!

34. Life’s a Beach! Concert

Just outside the Mage Dodd Stage on the Indian Hills Community College campus will be a special concert called “Life’s a Beach!” Bring your lawn chairs and some food and enjoy music from some of America’s favorite beach-themed artists, like Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffet. It’s a free concert on June 10 at 7:00 p.m. for all to enjoy!

35. Arts Camps for Kids

The American Gothic Performing Arts Festival presents a series of arts day camps for children K-8. It will feature workshops on Music, theater, dance, and art. This event goes from June 11 to June 15.

36. Social Media Marketing Workshop at Market on Main

Have you always wanted to be better at social media for your small business? There will be a SCORE workshop on June 13 at Market on Main teaching you how to use social tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat to the advantage of your business. It goes from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. and costs $8 per person. Register ahead of time to secure a spot!

37. Smithsonian Exhibit: Hometown Heroes Speakers

There will be several featured speakers at the Wapello County Historical Museum throughout the month of June. They will be discussing sports and arts-related topics like American baseball and how it influences society. The featured speakers include:

·Rachelle Chase-Buxton on “Wonders, The Predominantly African American Baseball Team from the Nearby Mining Town of Buxton, Iowa”

·Molly Myers Naumann on “Ottumwa Architecture and Leisure Sporting”

·University of Iowa Women’s Studies Collection Day on June 16 from 12-4 p.m.

38. Jazz at the Market with 3=One

Fairfield’s favorite jazz trio, 3=One will be performing once again at Market on Main on Friday June 15 at 5:30 p.m. Don’t miss this talented jazz group who love every minute of what they do!

39. Ragtime Fun Run/Walk

American Gothic Performing Arts Festival presents a 5K or 1-mile fun run or walk to kick off the performance week of their upcoming show, Ragtime.

40. 32nd Annual Tenco Golf Classic

Play a round of golf with friends and support a good cause at the same time. For $45 per player, you can play a round of golf in 4-player best shot format. There will be prizes awarded to the best in the first three flights. A hole-in-one on hole #4 puts you in the running to win a brand new car!

There will also be hole competitions, food, and other events to keep things interesting. All proceeds go to those with disabilities in Ottumwa.

41. Bill Riley Talent Search

Brought to you by the American Gothic Performing Arts Festival, an official, Iowa State Fair qualifying talent search will be at the Bridge View Center on June 16 from 12-4 p.m. Bring your best talent to the stage!

42. Comedy Night with Mitch Banks at the Market

From Marion, IA, Mitch Banks is one of the funniest and most relatable stand-up comics in Iowa. He’ll be performing at the Market on Main on June 16 at 6:00 p.m.

43. Third Thursday Block Party

On June 21, there will be a huge block party on the 300 block of East Main Street in Downtown Ottumwa. There will be live music, shopping, fun activities for the whole family, promotions, food and drink, and more! It goes from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., so don’t miss out!

44. The Stress Vine Live at the Market

From 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on June 22, you can enjoy music from The Stress Vine, a powerful husband and wife duo from Oskaloosa. This vocal pair put a unique style on pop/alternative rock with a little comedic banter. It’s a great experience, including food and specialty drinks at the Market.

45. Ragtime the Musical

The American Gothic Performing Arts Festival presents a concert production of Ragtime, an award-winning musical you won’t want to miss. There will also be an Afterglow party on the plaza following the performance on June 22.

46. Central Park Cinema: The Lego Ninjago Movie

Main Street Ottumwa and John Deere Ottumwa Works bring you an outdoor showing of The Lego Ninjago Movie. It’s a part of the free Central Park Cinema showings for the summer of 2018. Bring your picnic blankets and home-popped popcorn and enjoy the movie on June 23 starting at dusk.

47. Smokin’ Hot Best Shot

Are you a good shot? Help raise money for the Appanoose Public Health Department for low-income women to receive mammograms and cervical exams. They’re hosting a best shot style shot gun tournament on June 24 at 10:00 a.m. Take your best shot and support a worthy cause.

48. Trivia Night at Market on Main

Wind down after a long day at work on Thursday, June 28 at Market on Main for a fun trivia night! Get six team members together to compete for fun prizes while eating delicious food and drink. It’s free to play!

49. Yoga & Mai Tais

Market on Main presents a fun, tropical-themed yoga class to celebrate National Mai Tai Day. There will be Mai Tais, island tunes, and relaxing yoga. $5 per person for ages 21 and up. Yoga mats will not be provided, so please bring your own!

Ottumwa has gone above and beyond with activities for this month! For more information about events and things to do in the Greater Ottumwa area, contact the Greater Ottumwa Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at (641) 684-4303 or

You can also subscribe to our events newsletter and like us on Facebook so you never miss out on what’s happening in the great town of Ottumwa!


Image credit: Isaac Campbell

More about ottumwa;, Travel;, Featured

Leave a Comment


Connect with Travel Iowa

Sign Up to Vote!

10 second sign-up with Facebook or Google

Already a member? Log in to vote.