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Ottumwa is Hoppin’: 23 April Events in the City of Bridges
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Ottumwa is Hoppin’: 23 April Events in the City of Bridges

Ottumwa is a beautiful city that’s getting more beautiful by the day this Iowa spring. As the temperatures warm and the trees and grass turn green once again, this "city of bridges" can definitely be described as an idyllic scenic destination. It's one well worth a trip for recreation alone.

But there are also a vast number of great events taking place in the city this April. Here’s a lineup of must-see events in Ottumwa this month:

1. Ladies Night Out

One of the most popular events every spring is Ladies Night Out, a fabulous opportunity for the women of Ottumwa and the surrounding areas to take the city. Every woman gets a free gift and the opportunity to go around downtown businesses, taking advantage of discounts and promotions along the way.

There’s also a huge grand prize donated by Bridge City TV and Appliance. If you get all 15 stickers to go on your passport, you’ll be entered to win a drawing at Hotel Ottumwa for a 4-piece Samsung Kitchen Set.

There’s also live music, entertainment, food, drinks, and more! That’s on April 20 starting at 5:30 p.m. 

2. Forgiven: A Fairy Tale

Ottumwa Community Children’s Players (OCCP) are putting on Forgiven, a fairy tale about a witch who goes from bad to good. You’ll watch Ottumwa’s finest youth take you on a journey of your favorite fairy tale stories, from Snow White to Hansel and Gretel to Rapunzel.

The curtains rise April 13-15 at the Bridge View Center Theater.

3. Ottumwa Courier’s 2018 Garage Sale

The Ottumwa Courier will be hosting a massive indoor garage sale at the Bridge View Center on April 14. There’s something for everyone, from flea market finds to craft vendors to gently used goods.

4.  Indian Hills Theater: Taming of the Shrew

Who doesn’t love this classic tale of courtship and female independence? Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa puts on some top-notch performances, and this play is hitting the stage from April 19 through the 21st is no different!

5. Succulosaurus Workshop

Succulents are beautiful, easy-maintenance plants that dress up any home. They can also be pruned and decorated to look like anything you want. At this ISU Extension and Outreach workshop on April 19, you can create your own succulent dinosaur or “succulosaurus.”

It’s open to both adults and children (if accompanied by an adult), and makes a great family activity!

6. Coffee and Canvas Workshops

The Vine Coffeehouse puts on several Coffee and Canvas workshops every month. This month, their first class is April 13, and it will be a fundraiser for the IHCC Business Club. It’s a beautiful acrylic painting of a flower wagon.

Remember, all coffee and canvas workshops require an RSVP.

7. Coffee and Canvas: Be the Light

On April 14, there’s another coffee and canvas event taking place at The Vine Coffeehouse. It includes all supplies, step-by-step instruction, and a drink of your choice.

This time, you’ll be painting a scenic, crafty outdoor scene entitled “Be the Light.”

8. 4th Annual Spring Vendor and Craft Show

Come out to our beautiful convention center, the Bridge View Center, for a show featuring some of Ottumwa’s best craftsman, artists, and food vendors. There will be more than 40 local vendors, and you’re sure to find something for everyone! The doors open on April 7 at 9:00 a.m. for an all-day event.  

9. Market on Main Events

Market on Main is always a treat for Ottumwa natives and tourists alike. Along with a variety of specialty eateries and vendor displays, they always have an entertaining lineup of shows.

They’re kicking it off on April 4 with a wine pairing dinner with wines, meals, and hors-d'oeuvres related to different regions. Get your reservations in in advance!

10. Bill Allen Live at the Market

Don’t miss Bill Allen, a no cover musician who’s always a treat! Stop in to hear free entertainment on April 6 at 5:30 p.m., and sample Iowa craft beers while you’re there.

11. Matt Woods Live at the Market

Matt Woods, an Iowa native, is another Market on Main treat! He specializes in blues music and has been heard in clubs and venues all over the nation. You’ll be amazed at his various talents, from hill country to urban electric blues. He’ll be performing live on April 7 at 8:00 p.m.

12. Dan Trilk Live at the Market

Dan Trilk was born and raised in Ottumwa, and now he plays and teaches music professionally in Norwalk, Iowa. He has produced a solo album called “Iowa Weather,” and you’ll get to hear some of his earthy, folk-style tracks live if you come into the Market on April 13 at 5:00 p.m.

13. Live Music at the Market with the Bottom Feeders

A Market on Main favorite, the Bottom Feeders are a four-piece blues and rock band. They love the classic rock era, and it’ll be a treat to watch these musicians perform on April 14.  

14. Rodgers Family Reserve Live at the Market

Paul Rodgers and his two sons Ben and Grant formed a band that you won’t want to miss! They’re not only great musicians, but also excellent entertainers, and you can catch them at the Market on April 20—it would be a great way to start the evening for Ladies Night Out!

15. Y2K Dance Party at the Market

Live DJs will play hits from the 2000s, including songs from Justin Timberlake, the Black Eyed Peas, Destiny’s Child, Britney Spears, and more! Want an opportunity to reminisce with some great music and dance the night away? Come out on April 20 after Ladies Night Out!

16. Comedy Night with Dusty Stehl at the Market

One of Omaha’s finest comedians will be performing in Market on Main April 21 at 8:00 p.m. Stehl is the host of Barley Street Tavern Open Mic and the Missing Kitten Comedy Show in Omaha. It’s a great opportunity to come out for a laugh and good times on a Saturday night!

17. The Chickadees Live at the Market

These two ladies make a lovely, harmonic duo you won’t want to miss on April 27. It’s free to get in, and you can enjoy a variety of food and drinks while you’re there. A great evening out with family or friends!

18. Eric Pettit Lion Live at the Market

One of Iowa’s favorite musical performers, Eric Pettit Lion will be at the Market on April 28. They’ve produced four full-length albums and a number of singles. This band started as a family, and has since broadened to include local talent. They play a beautiful melody you won’t want to miss!

19. Growing Microgreens Class

ISU Extension and Outreach puts on a variety of useful workshops to help you work with greenery. This particular class will teach you about growing herbs and other small plants that can be used for food and medicine! It takes place April 23 and requires reservations ahead of time.

20. “From Russia with Love” Featuring Ksenia Nosikova

Looking for a night of incredible, classic piano performances? On April 21, come out to the Bridge View Center for the production of “From Russia, with Love,” featuring pianist Ksenia Nosikova playing Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto #2.

21. The Dueling Pianos of Andy & Mike

On April 6, Hotel Ottumwa is featuring entertainment duo Andy & Mike, piano geniuses. There will also be a silent auction and raffle tickets to support Ottumwa Youth Baseball. Food and drinks will be available.

22. Cedar Creek Women’s Golf Association Opening Day

There will be a women’s weekly golf event starting Tuesday April 10. Ladies involved in this fun event will golf nine holes every Tuesday morning until September 25. All ladies are welcome to join!

23. Magic Mike Live Tour

You’ve probably heard of the movie or seen the show on the Las Vegas Strip, and it’s now coming to Bridge View Center.. Ladies, get your tickets soon!

Nobody can say they’re bored when visiting Ottumwa 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!

Photo Cred: Greater Ottumwa Convention and Visitor's Bureau 

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  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    Thanks for this wonderful list!
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