The Prairie Pointe Pond Association has an exciting project in the works! We are embarking on some much-needed cement work to ensure the safety of those who use the path around the pond.
That's why we are delighted to invite the entire community to join us for our inaugural event, the Prairie Pointe Holiday Light Tour - located in the northeast area of Grinnell. This is an event that promises fun and excitement for individuals and families alike.
Coming Soon - In our Facebook event feed, you'll find an engaging and interactive game called "I Spy: Prairie Pointe Edition." As you cruise through the neighborhood on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 16 from 6 - 9 p.m., you will be greeted at the entrances with an I Spy paper filled with a list of delightful items to search for along the loop. Can you spot the lighted deer? How about a house adorned with multiple colored lights? And keep your eyes peeled for the mischievous Grinch!
We will be offering a free-will donation opportunity during the event to help us repave the walking path around the pond - helping to ensure the safety of the many members of our community who utilize and enjoy it.
So mark your calendars and get ready for an evening of holiday magic and community spirit.
A scene in the BGM Drama Department production of "The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon" held Nov. 10-11.
The BGM Drama Department presented “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon,” a two act play in the BGM Auditorium, Nov. 10 - 11.
Directors for The Brothers Grimm Spectaculation were Nathan Johnson and Julie Giblin. Acting coaches were Josh Gerard, Rob Hanlon, Rachel Lakose and Jeff Britts. Kim Hawkins was in charge of props and costumes.
“The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” by Don Zolidis is a hilarious and fast-paced comedy that reimagines the classic fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm in a wildly entertaining way. In this zany play, two narrators attempt to retell all 209 of the Grimm brothers' stories in a single evening, with the help of a small group of actors. However, they soon find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of tales and resort to mixing, merging, and sometimes even making up stories on the spot. The result is a madcap journey through familiar fairy tales like Cinderella, Snow White, and Hansel and Gretel, all presented in a riotous and unpredictable fashion. "The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon" is a whirlwind of comedy, chaos, and creativity that leaves audiences laughing and amazed by the sheer audacity of this fractured fairy tale extravaganza.
Narrator 1 – Emily Britts; Narrator 2 – Megan Hanlon; Actor Plinky Plie – Abby Smith; Girl – Lexi Williams; Enchantress, Hansel, Little Red – Kyla Andrew; Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella – Lorelai Gerard; Prince 2, Frog Prince, Wolf – Isaiah Williams; Gretel – Kaylin Hatfield; Audience member / Woodcutter – Sam Spooner; Princess, Talking Fish, Grandma – Shadlee Hazelwood; Dwarf 2, Prince 1, Father, Chet – Kadon Folkman; Devil, King, King 2 – Graysen Berry; Witch, Witch 2 – Haley Pierson; Crab Person, Handless Girl – Elexa Breault; Dirt Merchant, Mother, Queen – Abigail Wadhams; Walk, Crab Person – Harrison Hershey; Raven – Raven Hawkins; Johannes, Crab Person, Rumpelstiltskin – Tristan Taylor.
A scene from the Grinnell High School Curtain Club and Thespians production of 'Sherwood,' Nov. 2 -5.
The Grinnell High School Curtain Club and Thespians presenter Ken Ludwig’s “Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood,” Nov. 2 – 5 in the Grinnell High School Auditorium.
Ken Ludwig’s “Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood” is a story about fighting for what your conscience requires. The story begins with a young Robin Hood who believes in nothing but a good time, then comes face to face with the kind of greed and inhumanity that won’t let him sleep at night. Suddenly he’s an outlaw hiding in Sherwood Forest where he joins up with a band of followers including the spirited Friar Tuck, steadfast Little John, masterfully skilled Maid Marian Fitzwalter, and Deorwynn--the feisty daughter of Much the Miller. Will these heroes out-number, out-shoot, and out-smart the villainous Prince John, the arrogant Sir Guy of Gisbourne, and the infamous Sheriff of Nottingham?
Robin Hood – Green – Billy Lopatto; Robin Hood – Red – Jeslyn Voogd; Friar Tuck – Reece Madren; Marian Fitzwalter – Green – Maggie Kaup; Marian Fitzwalter – Red – Peyton Stevenson; Little John – Toby Crandall; Deorwynn Miller – Green – Elisabeth Kelley-Chown; Deorwynn Miller – Red –Frances Pedersen; Sir Guy of Gibourne – Green – Joel Dressler; Sir Guy of Gisbourne – Red – Roman Mackenzie; Sheriff of Nottingham - Owen Shepardson; Prince John/King Richard – William Kelley-Chown; Forester / Bladen / Much / Simon – Thea Sherman; Forester / Midwife / Friend / Margery / Interpreter – Kenzie Kohl; Forester / Robert / Friend/ Father Goph – Simeon Key; Forester /Roderick / Friend / Bajka / Jacques / Mateo / Matthias – Penelope Fennell; Forester / Heloise / Alize / Friend / Gasper / Etienne / Diego / Maximilian – Kat Neville.
Green cast members will perform Thursday and Sunday; red cast members will perform Friday and Saturday; undesignated cast members will perform every day.
Stage Manager – Cameron Thompson; Assistant Stage Manager – Diane Boyd; Assistant Stage Manager – Lucy Turley; Head Costume Crew – Ketsia Kiphanzu; Costumes Crew – Lucy Skouson; Costume Crew – Slane McCue; Costume Crew – River Haenfler; Head Hair / Makeup Crew – Catherine Schubert; Assistant Head Hair / Makeup Crew – Kaia Chang Roper; Hair / Makeup Crew – River Haenfler; Hair / Makeup Crew – Nicole Beyer; Head Lighting Crew – Liam Leasure; Props Crew – Isadora Boyer; Props Crew – Belle Dewey; Props Crew – Jolene Dostal; Co-Head Audio Crew – Ian Durr; Co-Head Audio Crew – Joel Dressler; Audio Crew – Ty Mcintyre; Audio Crew – Myles Manley; Head Front of House Crew – Fern Mieuwsma; Set Construction – Andrew Solomon; Set Construction – Christian Hoth; Director – Kate Baumgartner; Technical Director – Kenneth Phipps.
Members of the Brooklyn Book Club met on Nov. 2 at the Brooklyn Public Library for their monthly meeting. The club meets the first Thursday of each month from 5 - 6 p.m. to discuss a book selected by club members and to talk about other books members have read and recommend. The club was founded four years ago by Michelle Keiser Graham.
By J.O. Parker
The Brooklyn Book Club is the place to be if you love books and reading.
The informal club is held the first Thursday of each month from 5 – 6 p.m. at the Brooklyn Library and is under the direction of Michelle Keiser Graham.
Graham started the club four years ago with meetings held at the Center Ground Coffee Shop in Brooklyn. When the coffee shop changed its hours, Graham moved the club to the Brooklyn Library.
“The book club is free,” said Graham. “There is no cover charge or money needed and all are welcome.”
Brooklyn Librarian Josh Gerard helps club members get the monthly books for free through the intra library loan system. All club members and guests need is a valid library card.
“This way club members don’t have to find the books or buy them,” said Graham.
Club members pick the books each month.
“Members give their recommendations for the books they would like to read the following year and then we do a drawing to pick the books for the next year,” said Graham. “We always pick a few extra books in the event the books are not available via intra library loan and then Josh has an alternate book to choose from.”
At the club gathering, members go around the table discussing what they liked and didn’t like as well as sharing their feelings about the book or books read the previous month.
The books read and discussed at the November meeting included: “The Day the World Came to Town 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland” by Jim DeFede and “Separation Anxiety” by Laura Zigman.
Books on the list for 2024 include: “Echo Mountain,” by Lauren Wolk; “The Hidden,” by Melanie Golding; “Dark Matter,” by Blake Crouch; “The Woman in the Library,” by Sulari Gentill; “The River We Remember,” by William Kent Krueger; “Rock Paper Scissors,” by Alice Feeney; “Happy Place,” by Emily Henry” and the “Book Club Hotel,” by Sarah Morgan.
The current book being read by members is “The Saints of Swallow Hill” by Donna Everhart.
“Every month, we discuss the book club book and at the end we spend 20 or so minutes doing a roundtable,” said Graham. “That is when each member discusses any books they have read that month and if they do or do not recommend them.”
Graham said some books have discussion questions in the back for the group to talk through. If not, Graham said she finds questions specific to the book from her good friend, Google.
“Each book club member is given a journal to take notes, write thoughts own…or whatever they want,” said Graham. “I purchased stickers to decorate the journals and inspire my readers to make the journal and their book club what they want it to be. This is their book club, not mine. I just show up to discuss my love of books and libraries with them. I assure a safe and inclusive environment. They make the club. Without them, there would not be a club.”
There are currently about a dozen ladies who participate in the monthly club. Men are welcome, but according to Graham, they don’t come.
On occasion, the book club has guests authors who come to speak and share about their book or books. Authors who have visited include Debbie Tindle Parker and Crystal Ferry (Stella Bixby) both of Montezuma and Karen Carr of Mason City, who has ties to Grinnell. And one month Genevieve Graham (an author from Nova Scotia) gave a presentation via zoom.
“We were able to purchase her books and she autographed them specifically for our book club,” said Graham.
At the end of the meeting, a club member reaches into the goodie bag and draws a name. That person will receive a gift from the goodie bag.
“Gifts range from book lights to books, candles, book marks, T-shirts… they are usually book related,” said Graham.
A year ago, Graham started a book club in Grinnell at the Drake Library.
“I feel like reading and libraries are so important,” said Graham.
The Grinnell Book Club meets the second Tuesday of every month from 5 – 6 p.m.
“Being a part of the book club is an event that I look forward to each month,” said Barbara Dodge of Grinnell.
“I get to read a nice variety of books,” said Lauren McCammant. “Typically ones I wouldn’t select on my own. It’s nice to get together with other readers. It’s a close knit group.”
Sharon Ford of Brooklyn said she just joined the book club in March.
“I have previously not been a big reader, but I am enjoying the discussions and am reading more and more,” she said.
“It’s a joy to be able to serve the community through the book club,” said Gerard. “They check out a lot of books.”
“Book club is very informal and everyone is welcome,” said Graham. “Some people don’t read the book and just come to listen and be a part of the group, which is fine. You don’t have to read the book to come to book club. We just want people to feel welcome and have a group of people to call their own. This is a safe space to discuss books and love of reading.”
It’s time to dust off your running shoes or dig the bike out of the back of the garage for the 12th Annual Turkey Trot in Grinnell.
Put the turkey in the oven and come on down to the Merrill Park west shelter house, 11th and Main, on Thursday, Nov. 23 for some early Thanksgiving morning exercise and fun!
All runners, walkers and bicyclists should met at the park at 8:15 a.m. with the group picture being taken at 8:20 a.m. The Turkey Trot will kick off at 8:30 a.m.
There are three routes available – 1 mile - (Main to 10th, 10th to East, East to 8th, 8th to Main, Main back to shelter house); 2 mile - (Main to 10th, 10th to Penrose, Penrose to 8th, 8th to Main, Main back to Shelter House); 5K - (Same as 2-mile route with loop around Ahrens).
No sign up is required for this free event, but everyone must sign a waiver before participating. There is an online link to the waiver under the discussion tab in the story about the Turkey Trot on the Grinnell Running and Recreation Facebook page that can be printed, signed and brought to the event. Paper copies will be provided on event day as well.
The event is hosted by the Grinnell Running and Recreation group.
“I’m shocked every year at the amazing turnout and generosity of participants with their food and monetary donations to MICA,” said Bill Ford, who spearheads the event. “This is the 12th year of the event and keeping it free to participants has been very important to me so there are no barriers to participate.”
By J.O. Parker
The Brooklyn Opera House will be hosting a holiday community theatre production of “It’s a Wonderful Christmas Story,” Dec. 1 - 3.
The performances are being held in connection with the Brooklyn Christmas Tradition celebration.
Written and directed by Brooklyn's pastor/librarian Josh Gerard, “It's a Wonderful Christmas Story” is a comedic faith-based one-act play about a husband and father who is feeling the strain and anxiety over the impeding holiday season. He wishes he didn't have to go anywhere, or spend any money, but then an angel shows up and tries and fails to show him the true meaning of Christmas through a series of events that become more and more hilarious.
“I absolutely love working with the Brooklyn Theatre Company on this family friendly play that I know is truly funny because I wrote it,” said Gerard.
The production will take place on the stage in the beautiful Brooklyn Opera House, a cornerstone of the community since 1911. Rebuilt and reopened in 2020, the opera house provides a place for the community to gather and celebrate the local arts.
Jim - Travis Williams; Karen - Traci Williams; Karissa - Gracie Gerard; Angel - Rachel Lakose; Scrinch - Ryan Emerson; Chase - Brian Mitchell; Mary - Lucia Dohooge; Clerk/Stewart - Rob Hanlon; Charlie - Addy Day; Linus - Lynk Mikesell; Ellen - Jamin Manatt; Will - Jeff Britts; Town folk 1 - Isaiah Williams; Town folk 2 - Abby Smith; Extra - Kaylin Hatfield; Props and costumes – Kim Hawkins; Lights and sound - Lorelai Gerard and Shadlee Hazelwood; Backstage crew - Miley Steward and Addalyn Stevens.
Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. (A a special dinner theater option catered by Center Ground is available for the Saturday performance at 6 p.m. for $27.50)
Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for each of the shows. If tickets are still available the day of the show, you may purchase them one hour prior to show time at the Michael J. Manatt Community Center (MJMCC) entrance.
Please visit https://www.brooklynoperahouse.com/events to purchase tickets and for more information.
Cast members of the Brooklyn Opera House holiday community theatre production of “It’s a Wonderful Christmas Story” have been working hard behind the scenes to bring guests a fun and hilarious Christmas story. Showtimes are 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 – 2, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3. A special dinner theater option catered by Center Ground is available for the Saturday night performance starting at 6 p.m. Submitted photo.
By J.O. Parker
Brooklyn’s Christmas Traditions 2023 is slated for Friday – Sunday, Dec. 1-3. Sponsored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the three-day event includes a number of family-friendly holiday activities including the community theater production of “It’s a Wonderful Christmas Story,” written and directed by Brooklyn’s own Josh Gerard, and a visit by Santa. Events are as follows:
Friday, Dec. 1
7 p.m. – Community Theater: “It’s a Wonderful Christmas Story,” at the Opera House. Tickets available at: www.brooklynoperahouse.com
Saturday, Dec. 2
7 – 10 a.m. – Breakfast with Santa, Brooklyn Ruritan Building
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Vendor Show, Manatt Center
9 a.m. – Storytime – Brooklyn Library
9 – 10:30 a.m. – Kids Crafts – Brooklyn Library
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Santa and Building Preview – First National Bank Building
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Carriage Rides, Downtown Brooklyn
1 p.m. – Free Christmas Movie, Elf - Opera House
5:30 p.m. Tree Lighting, Brooklyn Community Estates
6 p.m. – Community Theater Pre-Show Dinner catered by Center Ground & Show: “It’s a Wonderful Christmas Story,” Opera House. Tickets available at: www.brooklynoperahouse.com
Sunday, Dec. 3
2 p.m. – Community Theater: “It’s a Wonderful Christmas
The Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to host its annual Jingle Bell Holiday event on Friday, Nov. 17 from 5 - 8 p.m. This event will again feature activities in Central Park and highlight Grinnell’s small businesses as the holiday shopping season approaches.
Starting at 5 p.m., the Winter Farmers Market will open in the Hotel Grinnell Ballroom and business open houses begin. At 5:15 p.m., activities in Central Park begin. Michelle’s Dance Academy will perform, followed by the lighting of the decorations in the park.
Steppin’ Out Dance Studio will perform a closing number before sending attendees out to explore the rest of downtown.
Beginning at 5:30 p.m., Santa will arrive at Grinnell State Bank and meet with kids and photos from Cory Hall Photography will be available to purchase. Carriage rides in Central Park will also start at 5:30 p.m., with riders being picked up and dropped off at the corner of 4th Avenue and Broad Street. DJ Cox will have music in Central Park from 5 - 8 p.m.
Many businesses and organizations will be hosting activities, refreshments and open houses that evening. Visit the Grinnell Chamber website at: www.grinnellchamber.org/en/events/jingle_bell_holiday/ for more detail.