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One of the oldest festivals in Iowa, the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival, is coming back bigger and better than ever. 

Madison County Covered Bridge Festival
Madison County Covered Bridge Festival

If Madison County is a colorful painting made up of individual colors and pieces, then the Covered Bridge Festival is the highlight. Every year, this time-honored tradition attracts thousands of visitors to celebrate Madison’s local heritage.

1. Where Does The Madison County Covered Bridge FestivalTake Place?

This year’s celebration marks the 52nd annual Covered Bridge Festival. The festival will be held around the Winterset courthouse square in Madison, Iowa. Come to see in person the world-famous bridges and enjoy the fest with plenty of fun and interesting activities.

Covered Bridge Festival is held around the Winterset courthouse square in Madison
Covered Bridge Festival is held around the Winterset courthouse square in Madison

2. When Does The Covered Bridge Festival Kick-Off?

Honoring Madison’s history and heritage, the festival is usually held on the second weekend in October. It’s also the time when fall arrives in town, with beautiful scenery of vibrant foliage, colorful streets and the thin chilly lingering in the air. This year, Madison County Covered Bridge Festival will be held on October 9-10, so don’t miss out on it.

3. What Can You Expect At This Year’s Celebration?

After an unfortunate cancellation of last year’s celebration due to the pandemic, the organizers promised to bring the biggest Covered Bridge Festival back to town, featuring a host of festivities.

Amazing Activities For Families

As you are strolling downtown and visiting the historical community, there are plenty of things you could do at the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival.

there are plenty of things you could do at the fest
there are plenty of things you could do at the fest

Indulge in endless fun with Annual Covered Bridges of Madison County Antique Tractor Ride, Covered Bridge Race 5K Walk/Run, Live Entertainment, Horseshoe Tournament, Farmers Market, John Wayne Birthplace & Museum Tours, Covered Bridge School Bus Tours, Iowa Quilt Museum Tours, and much more.

Better Entertainment And Live Performances

Although the traditional Mel Penrod Stage on the festival ground will be unavailable this year due to the courthouse’s renovations, the festival still offers some of the best performances and entertainment.

A parade of Winterset High School
A parade of Winterset High School

All of those will happen on the Benge Family Stage near the corner of Jefferson Street and 1st Avenue. The lineup this year includes some of the best musicians like The Abe Miller Band, Scott Lemon, Spotlight Dance Studio, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Eliana Franzenburg, Megan Barrett & Youth Choir, Chris Powell, to name a few.

Hundreds Of Arts And Crafts Vendors And Demonstrators

Similar to the formers year, Madison County Covered Bridge Festival continues to provide to guests hundreds of arts and crafts vendors, such as Angel Wings & CT, America Manta, Bob Kling, Artist, Barnyard Steamworks, Cater Canyon Industries, Bras for the Cause, Clear Creek Ranch & Signs, Clay & Oil, Daniell’s Designs, Country Paint Brush, Delightful Daisies, Darn Good Soap & Candle Co., The Finishing Touch, Dudley’s Fine Woodworking and Emmy’s Beads.

hundreds of arts and crafts vendors
hundreds of arts and crafts vendors

A Tasty Treat From Local Restaurants

Coming with this year’s celebration, local restaurants offer you the best dishes with a variety of options, from local cuisine to other specialties. 

 Local restaurants offer you the best dishes
Local restaurants offer you the best dishes

Some of the best names include Double M Concessions, Madison County Sheep Producers, Madison County Pork Producers, E’s Eats (Pizza Ranch), Iowa’s Finest Kettle Korn, Mike’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, Madison County Cattlemen, The Cellar, Sabores De Mexico, Mjay’s LLC, The Bread Shed, Otto’s Concessions and TntConcessions.

The Historical Complex

Your Madison County Covered Bridge Festival experience wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Historical Complex. There, you will have an opportunity to learn about the local history and heritage, as well as the information about former celebrations of the fest.

 

Be sure to make a trip to the Historical Complex
Be sure to make a trip to the Historical Complex

The Covered Bridge Quilters Quilt Show

The annual Covered Bridge Quilters Quilt Show is coming back along with other attractions. Although there is still no information about this year’s show, we can tell you that it would not disappoint your expectations.

The Covered Bridge Quilters Quilt Show
The Covered Bridge Quilters Quilt Show

Here are some activities during the Bridge Quilters Quilt Show 2019: Exhibit featuring quilts made by CBQ members, Raffle Quilt, Items for sale, made by members, Display of baby quilts for NICU Baby Quilt Project, Vendors and Bargain area featuring remnants.

The Madison County Car Show

Hosted by Central Iowa Auto, this annual car show will be held only on Sunday, October 10th on the ground behind the Winterset School District Administration building. This massive show is certainly every car-lover dream. So stay tuned for more updates of the show.

The Madison County Car Show
The Madison County Car Show

4. Some Useful Tips When Choosing Your Festival Outfit

The Madison County Covered Bridge Festival occurs in the early of the fall season. That means you can make use of every cozy item in your wardrobe. When it comes to fall outfits, you need to remember one thing: Layering is the key.

The temperature on a day of fall is kinda unpredictable. In the early morning, it may dip down and increase during the daytime. That’s why you need to layer your outfits, not only for being fashionable but also for flexibility.

A vibrant outfit is the best for fall festival
A vibrant outfit is the best for fall festival

Another tip is to mix some vibrant colors into your ensemble. It may be contrasting or similar to the color of the street. It’s all up to you. But the more color you put in, the more outstanding you’ll be.

Our recommendation is to pair a simple tee tucked in skinny jeans and add a blazer as the cover. This outfit would bring to you a “fall feel” look, and it’s also effortless and fashionable.

You will know where to stay when the fall season arrives and the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival launches with a new start. Be sure to experience all the best things of fall with your loved ones and create unforgettable memories.

You may also like: 7 Common Questions About The Ellicottville Fall Festival

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