Thank you to Winn-Worth Betco and the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Northwood, Iowa for providing The Iowa Gallivant with a great room during our stay in North Iowa. We’ll see you again, everyone!
Forest City, IA: Winnebago County (Our 70th County!)
Welcome to our newest series that we couldn’t wait to start. Potluck Crashing! We travel out of town and partake in a tradition that has been a stick to your ribs Iowa staple for generations and it seems to still be going strong. I’ve experienced bad restaurants, sub-par concessions, frustrating caterings, disastrous dinner parties, but I have personally never walked away from a Hawkeye State potluck unhappy. NEVER! I hear soups on in North Iowa, but first we let the locals guide us to a special night and tradition.
Near the outskirts of Forest City is Heritage Park of North Iowa. Along with multiple period buildings showing what life was like in Iowa’s mid 1800’s, it is also home to a fully functional place of worship known as Beaver Creek Church. There are many things that make this church special but one of the major reasons is that it wasn’t built on the land it stands on. Beaver Creek’s original home was over 10 miles away in the town of Joice and the locals who loved it came together to get it to Forest City. Now it sits as a centerpiece for Heritage Park and hosts an annual candlelit service full of singing, stories, sharing and a lot of Christmas cheer. We’re not members of this church and you don’t need to be, because we were welcomed at every turn. We do our best to experience Iowa in many ways. We’ve never sang Silent Night by candlelight and thanks to Beaver Creek, we can say we have now.
Just down a flight of stairs was the familiar site of the classic church hall and it was packed with hungry Christmas loving locals and a very happy family from Iowa City. That’s us! Folks brought in their soups for all to enjoy and as usual they stressed that it was free and to come as you are. Donations are always excepted at the majority of these events, but never demanded. The soup was a great cap to a cool North Iowa night and, naturally, it was delicious. Homemade soups with tons of veggies and prepared with lots of care and generosity in mind. And let’s not forget all the desserts at each table! That gives you that much more of a reason to mosey through the hall and talk it up. Kind-of a specialty of ours. Merry Christmas to all of you. Thanks for letting Team Goodvin potluck-it-up with everyone!
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