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Preparing for the Fourth

Alex Scholtes, Patient No. 6 in "Dogsbreath Devereaux," sits off stage during Monday afternoon rehearsals for the 26th annual Melodrama at Worthington's Pioneer Village. (Veasey Conway/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- The dastardly doctor Dogsbreath Devereaux will try to get his hands on the fortune left to widow Lotta Cash during the 26th annual Melodrama, which will be staged Thursday during the Old-Fashioned Fourth of July festivities at Worthington's Pioneer Village.

Isaac Wass, who is directing the melodrama for the second time, encourages people to come out and enjoy any one of the three shows. Performances are slated for 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the Village barn.

"It's a medical melodrama -- most are set in the westerns," Wass said of this year's production. "This is set in a hospital in 1918, and the story revolves around Dogsbreath, a doctor in the clinic who is trying to get his hands on the fortune left by the late doctor of the clinic."

Dogsbreath schemes to marry the widow and plans to murder her to get the inheritance, but people keep getting in the way.

The cast of 17 includes brothers Braden DeSmith as Dogsbreath Devereaux and Matt DeSmith as the good doctor, Dr. Phil Good. Mariah Teerink is cast as Lotta Cash, while Eloa Cook, Lexi Teerink and Camila Wede portray the trio of nurses, Hilda Hatchet, Wendy March and Ivy Dripp. Officer Tommy Gunn will be played by Peter Scholtes.

"Some of the costumes we've pulled from the costume stash that Pioneer Village has," Wass said. "Some of the costumes are brought by some of the actors themselves, and we do have some custom-made costume pieces. For the nurses, we've got aprons and nurse hats that look like they're from the time period."

The melodrama performances will each last approximately one hour.

"Usually the performances are almost full -- sometimes it's standing-room only," Wass said.

The melodrama is one of several activities taking place Thursday at Pioneer Village.

The 27th annual Power Reunion, which features the International this year, will begin with an 11 a.m. tractor pull and a noon tractor parade. All tractors are welcome to participate.

The St. John's Lutheran Church Choir from Okabena will perform in the small village church at 10 a.m., with local historian Ken Zylstra presenting the history of Bigelow through stories, photos and historical objects in the large stucco church. Zylstra's programs will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon and from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

In the saloon, Daryl Hyrdlicka will perform games of chance as he portrays "The Gambler," while his wife, Alicia Bayer, portrays a saloon girl. Their children will set up lawn games outside the building.

Throughout the village grounds will be an antique tractor and engine show, a cooking-making demonstration in an old wood stove, flour milling, rope making and blacksmithing demonstrations.

Food will be sold on site, including hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos and cheese and rootbeer floats.

Lismore hosts an 'Old School Shindig'

On Thursday, Lismore will host an Old School Shindig on the old school grounds. Look for the big top tent under the new water tower.

This year's entertainment includes The Cowboy and Hobo Show, featuring Boxcar Bob, The Drifter and Cactus Willie. Also performing will be Vernon Bishop and Gloria Jean.

Gates open at 11 a.m., with music to begin at noon. Tickets will be sold at the gate. Children ages 12 and younger, as well as seniors age 90 and older and World War II veterans, get free admission.

People are encouraged to bring a lawnchair. Food and drink concessions will be available throughout the day, and the Lismore Bar will be on the premises.

Okabena Fourth of July

Tractors, ice cream, bingo and fireworks are combined for the annual Independence Day celebration in Okabena Thursday.

The events get under way at noon with a Kiddie Pedal Pull.

The rest of the schedule follows:

2:15 p.m.: Kiddie Parade

2:30 p.m.: Independence Parade, followed by an Ice Cream Social at St. John's Park, serving until gone.

4 p.m.: Patriotic program at the Legion, antique tractor display and a DJ at OMLS.

5 p.m.: Slowest tractor contest on Main Street.

5:30 p.m.: Doors open for Bingo at the Legion, with Bingo to start at 6:30 p.m.

6:30 p.m.: Variety Show in the school gym.

7 p.m.: "Kraft Variety" in the Park

10 p.m.: Fireworks

Ball games and games for the whole family will be offered throughout the day, and concessions will be open.

Freedom Days in George, Iowa, is July 5-7

The community of George, in northwest Iowa, will celebrate its annual Freedom Days Friday through Sunday, with The Dweebs to perform for Friday night's Street Dance and Tonic Sol-fa making two appearances Saturday evening.

The schedule of events follows.


2 to 4 p.m.: George Museum Open

3 to 5:30 p.m.: Sudenga Industries Inc. 125th anniversary tours

5:30 p.m.: Pedal Pull registration (for ages 4-11) at the Old Park, with the pull to begin at 6 p.m.

7:30 p.m.: Miss George/Little Miss George Pageant at the high school

8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.: Betterment Club Street Dance featuring "The Dweebs"


8 a.m.: 5K Fun Run/Walk at the George Rec Trail

8 a.m.: George Firemen/GEMS Duck Races

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: George Museum Open

10:30 a.m.: Parade

11 a.m.: Antique Tractor Pull registration by the county shed on the southeast edge of George.

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Good Samaritan Society-George Hog Roast, George Community Room

Noon: Antique Tractor Pull by the county shed.

1 p.m.: Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest

1 to 6 p.m.: Arts & Crafts in the Park at the high school grounds

1 to 8 p.m.: Game stands and inflatables open on the school grounds.

6 to 6:30 p.m.: Pie Auction Fundraiser for Freedom Days Celebration, school grounds

7 to 8 p.m.: Tonic Sol-Fa on the school grounds

8 to 8:30 p.m.: Pie Auction Fundraiser Pt. II for Freedom Days Celebration, school grounds

8:30 to 9:30 p.m.: Tonic Sol-Fa on the school grounds

9:30 p.m.: Fireworks


8 a.m. to 1 p.m.: George Chamber of Commerce Dad's Belgian Waffles Breakfast fundraiser, George Elementary Multi-purpose room

2 to 4 p.m.: George Museum Open

Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

(507) 376-7330