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Movies, music, races highlight A& E scene

With the Capitol II movie theater re-opening last winter and a plethora of other enticing options, both the culturally elite and the pop culture junkies of Newton should be satisfied with this year’s offerings of arts and entertainment.

The Capitol II offers moviegoers a chance to vote for which films they want to be shown on one of the dual screens on their site They also offer free posters on Monday and Tuesday and a free bag of free popcorn on Wednesdays with paid admission.

One of the area’s biggest summer attractions will be the 21st Annual Bowlful of Blues” at Maytag Park on August 31. The festival is put on by local non-profit organization the South Skunk Blues Society, Craig Peterson, the current club president sheds more light onto the show.

“Since this years Bowl will be the 21st we are calling this years lead up to the Bowl our ‘Almost Legal’ year,” said Peterson. “At this years Bowl we will be returning to the one day festival format. The Bowlful of Blues will begin mid-day on 8/31 and will go until 10 PM or so that Saturday. We are just getting started with this years planning and do not have any bands selected to play the Bowl. One thing that has made it possible for our Blues society to be almost 21 years old is that fact that we have volunteers and sponsors that support us and help us with keeping the Blues alive. South Skunk Blues Society is an all volunteer effort. We have had some tremendous talent play for us in the 20 years of the South Skunk.

The Newton Community Theatre has a full slate of shows scheduled for the year as well. So far their schedule has performances of “Oklahoma!”, “The Big Five-Oh”, “The Dixie Swim Club”, and a T.BA. announced holiday show.

In addition to the scheduled shows the theatre will also hold the Iowa Community Theatre Festival from April 4. through 7. During the festival, the NCt will present “Lone Star”, which is a one act comedy play by James McLure. The NCT has been putting on live theatrical productions in the community since 1961.

For the history buffs, the Jasper County Historical Museum has some activities lined up for all ages. Every month they will host a “Brown Bag Lunch and Learn”, they will also hold a kids day in June, an unnamed event in the fall and a Christmas celebration. Their annual Cemetery Walk will take place either in late August or early September, and they would also love to continue their “Steam School” program. Audrey Rex director of the museum, explains what the Steam School is.

“We had a Steam School this last fall,” said Rex. We were training some people on how to operate our steam engine and we would kind of like to have another one this year and possibly a black-smithing shop. Were trying to organize a lot of outdoor events.”

And the Iowa Speedway will have events that take place even outside of the racing season. The Newton Club host’s events throughout the year and will have a Daytona 500 party on Feb. 24 to kick off the start of the NASCAR season. There will also be 5 action packed weekends of racing starting in June and going until September. The races will feature drivers from the Indy Racing League, the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the NASCAR Truck Series, and ARCA Racing.

One of newest additions to the scene isis Thunder Nites in Newton. Last year the group held four events along the square in Downtown Newton. This year they are planning five. They will take place the second Friday of each month May through September. Thunder Nites is a gathering of motorcycle owners around the state and features live music and brings in a ton of visitors. The musical line up is as follows

May 10 -Abby Normal
June 14 -Insane Jane
July 12 -Standing Hampton
August 9 -Wikid Likir
September 13 -RUKKUS

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