Charter Oak Achievement Days

Horseshoes is an annual favorite at Charter Oak Achievement Days. This photo is from 2015.

“It’s like a small county fair,” said Nolan Staley.

Charter Oak Achievement Days is also one of the last community events of its type in Iowa, he said.

Staley is the vice president of the Charter Oak Commercial Club, made up of business men and women in the community, which puts on the event.

“It’s a unique smaller-scale livestock show and event you’re not really going to see anywhere else,” Staley said. “It’s getting harder and harder, with declining numbers in small towns and declining farm families, but we’re keeping it going pretty well.”

Charter Oak Achievement Days began in 1948 and has taken place at the Charter Oak City Park since 1962.

The event is for kids from the Charter Oak Boosters and Charter Oak Achievers 4-H Clubs, Charter Oak-Ute FFA, the East Monona Explorers 4-H Club and the Maple Valley-Anthon Oto/Charter Oak FFA.

Charter Oak Achievement Days starts on Sunday with a variety of events, including a horse shoe contest, duck races at the Charter Oak pool, a kiddie tractor pull, pony rides, a barbecue meal and a baked goods auction.

The auction is the main fundraiser for the commercial club and is used to support the event.

“Everything goes right back into the Achievement Days,” Staley said.

The Charter Oak Fire Department/EMS and the Crawford County Ambulance service will put on a free blood pressure clinic from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The Midwest MedAir helicopter will arrive at about 6 p.m. Sunday, weather permitting.

A flag-raising ceremony will take place on Monday at 8:15 a.m. and all livestock will be onsite by 8:30 a.m.

A rabbit and poultry show takes place a 5 p.m. Monday and the swine show begins at 5:30 p.m.

Beef and sheep shows are featured on Tuesday evening.

A petting zoo, pony rides and bingo will be additional attractions on Monday and Tuesday.

A 4-H style show will also take place on Wednesday as the event starts to wind down.

A sale on Wednesday evening will close out the livestock show.

“It’s unique because there are a lot of county fairs that don’t have livestock sales anymore because they can’t fund them,” Staley said. “We’ve been able to do the sale with local business support to keep it going for the kids.”

Charter Oak pulls together to make the event happen and almost everything is ready to go, Staley said.

“It’s neat to see how one town can come together to support the 4-H and FFA kids,” he said.

The town built a new show pavilion in 2013 for the event and another new building was added last year.

“The 4-H clubs have raised a lot of money to put those in,” Staley said.

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