WINTERSET — With construction underway on the long-awaited John Wayne Birthplace Museum, Duke’s hometown is buzzing with anticipation. To kick off the project the entire community is joining together in presenting the 2014 John Wayne Birthday Celebration May 23 and 24. New to this year’s lineup will be a Rodeo/Western Swing Dance on May 23 (admission $15 individually or $25 combined) and special appearances by screen star Lana Wood, who played young Debbie in the acclaimed motion picture classic, “The Searchers.” Also new this year, the Iowa Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association present two shows where mounted contestants compete in a timed event using .45 caliber single-action revolvers. And authors Lana Wood and John Wayne’s daughter Aissa Wayne will join New York Times best-selling authors Scott Eyman and Glenn Frankel in a book symposium to discuss their block-buster books on John Wayne and director John Ford.
Continuing event favorites are free screenings of classic John Wayne movies at the vintage Iowa Theater, this year featuring “The Searchers,” “Stagecoach” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” Visitors may also enjoy a Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast, a 5K run/walk, Pie Squared dessert tasting and tours of Madison County’s legendary Covered Bridges (nominal charges for each).
The exciting Birthplace Museum Benefit Dinner takes place Saturday evening at 5pm where guests will enjoy a meal along with music, celebrities and an auction of John Wayne collectibles and memorabilia hosted by the actor’s daughter Aissa Wayne. Reservations are $125 per person.
For more information and reservations visit http://www.johnwaynebirthplace.museum/birthday or call 877-462-1044.