WINTERSET, Iowa – The Madison County Covered Bridge Festival returns in 2021 after COVID-19 concerns cancelled the 2020 event. “Reunited!” is the 2021 theme, and that word serves two purposes, says Amara Hufinne, Executive Director of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
The first purpose is reuniting the community with the visitors who come to the festival every year, and who, by all indications, are looking forward to this year’s event. The second purpose is to recognize George Stout, who spent his high school years in Winterset before he began his life’s work of reuniting art work, stolen by Nazis on World War II with their rightful owners. His work is portrayed in the 2014 movie “Monuments Men”.
Huffine says the Festival draws upwards of 10,000 people over the weekend most years. With a forecast of warm and dry weather she expects a good turnout. While the festivities are centered in the Winterset square there are bus tours of the bridges available Saturday and Sunday. Live stage entertainment is featured along with food and beverage trucks. Handmade crafts make up the bulk of the venders with some farmers market type stands as well.
Look at the schedule to find the car show, quilts show, parade, antique tractor ride and other events.
The video in this story features the Holliwell Bridge, said to be the favorite of Clint Eastwood when he directed “The Bridges of Madison County” here in 1994.