Attractions
Attractions in Cresco and Howard County focus on recreation - indoor & outdoor, multiple museums, public art displays, historic landmarks and other attractions and events. Come Play!

Pinter's Gardens and Pumpkins

Mighty Howard County Fair
June 24-28, 2015

The Howard County Fairgrounds is home to the "Mighty" Howard County Fair.  The most progressive county fair in Iowa.  The fair is always held the last full week in June from Wednesday-Sunday.  The Grandstand Shows are spectacular with a wide variety of entertainment including national musical headliners, rodeo circuit, stock car races and much more.  The midway is full of rides, games, and food.  The local involvement is a large part of the success too.  4-H and their livestock shows, Master Gardeners, Expo Center Exhibits and local food stands all add to the festivities. 

Check out our website at www.mhcfair.com for a schedule of events, other links and information.

Fly-In Breakfast

  • Airplanes on display from all over the tri-state region 
  • Tandem Skydiving will be available for the daring type.  Call ahead 563-547-3434 to pre-register.  $200 per jump.  Deposit is required with pre-registration. 
  • Airplane Rides $20/person 
  • Pilots and their passengers eat for free Call the Cresco Area Chamber of Commerce at 563-547-3434 for more details..
  • Omelets & pancakes served up by community volunteers under the big tent

Cresco Area Fine Arts Council

Each year Cresco's beautiful Beadle Park fills with artists displaying and selling a wide variety of art-work. 

Music and activities delight young and old alike.  Guest musicians perform beginning at 10:30am and continue throughout the day.  Each year a few participating artists demonstrate their craft for the crowd.  The Art Council is focused on promoting artists as well as providing opportunities for people of all ages to explore the artistic creativity we all possess.  Also available is a variety of delicious food and wine tasting from a local winery.  

Cruise to Cresco Car Show 

The Cruise to Cresco is part of the Norman Borlaug Harvest Fest.  A weekend packed full of activities and events.

Enjoy the Saturday Car Show with over 100 classic cars from all over the tri-state region all parked on Elm St. in historic downtown Cresco.

Kellow House Museum

Built in 1880 William Kellow and was acquired by the Historical Society in 1969. The house is of Second Empire design. William Kellow Sr., a farmer and stonemason, quarried the stone and built the foundation for his son's home. Window sills are white cut stone and trim above the window is ornamental wood brackets. The roof was designed by a French Architect. The Historical Society has restored the interior, but made no structural changes. It is furnished in the period of the late 1800's and early 1900's with several of the furnishings being Kellow family heirlooms.

Heritage Train

Admired and photographed by visitors, this uniquely restored 101A/Model FP7 diesel electronic locomotive serves as a reminder of our community's founding based on local rail service. Built in LaGrange, Illinois, in 1951, it was the first model ever sold to the Milwaukee Road railroad line.

Historic Log Cabin

Located in Beadle Park - this cabin was continuously occupied from 1854 to 1964 just east of Cresco.  The cabin is original throughout, with the exception of a new roof and a floor downstairs. The cabin is available for tours by calling the Chamber @ 563-547-3434.

Norman Borlaug Harvest Fest

The third weekend in September, Cresco will host the Norman Borlaug Harvest Fest.  Three days of family fun and entertainment. 

Friday -
  • Little Miss Cresco Competition
  • Football Game
  • Harvest Tent Downtown
  • Inspire Day @ the Borlaug Farm
  • Bags Tourney 
  • DJ, Dancing, Food and Beverage Garden

Saturday -
  • Cruise to Cresco Car Show 8am-3pm
  • 5K/Crop Walk
  • Tours to Borlaug Boyhood Farm 10am
  • Flea market 11am-6pm
  • Kids Games & Inflatables 1pm - 4pm Beadle Park
  • RHSHC Quilt Auction 12:30pm - Harvest Tent
  • Harvest Fest Parade
  • Food Vendors all day and night
  • Beverage Garden Noon-Midnight
  • Live Music from 8pm-Midnight

Sunday -
  • CHS Choir Booster Breakfast 8am-1pm at High School
  • Food Packaging Event - High School

Call 563-547-3434 to find out more info or if you are interested in being a flea market or farmer's market vendor.  The theme for the parade is "The Life and legacy of Dr. Norman Borlaug" and is open to anyone free of charge.

Farmer's Market

Why Buy Local?  Locally grown foods are fresher and healthier, taste better are safer to consume, and are better for the local economy and the environment.

Cresco's Farmer's Market is held every Tuesday and Friday afternoon from 2pm - 5:30pm, May 1st through October 30th. 

Located between Balk Park and Fareway on the north side of Grube's Lawn & Garden on 1st Ave SW.

Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame

The Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Foundation was established in April of 1970.  The purpose is to honor Iowa natives who had major contributions to amateur wrestling including athletes, coaches and officials.  

The Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame is located at 101 2nd Ave SW at the corners of Hwy 9 & N. Elm St. inside of the Cresco Welcome Center and Chamber of Commerce.  We invite you to stop in and view the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame Gallery and review the rich history of wrestling in Iowa.

Cresco Theatre /  Opera House

From Vaudeville to surround-sound, from silent movies to major musicals, the Cresco Opera House has long served as the entertainment center for the greater Cresco area and beyond. 

This unique, versatile building is as viable today as at any time in its long and illustius life.   The two types of uses - movies and live shows - are possible because of the original design of the building.  Constructed in 1914 and opened in early 1915, the Opera House designers not only wanted a facility for the present but for the future.   Vaudeville was still the rage in the pre-World War I years, but silent movies loomed on the horizon.  The result was a design that incorporated footlights that front the stage for live shows and a projection booth at the rear of the large balcony for movies.  Had it been built a few years earlier, the facility would probably have centered on live productions only.  Had it been built later, it probably would have been only a movie house. 

Movies are shown nightly at 7:00pm.  The exception is when the building is the site of a live production by the Cresco Community Theatre group or some other entertainment or program.

Bronze Statues of Cresco

When you visit Cresco you can't help but notice the beautiful bronze statues located throughout the entire City.  All of the statues depict children having fun.  The statues were brought here by the gracious residents and businesses of Cresco that donated the funds.  This ongoing project to beautify our community continually adds new statues each year.  Currently there are almost 40 different bronze statues scattered throughout Cresco.  Lime Springs and Elma have also joined in to beautify their community and have added statues of their own. 

Stop by the Cresco Welcome Center to find out where they are all located.

Prairie's Edge Nature Center

Norman Borlaug Statue

Located in Beadle Park - Norman Borlaug is credited with saving millions of people from starvation and the founder of the Green Revolution. Borlaug, who grew up on a farm near Cresco, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his work in agriculture.  In 2007 Dr. Norman Borlaug was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.  Dr. Borlaug is one of just six people in the entire world to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation

A non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting education programs and projects which reflect the lifetime achievements and philosophy of Dr. Norman Borlaug.  Please visit our website at www.normanborlaug.org to find out more information about how this foundation is working to make Dr. Borlaug's boyhood home a National Monument.  The Borlaug Farm is located 12 miles southwest of Cresco. 

Cresco Public Library

Cresco's Public Libary is a beautiful ‘Carnegie Library’ that dates back to 1913 when construction began.  Dedication of the new Cresco Public Library was held on February 10, 1915.   In 1991 the library experienced a major renovation and addition.  After seven years of planning, a new, historically accurate addition was added to the south side of the original Carnegie Library.  This new addition doubled the size of the library building and was funded through a federal grant, local donations, fund raising, and many volunteer hours by local residents.

The Board of Trustees and staff of the Cresco Public Library provides free, unlimited access to its resources, both material and informational, to the community. In today's society, the services of the Cresco Public Library are designated to meet the various needs of those on the community. Special emphasis is placed on providing popular materials in a timely manner, on the collection, and on programs and services for preschool children, school age children and young adults.

Please visit our new website at www.cresco.lib.ia.us for more information or call 563-547-2540.

Library Hours: 

Monday-Friday     9am-8pm 
Saturday                9am-1pm 
Sunday                        Closed

Come see this beautiful century old library still being used today as it was originally intended.