Iowa has one of the nation’s highest high school retention and graduation rates. The City of Fort Dodge has set the bar for ensuring that our schools set children up for success. We incorporate things such as giving high school students the opportunity to earn college credit through Iowa Central Community College and offering free preschool for four-year-olds.
If it is quality of life you are looking for, Fort Dodge is a regional hub for healthcare, education, recreation, shopping, and dining. Iowa Central Community College and UnityPoint Health both call Fort Dodge their home. National chains like Kohl’s, Target, Marshall’s, Younker’s and Wal-Mart as well as unique boutiques all offer a diversity of shopping experiences in Fort Dodge. With miles of hard surface, water and hiking trails, there is a variety of opportunities to explore Fort Dodge/Webster County.
Find Your Future in Fort Dodge: www.greaterfortdodge.com
The Oleson Park
The Oleson Park Music Pavilion, also known as the Karl King Bandshell, is located in Fort Dodgeat. The pavilion is associated with Karl King, a famed composer for concert and military bands, who advocated for its construction. It was designed by Henry L. Kamphoefner, a Sioux City architect at that time, who had previously designed the Grandview Park Music Pavilion in Sioux City. It was built as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. The WPA paid for 85 percent of its construction, with the City of Fort Dodge paying the rest. The poured concrete structure was built in a Modernist style with Art Deco overtones. It rises to a height of 36 feet (11 m), and it is known for its acoustical excellence. The pavilion replaced a bandstand that was built in the 1920s in the city square. It was dedicated to King in 1976, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
Marshalltown is the ideal location offering a convenient drive from all four corners of the state. The MCVB assists groups planning meetings, conventions, tournaments and events hosted in Marshalltown and Marshall County. They can help find the perfect venue to create a memorable moment. They also serve as the contact for group tour planners; showcasing Marshalltown as a destination for tours. See the Planners web page for more information.
Visitors and the community can find events on the Events web page that the MCVB manages as the hub for Marshalltown and Marshall County events. Events are added daily by community members, organizations and businesses offering events open to the public.
Things to Do and See
The Big Treehouse
This 6-story, 12-level hobby of its creator features music, sound effects, and a spiral stairway. It’s located at Shady Oaks Campground, a Lincoln Highway landmark since 1925. Call to schedule a tour. Guide and dry weather required.
Beautifully preserved, this Italianate-style home was built in 1874. It has a curved cherry stairway, Italian marble fireplace and walnut built-in bookshelves. Tours and meals available by appointment. Tea parties available upon request.
Buzzed Bee Meadery
Buzzed Bee Meadery specializes in making mead also known as honey-wine. What started with a few bee hives has developed into an exciting new business for Iowa. Visit the meadery tasting room and discover mead in Marshall County.
Central Iowa Art Association
Inside Fisher Community Center
Fisher Art Gallery
The Gallery houses an outstanding collection of original Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings including Degas, Utrillo, Pissarro, Cassatt, Vuillard and more. Docent tours available by appointment.
Ceramic Study Collection
In the early 1970’s, the collection was amassed under the guidance of Gary Eason Eige. Top ceramic artists and scholars recognize it as one of the fi nest collections of its kind in the nation.
Sculptures grace the grounds of the Fisher Community Center. The signature piece is Christian Petersen’s final work, “Dedication to the Future,” located in a beautiful fountain setting on the grounds.
F-4 Phantom Fighter Jet
A local resident, Joe Latham, flew this F-4 on Sept. 14, 1966 over North Vietnam on his 45th mission. This F-4 serves as a memorial to all veterans. Call Jeff Heiden to schedule a tour.
Grimes Farm and Conservation Center
An interpretive center with environmental educational displays.
The outdoor playscape is an ideal place for families to swing, crawl and experience nature. Enjoy a StoryWalk great way to encourage physical activity and reading.
Observation Tower & Trails
Hiking trails provide access to 160 acres of nature trails through forests, wetlands, prairies and crop fields. Hike to the highest elevation point of Grimes Farm: 30 foot observation tower.