Pack up your lawn chairs, blankets and a picnic basket this evening — or buy food and beverages in the beer and wine garden — and enjoy Boka Marimba. This African-style marimba group will delight everyone, and there’s plenty of space on the grass in front of the amphitheater for kids of all ages to dance to the music. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m. in Main Street Park in Monmouth as the Music in the Park Series continues through August.

Tomorrow — Thursday — is the opening day for the Polk County Fair. This year’s theme is Boots, Chaps and Cowboy Hats, and great times are promised for all who attend. All summer long we’ve been anticipating these special days when everything good about our communities is showcased for everyone to see and enjoy. Our 4-H members have been working hard for weeks and weeks to have their special projects and animals prepared and ready for judging and display, and their parents, leaders and other volunteers are delighted to share in the fun. This week’s I-O has all the information you’ll need regarding exhibits, 4-H programs and hours the fairgrounds are open to visitors.

We’ll be there bright and early to enjoy an entire day and to reminisce about what fun we’ve had over the years with visiting grandchildren from faraway places who delighted in everything from petting the animals to enjoying the carnival rides and eating corndogs with lots of bright yellow mustard. Now those same grandchildren are college students busy with summer jobs and other activities, but we’re still as enthusiastic as ever about the fair. It’s our once-a-year day to meet friends old and new, to visit all the commercial booths and to get advice on house and home projects, and to see all the things that represent the best of what Polk County has to offer.

The summer movies continue at the Independence Amphitheater, and Thursday night’s feature is “The Breakfast Club,” with a great cast of stars, including Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez. Bring a picnic supper or enjoy food from various vendors, and plan another evening to relax under the stars.

Shoot to Thrill — an AC/DC tribute band is featured at the Independence Amphitheater on Friday night, with the show beginning at 8:30 p.m. The suggested donation is $5 per person. Food and beverages are available from local vendors.

Monmouth Senior Center’s monthly potluck is scheduled for Friday at noon. Please bring a salad or dessert to share, and enjoy an afternoon of fun, with piano music by Marion Anderson, who will lead everyone in singing old-fashioned songs.

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