John Wayne Birthplace

Click on Visit & Explore for downloading maps of the county and for bridge locations.  For brochures highlighting historical information, attractions and movie sites, contact the Madison County Chamber of Commerce toll free at 800-298-6119, or send an Email to chamber@madisoncounty.com


The 45th Annual Madison County

Covered Bridge Festival

More Details to come, but please see last years events to have an idea of all the fun you and your family will have while attending the festival!

October 11th & 12th, 2014

The Madison County Covered Bridge Festival has been a time-honored tradition in Madison County, Iowa since 1970. Each year on the second full weekend in October, county residents gather under the brilliant hues of autumn to celebrate their historic covered bridges. The festival features a wide variety of food, antique and craft vendors, nonstop music and entertainment, artisans demonstrating the old-fashioned ways, quilt show, car show, an antique vehicle parade, guided bus tours of the covered bridges, and so much more.

**NO PETS...Sorry, no pets are allowed on the Covered Bridge Festival grounds. ONLY service dogs allowed.

Submit your Memorable Madison County Stories!

This year's 45th Annual Covered Bridge Festival will take place October 11th - 12th & the theme is "The Bridges are Calling" We welcome all visitors and residents of our county to share your stories of exploration, love, or what experiences enticed you to make Madison County your home!

If you have not yet experienced all that we have to offer, there is still plenty of time to create your own stories of Madison County. If you are seeking to recapture that old “hometown” feeling you remember from your youth, or you simply find the small-town, rural way of life appealing, it still exists in Madison County!



Meet Me at the Bridge - Saturday, October 11 6-10 p.m. -


Cheesecake on a Stick

Fabulous Foods to Tickle The Palette!

No matter what kind of food you might have a hankerin’ for, you just might find it at the Festival—and a few you didn’t expect, too!

Creative Crafts & Other Great Stuff

All throughout the festival, there’s lots to see, from handmade arts and crafts to furniture, antiques and unique items of all kinds!

The Benge Family

Nonstop Music & Entertainment!

Sit a spell and enjoy musicians and singers of all kinds, gymnasts, square dancers, barbershop quartet, spelling bees, belt buckle auction and much more all weekend.

Guided Tours of the Covered Bridges

Always a popular attraction, tours depart regularly and visit several of the world-famous bridges. Knowledgeable guides tell the history and legends of these vintage structures. Passengers may disembark at some of the bridges to inspect these historic bridges up close and personal.

Covered Bridge tours

Car Show

Antique and Classic Auto Show - Hosted by The Central Iowa Auto Club

Bright and early at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, October 12th, registration begins for the 29th Annual Madison County Car Show. Registration runs until 12:00 p.m. noon and judging will take place from noon until 1:30 p.m. The show features hundreds of beautifully restored cars and trucks vying for awards in many different classes. For more information contact Terry Housman by calling 515.462.4648. If registrations are received by September 26th you will receive a free t-shirt!

Antique Vehicle Parade 2 pm Sunday - Hosted by the Winterset Lions Club

Lawn chairs start appearing curbside early in the morning to get a great view of this parade that features antique vehicles and tractors, floats, horses, bands and more in the grand old-fashioned tradition.

“Duck In” Family Activities:
A Great Way to Learn About Madison County!

A program designed for kids and their families to celebrate Madison County and to have fun at the Festival.  Activities include Duck Dynasty Family Activities at the Winterset Public Library, Make Peanut Butter & Explore Cotton Plants at George Washington Carver Park, Fun with Crafts & Spin Art at the Winterset Art Center, Scavenger Hunt and many more activities. Download "DUCK IN" brochure


Visitors can take guided tours of the magnificent Courthouse right in the center of the Square.

Courthouse Tours

FREE shuttle rides from the Square to the Historical Complex and the Birthplace of John Wayne delight visitors with the hitch of four powerful Clydesdales.

Horsedrawn Shuttle


Covered Bridge Festival Parade is Sunday, October 12 @ 2 p.m.



The deadline for all Vendors is August 1st, 2014.

The Madison County Covered Bridge Festival Committee and Madison County Chamber of Commerce invite your business or organization to consider participating at our 45th Annual Madison County Covered Bridge Festival being held on October 11 & 12, 2014.

We have 7 categories for you to consider:

  1. ARTS & CRAFTS - $175.00 for a 10 X 10 foot space
  2. FOOD - $400.00 per vendor. Please include size of trailer/booth with application (Free electricity and grease disposal included)
  3. NON – PROFIT FOOD - $250.00 for 501c3 organizations. Please include size of trailer/booth with application (Free electricity and grease disposal included)
  4. FARMER’S MARKET - $50.00 for a 10 X 10 foot space
  5. “MADE IN MADISON COUNTY” - $50.00 for space in our double booth located in front of the Chamber office – (Each participant is required to work a portion of the event)
  6. WINERIES - $175.00 for a 10 X 10 foot space
  7. DEMONSTRATOR – (FREE) If you have an “old time product” you would like to show off to the crowds, we encourage you to apply! Gas reimbursement is available.

If you feel your product falls into one of these 7 categories, we strongly urge you to request the appropriate application as soon as possible. Applications can be found below. All vendors must submit photographs of their booth and product at the time of application. Application deadline is August 1, 2014 and all selected vendors will be notified by August 15th. Food vendors, Farmers Market and Wineries must also submit proof of insurance along with their applications.

The Festival Committee would like to encourage our vendors to dress and decorate their booths in the “Spirit of the Pioneer Era”! Prizes will be awarded.

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to hearing from you.


Click here for the 2014 Food Vendor Application

Click here for the 2014 Non-Profit Food Vendor Application

Click here for the 2014 Winery Vendor Application

Click here for the 2014 Arts & Craft Application

Click here for the 2014 Madison County Chamber Member Arts & Craft Application

Click here for the 2014 Demonstrator Application

Interested in selling a few items at the Covered Bridge Festival but do not have enough product for your own booth? We've got good news! Once again, the Madison County Chamber of Commerce welcomes Madison County residents to sell their products in the Made in Madison County booth. Please see application below for more details.

Click here for the 2014 Made In Madison County Application

Click here for the 2014 Farmers Market Application

Click here for the 2014 King & Queen Nomination Form