Osceola has the best July 4th celebration in southern Iowa. The celebration usually lasts 2-3 days with a carnival, some of Iowa’s best entertainment and a fantastic parade (usually lasting over 1 hour) on the morning of the 4th.
Osceola is home to Lakeside Hotel Casino located west of town on Clay Street, with wonderful facilities like their convention center where a variety of shows and entertainment options are held. They offer gambling with slots and table games, a great restaurant and buffet as well as a 150-room hotel and 47-unit RV Park. This opened on January 1, 2000 and has been a wonderful addition to our community.
Lakeside is located on West Lake which is home to many fishing contests and a favorite spot of many locals for fishing and relaxation.
Osceola also offers beautiful parks: East Lake Park – east on Highway 34 offers wonderful shelters for picnics, fishing, playground equipment, and the lookout tower. East Lake is also home to a pair of trumpeter swans (and offspring) that are a very popular attraction. We also have Q-Pond Park with limited playground and shelters as well as walking trails. This park is located west of town on Clay Street.
While taking a driving tour in Osceola you will see older homes that have been beautifully renovated, with older architectural designs such as the Sutton Home on West Cass Street, the beautiful older home now owned by Erickson’s on Highway 34 and the Doc Dean House located on north Main. The railroad depot, owned by the City of Osceola, is unique and would have many stories to tell if only walls could talk. It is currently undergoing a historic restoration with an improved parking lot for AMTRAK travelers.
As you pass through our downtown area, with its many storefronts that have been renovated due to the Main Street Program, you will also see the new beautiful bandstand that was recently rebuilt due to the efforts of the local Rotary Club and many volunteers. This is the central location of many of the local community celebrations that are held throughout the summer months.
South of Osceola on Highway 69 you will find the Historical Museum, supported and manned strictly by volunteers. The museum sports many memories of Osceola and the community members that have left their mark on Osceola in one manner or another. Dr. Paul was one of those folks –we are proud to say that Doc Paul, led many a Rose Bowl Parades with his beautiful Arabian Horses – that he raised right here in Osceola!
If you would like to expand your visit to the west about 10 miles to the community of Murray, and are a history buff, you will enjoy a visit to the site of actual ruts made by the Mormon’s as they passed through this way on their trek from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah. Murray is proud to be a part of the “Mormon Trail” that is a marked route across the central and western United States.