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Feb 16, 2012
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Opera fundraiser

The Des Moines Metro Opera will host its annual Wine and Food showcase on Friday, Feb. 17, at the downtown Des Moines Marriot, 700 Grand Ave. The annual fundraising event, which runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., features a wide variety of samples from the area’s finest restaurants, wineries, breweries and distributors. Along with the samples, attendees will also be able to buy single tickets to Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” Puccini’s “La Rondine” and Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin.” Admission is $50 ($100 for VIP). For more information, visit

Antique collectors unite

The Des Moines Antique Spectacular takes place Feb. 17-19 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Animal Learning Center. The event will showcase a wide variety of antiques from all genres including furniture, art pottery, stoneware, books, prints, primitives, jewelry, silver, antique glassware, china, postcards, coins, quilts, dolls, toys, advertising, rugs, vintage textiles and period pieces. Parking is free, and admission is $7 (good for the entire weekend). For more information, visit

Chili cook-off

Valley Junction will hold a new event, the “Take the Chili Off” Chili Cook-off, Bingo and Raffle on Saturday, Feb. 18 from 2 to 6 p.m. The day will kick off with a chili cook-off contest, followed by bingo at 4 p.m. and the raffle at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Celebrate Mardi Gras without leaving town

The Urbandale Community Action Network will host the first annual Mardi Gras Gala on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Holiday Inn Northwest, 4800 Merle Hay Road. Experience a New Orleans style celebration without leaving town. The festive, black-tie optional event features Mardi Gras themed food, a Dixieland Jazz band, prize giveaways including hotel packages, golf outings and jewelry as well as the opportunity to purchase King Cakes. Money from the event will help support human service needs, stronger neighborhoods and community activities in Urbandale. The event kicks off at 7 p.m. and tickets are $50 (advance purchase only). For more information, visit CV

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