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Five years of Hawkeye pride

BY JUSTUS FLAIR | AUGUST 29, 2013 5:00 AM

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Hayden Fry — the man, the legend, the Hawkeye.

This year, the annual extravaganza of FRY Fest will celebrate five years of fans bleeding Black and Gold.

The event will take place all day Friday beginning at 9 a.m. in Coralville’s Iowa River Landing.

“University of Iowa athletics is an important part of our community, and FRY Fest is definitely a great way to start off the season with a bang,” said Coralville City Administrator Kelly Hayworth. “Student athletes and coaches dedicate a lot of time to their individual sports, and this is a good way to show the general public’s support and interest.”

Utilizing the die-hard devotion of fans, FRY Fest, named after legendary Iowa football coach Hayden Fry, gathers Hawkeyes from all around to prepare and start off the season strong.

“Fans really look forward to that first game,” said Joshua Schamberger, the president of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The Hawkeyes are our state’s pro team, and the
football team brings the family together like no other sport every fall.”

Besides bringing fans together, FRY Fest also helps locals celebrate the city and university they love.

“FRY fest is a great way for fans to come together and celebrate a common love: the Hawkeyes,” said Allie Howarth, the director of special events for the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “FRY Fest is not only beneficial for our fans but also our community businesses, because it draws fans from various regions, who then shop, dine, and stay in our wonderful lodging establishments.”

Included in these guests visiting for the event are the 25th Hall of Fame Class, several notable former Hawkeye football players, and Hank Vollenweider of Iowa’s 1939 Ironmen team.

Many of the former student-athletes will participate in panels to discuss past and future Hawkeye athletics events.

“The panel discussions at FRY Fest draw large crowds because everyone is excited to listen to former players and coaches speak in a more casual format,” said Laurie Haman, the vice president of the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Not a football fan, but still an Iowa fan? FRY Fest will feature a variety of events, including the opportunity to stock up on Hawkeye gear and enjoy the atmosphere of the Iowa City area.

“The Hawkeye Tradeshow is really the event that is a favorite of the people, because this is the chance to see all of the new merchandise that you can get in black and gold,” Hayworth said.

A new addition this year, is the GranGable bike ride on Sunday.

This is a chance for community members to come out to the Iowa River Landing, even if they don’t want to bike the route.

All ages are welcome at the celebration, because the organizers recognize that Hawkeye pride starts at a young age.

“[FRY Fest] has activities for all ages, and other than the outdoor concert, all entries are free,” Haman said.

A must-see event at this year’s fest is the unveiling of the new Herky On Parade statues to prepare for next year’s 10th Anniversary.

The closing event for FRY Fest this year is also expected to be a hit.

The outdoor country concert featuring Dustin Lynch and Chris Cagle will begin at 7 p.m., with the beverage garden opening at 5 p.m.

FRY Fest has also arranged for free Cambus shuttles beginning at 4 p.m. from the Washington Street stop in Iowa City to the concert in Coralville and back.

“Our concert is going to be a fantastic show this year,” Howarth said. “Chris Cagle and special guest Dustin Lynch are going to definitely put on a good show for our Hawkeyes. Fans will not be
disappointed.”

With a whole day devoted solely to University of Iowa pride, FRY Fest organizers are confident every fan will find something about the event to love.

“From the Car Show to the World’s Largest Hawkeye Tradeshow, there is nothing that a Hawkeye fan would want to miss,” Howarth said.


FRY Fest
When: 9 a.m. Friday
Where: Coralville Iowa River Landing
Admission: Free


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