FRY fest tradeshow kicks off UI football season

More than 50 exhibitors will "celebrate all things Hawkeye"

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The center of the FRY fest event each year is the Hawkeye tradeshow, with a wide variety of vendors selling tons of Hawkeye merchandise.

Fans who bleed black and gold can shop for everything from clothing and jewelry to artwork and home décor items. The tradeshow floor at the Coralville Marriott Conference Center will house almost 60 exhibitors on Friday, Aug. 30, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

It could be easy to assume that every Big Ten school sponsors this type of event. But that is not the case.

“It’s very unique. Nobody else is doing it,” says Dale Arens, trademark and licensing director at the University of Iowa and one of the event organizers. “No other school has a venue where they’re setting up a tradeshow and drawing in thousands of people to launch the season.”


New this year, will be a fashion show on the Tigerhawk Stage at 1 p.m.

“This year, to really amp up and show off our different vendors at the tradeshow, we’ve put together the FRY fest Fashion Show and Product Showcase,” says Allie Howarth, director of special events for the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It will showcase items from zipper pulls to your full-fledged Hawkeye tailgate gear. We’ll have the Spirit Squad as our models as well as some everyday Hawkeyes, our fans. This year it’s all about the fans.”

“The fashion show should be pretty cool. It ought to be a lot of fun,” says Josh Schamberger, president of the Iowa City/Coralville Area CVB.


In addition to shopping for new Hawkeye merchandise, UI fans will have a chance to view a variety of Hawkeye memorabilia at this year’s FRY fest. The Hawkeye Collectors Showcase will bring together several local collectors who will display their items in the far left corner of the tradeshow floor.

The Hawkeye Collectors Showcase will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 4 to 7 p.m. “It will have limited hours so the collectors can get out and look around and enjoy FRY fest themselves,” Howarth says.

At noon, Herb Staub, a local Hawkeye collector and author of several books on Hawkeye collectibles, will lead an informational program. If you’re interested in having Staub evaluate and price a piece of Hawkeye memorabilia, contact Alivia Cannistra at the Iowa City/Coralville Area CVB, (319) 337-6592.


FRY fest kicks off the UI football season, but the event showcases all Hawkeye athletic programs. This year, the UI women’s gymnastics team will give an insider’s view into their sport, with a full uneven bar set up on the tradeshow floor.

Members of the gymnastics team will be present to help fans experience the uneven bars in front of the Tigerhawk Stage at 2 and 5 p.m. The UI uneven bar squad consistently ranks in the top 20 in the country.

A UI gymnastics coach, Caleb Phillips, will be on hand to explain the sport. “He’ll have the floor, explaining how the gymnasts warm up, why they warm up that way, how they plan their routines and why they execute that way,” Howarth says.

Organizers hope by offering two sessions, including the late afternoon session at 5 p.m., that a large number of young gymnasts will be able to participate after school. “We’d love for kids to take part and really learn and become inspired by it,” Howarth says. In addition, the gymnastics team will be on hand throughout the day. “They’ll be in the tradeshow all day, talking to fans and signing autographs,” she says.

A number of other Hawkeye athletes and former athletes also will be on hand at the FRY fest tradeshow. The 2013 UI Athletics Hall of Fame inductees will participate in a panel discussion at 10:30 a.m., and an autograph session at 11:15 a.m. In the afternoon, a “Hawkeye Fan Favorites” panel discussion will be held at 3:30 p.m., followed by an autograph session at 4:15 p.m. Some former Hawkeyes that will be on hand include Casey Wiegmann, Mike Humpal, Matt Kroul, Bill Happel, Hap Peterson, Larry Station and Hank Vollenweider of Iowa’s 1939 “Ironmen” team.

FRY fest Schedule of Events

9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

FRY fest Blood Drive with the UI DeGowin Blood Center

“I Bleed Black & Gold” T-shirts for all successful donors.

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

FRY fest Car Show on Quarry Road, Coralville

10 a.m.

Dan Gable Autograph Session

10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

FRY fest World’s Largest Hawkeye Tradeshow

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hawkeye Collectors Showcase (closes at 1 p.m. and reopens at 4 p.m.)

10:30 a.m.

25th Hall of Fame Inductees Panel Discussion

11:15 a.m.

25th Hall of Fame Inductees Autograph Session


Hawkeye Collectors Showcase Program

12:30 p.m.

Unveiling of new Herky on Parade Program on the Tigerhawk Stage

1 p.m.

Hawkeye Fashion Show/Product Showcase

2 p.m.

UI Women’s Gymnastics Uneven Bar Tutorial/Performance

3 to 4:30 p.m.

The Last Ride performs on the Coralville Marriott’s East Terrace

3:30 p.m.

“Hawkeye Fan Favorites” Panel Discussion

4 to 7 p.m.

Hawkeye Collectors Showcase

4:15 p.m.

“Hawkeye Fan Favorites” Autograph Session

5 p.m.

UI Women’s Gymnastics Uneven Bar Tutorial/Performance

5 p.m.

Beverage garden/concert grounds open adjacent to the Coralville Marriott

7 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.

FRY fest Outdoor Concert featuring Dustin Lynch at 7 p.m. and Chris Cagle at 8:30 p.m.

on the Two Rivers Bank & Trust Stage


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