CORALVILLE — If you bleed black and gold, Friday’s FRYfest X is the place where you can live, eat and breathe all things Hawkeyes all day long around the Coralville Marriott, 300 E. Ninth St.
It’s the 10th annual celebration of all things Hawkeye, held the night before this year’s season opener against Northern Illinois at 2:30 p.m. in Kinnick Stadium.
FRYfest is named in honor of Hayden Fry, who coached University of Iowa football teams from 1978 to 1998. Named coach of the year in three conferences — The Big Ten, Southwest and Missouri Valley — he led the Hawkeyes to 14 bowl games and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
This year’s FRYfest, however, also will shine lights on the 100th birthday of legendary Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick, born July 9, 1918, as well as on the Hawkeyes’ 1983 coaching staff, widely regarded as “the top of the greatest coaching tree in the history of college football.”
Organizers have planned a full day of activities with special guests, panel discussions, Hawkeye tradeshow, bags and trivia contests, kids’ activities, food and beverages, pep rally, a concert and fireworks.
Events get underway with a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and continue with the World’s Largest Hawkeye Tradeshow from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. inside the Coralville Marriott’s Exhibition Hall. Admission is free and the event features everything from yard signs to artwork, apparel to collectibles. Within the tradeshow is the Hawkeye Collector’s Showcase, full of memorabilia to view.
The 30th Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame class will participate in a 10:15 a.m. panel discussion, followed by an autograph session at 11 a.m. Members are Kineke Alexander (track & field), Jared DeVries and Bob Sanders (football), Chris Hatcher (baseball), Sarah Lynch (women’s soccer), Alexis Maday (women’s gymnastics) and Jeff McGinness (wrestling). They will be feted in a ceremony and reception at 5 p.m.
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The 1983 Football Coaching Tree will participate in a panel discussion at 1:30 p.m. Members include Don Patterson, Bill Brashier, Carl Jackson, Dan McCarney, Del Miller, Bernie Wyatt and Bob Stoops.
Other highlights include a pep rally inside the tradeshow site at 7 p.m. and the High Porch Block Party beginning at 3 p.m. in the parking lot south of the Marriott. Within that footprint are the beverage garden, food for purchase, Kids Zone, bags tournament, music by Pianopalooza and The Pork Tornadoes, and fireworks. Admission to the block party is $5 at the gate and free for ages 12 and under.
It takes about 300 volunteers to pull off this celebration each year. To offer up your time and talents, go to Fryfest.com/about/volunteer. Opportunities range from traffic control and Kids Zone duties to Saturday morning cleanup.
WHAT: FRYfest X
WHERE: Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, Iowa River Landing, 300 E. Ninth St., Coralville
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. finale Friday (8/31)
HIGHLIGHTS: Blood drive, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Hawkeye Collector’s Showcase, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; World’s Largest Hawkeye Tradeshow, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 1983 Football Coaching Tree Panel, 1:30 p.m.; Pep Rally, 7 p.m.
CONCERT: High Porch Block Party Concert, 3 p.m. Happy Hour begins, parking lot south of the Coralville Marriott; $5 at the gate, free ages 12 and under; features beverage tent ages 21 and over; Kids Zone, bags tournament, music by Pianopalooza at 6 p.m., The Pork Tornadoes at 8 p.m., fireworks at 10 p.m.