Iowa Football

FRYfest canceled for 2020

Zoey Kakavas, 1, looks up at the bronze statue of former University of Iowa football coach Hayden Fry that was unveiled
Zoey Kakavas, 1, looks up at the bronze statue of former University of Iowa football coach Hayden Fry that was unveiled Sept. 2, 2016, at FRYfest. Organizers on Friday canceled the annual festival because of coronavirus health concerns. (The Gazette)

CORALVILLE — Another loss has hit Hawkeye fans.

A day after the Big Ten announced that its 2020 football season would be conference only — denying fans an Iowa-Iowa State game for the first time in more than four decades — Think Iowa City announced that FRYfest would be canceled this year as well.

A celebration all things Hawkeye and a kickoff to the University of Iowa football season, FRYfest has been a tradition for Hawkeye fans since it launched in 2009.

Think Iowa City, the City of Coralville and The Eastern Iowa Airport made the decision to cancel the event this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The decision to cancel FRYfest this year is incredibly difficult,” Monica Nieves, vice president of special events for Think Iowa City, said in a statement. “We were hopeful that FRYfest would be an opportunity to bring our community back together after a challenging summer of cancellations.

“The continued health concerns related to COVID-19 pandemic has forced our hand to cancel.”

Nieves said the decision to cancel came after weeks of conversations, including with the UI athletics department.

The FRYfest planning committee said a smaller celebration before the Hawkeyes’ home opener in October could take place if it can be done responsibly. The next FRYfest is scheduled for Sept. 3, 2021.

Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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