The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

FRYFest celebrates Hawkeye spirit before football season begins

FILE – In this file photo, kids and family members participate in various activities for children set up in the Coalville Marriott parking lot on Sept. 2, 2016. The eighth-annual Fry Fest included performances from bands, trade shows, and the unveiling of a new bronze Hayden Fry statue. (Jordan Gale/The Daily Iowan, file)

The campus is alive with Black and Gold spirit, a sign football season is on its way. Today, Hawkeyes will gather for the ninth-annual FRYFest, a celebration of Hawkeye sports before the start of the football season at the Iowa River Landing in Coralville.

The event commemorates Hayden Fry, the legendary Iowa football coach from 1979-1998 and the legacy he left behind — Fry ranks 10th all-time on the Division-1 coaching list.

“FRYFest is important because it helps us get our football season off to an enthusiastic start, giving our fans the opportunity to gather on Friday and get into the spirit a day early,” Assistant Athletics Director Steve Roe said.

Each year, the event has a theme to support different groups, organizations, or rivalries; in the past, they have included America Needs Farmers, Hawkeye Rivalries, and the continual battle between Iowa State and the UI.

This year, Fry Fest honors the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

“FRYFest is a really exciting event and a fun way to kick off the school year,” UI women’s basketball head coach Lisa Bluder said. “There are so many great athletics teams here at UI, and this year in particular we get to celebrate the Final Four teams from 1980 and 1993.”

RELATED: Fryfest kicked off memories this past weekend

Throughout the day, there will be a blood drive hosted by UI DeGowin Blood Center, Ultimate Hawkeye Trivia Challenge, and the Fashion and Product show, featuring items from the World’s Largest Hawkeye Tradeshow. At 7 p.m., the Pep Rally will kick off.

In the Hawkeye Tradeshow, the Hawkeye Collectors’ Showcase will take place, and Herb Staub, organizer of the showcase, hopes that the collectors will increase interest in collecting and have young people branch out into that hobby.

“[Collecting] seems to have disappeared in this generation,” Staub said. “As a whole, if you ask a classroom of 50 people, ‘What do you collect?,’ they’re probably going to have applications on their iPhones or video games and not collecting items to stick in a book somewhere.”

This year, John Arcand from the Big Ten Network TV show “Big Ten Treasure Hunters” will be in attendance.

The High Porch Block Party, which takes its name from “high porch picnic,” a Texan term for “an exceptionally good time,” will feature food trucks, a kids’ zone for future Hawkeyes, and a selection of games.

To close the event, the block party will feature two performing groups to spark nighttime fun. Iowan group The Pork Tornadoes will open, putting the group’s spin on classic and popular songs.

The headlining band, Arch Allies, will perform covers, being the top tribute band in the nation that features music of classic ’80s bands and singers according to the FRYFest website. Following the performances, the Coralville Fire Department will put on a fireworks show.

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