FRY Fest will celebrate its 35th Anniversary of the Cy-Hawk Series with events throughout the day in Coralville.
By SAMANTHA GENTRY
A sea of black and gold lines the halls of the Marriot hotel. Everywhere you look Hawkeye fans are showing their pride at this years FRY fest.
In an intimate conference room tables are aligned with Hawkeye memorabilia where generations of Hawkeye fans sit to share their family’s heirlooms.
Steve Smith, a resident of Keokuk, was a fan before he was even born.
“I grew up in Iowa, my parents went to school here, and I came to school here in 1963,” Smith said. “I will always be a Hawkeye through and through.”
Smith brought a straw hat with a ribbon labeled the “Cheering Block” on it with him to the Hawkeye Collector’s Showcase.
When he attended the UI, the student section was called the cheering block and he said everyone not only wore a hat, but also had a Pep Club membership card.
He has had season tickets ever since and plans on attending the game this Saturday against Iowa State.
The fourth annual FRY fest will brought together residents from the Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty area to celebrate everything that is Hawkeye and to kick-off the first football game of the season against the Iowa State Cyclones.
Attendees who visit the showcase will find a newspaper clipping from the Des Moines Register that describes when Iowa played Iowa State 35 years ago.
It was the first game of the series that was the state legally required the two schools to play one another.
Dena Sattler, a resident of Burlington, sits at the table with her mom, both sporting their black and gold. Sattler remembers only being 14 years old at the time of the game in the newspaper.
“Iowa was not supposed to win, but they did,” Sattler said. “It was a very electric environment and I remember huge bonfires and parties in the middle of Clinton across from Airliner.”
Aside from the showcase, events for FRY fest have been going on throughout the course of the day.
Iowa fans attended a blood drive, car show, and they also had the chance to meet Frank Fritz from the History Channel’s American Pickers.
Classic tailgate food from vendors like Wildwood Smokehouse & Saloon, Chili’s, and Linn Street Café was also available along with an autograph session with former Hawkeye and Cyclone players and coaches.
At 6 p.m. tonight, Coach Hayden Fry will hosted the FRY fest pep rally to get football fans in the spirit to “Beat State” at tomorrow’s game.
Pep Rally festivities will also include the UI’s mascot Herky, the Iowa Spirit Squad, and the Hawkeye Marching Band.
To conclude the night, country sensation Lee Brice will take the stage at 7 p.m. to play some of his traditional honky tonk style songs, including his most recent single “A Women Like You.”
Then following his performance at 8:30 p.m. will be multi-platinum winning recording artist Sarah Evans.
Her music has sold over five million records and five chart topping number one Country singles including her hit “Born To Fly.”
Whether you’ve been a Hawkeye fan all your life or are a newcomer to the phenomenon, everyone has its own opinion on what it truly means to be a Hawkeye.
Leonard Miller, a resident of Solon, has been getting season tickets for over 40 years now.
He contributed a log carrier that contained the year and scores of games from 1939, Nile Kinnick’s “big year.”
“Being a Hawkeye means being proud of your hometown team, proud of their victories, and even proud of how they handle its loses,” Miller said.