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Local

Unforgettable Newton Fest 2017

Kids test out the Newton Fire Department's fire hose Saturday at Newton City Hall for Safety Fest. The 
event was sponsored by the fire department and the Newton Police Department.
Kids test out the Newton Fire Department's fire hose Saturday at Newton City Hall for Safety Fest. The event was sponsored by the fire department and the Newton Police Department.

The 2017 edition of Newton Fest is not one that will soon be forgotten. From new events including the Kick-off Party and Joe’s Old Fashioned Fun Carnival to favorites such as the Bill Riley Talent Show and Backyard Barbecue Competition, not to mention a little concert featuring world-famous Metallica, Newton Fest 2017 was a jam-packed weekend of fun and entertainment.

“Things have gone really great with Newton Fest, I have heard a lot of positive comments,” Newton Fest Committee Chair Jessica Lowe said. “People really like some of the things we have added including the change to DMACC Campus which allows things to be closer together.”

Starting off the long weekend was a new event the Newton Fest Kick-off Party Wednesday. Sponsored by the Young Professionals of Jasper County and held at the DMACC Newton Campus Maytag Innovation Center, the evening featured appetizers and desserts from the DMACC Culinary program and live music by the DSM Dueling Fiddles.

Thursday saw a popular new event start in Joe’s Old Fashioned Fun Carnival. Making its home on the DMACC Newton Campus, the carnival featured rides including Pirates Revenge, the Whizzer, Mind Winder and several inflatable favorites that brought out many new visitors to the Newton Fest weekend.

Newton resident Jesse Iverson was enjoying Newton Fest for the first time at the carnival along with seven younger family members.

“The kids are having fun. They are all cousins, and they will have their memories forever,” Iverson said.

A steady crowd kept the rides busy Thursday through Saturday well into the evening and are an addition that is likely to be back next year.

“The carnival seems to be a really big hit with younger children and families,” Lowe said.

Friday brought back many favorites such as Chalk the Walk at the Newton Library and Junk Fest featuring antiques, repurposed and vintage goods from local vendors. Also on Friday, the Newton Wellness Coalition debuted the Community Wellness Games on the courthouse lawn. Thirteen teams of four came together in a friendly competition testing the brain and the body.

“It was a wonderful day full of fun, competition and awareness,” organizer Terri Walker said.

The competition had teams answering trivia questions about health and wellness or fun Newton facts, arranging food by calorie count, working together in a three-legged race and showing strength in a tug-of-war competition. The hour-long event brought many laughs, friendly competition and an increased awareness of ways to be healthy in everyday living.

While Volbeat, Avenged Sevenfold and headliner Metallica put on an unforgettable show at the Iowa Speedway, Thunder Nites’ feature band, After Shock, rocked the stage in downtown Newton. Sponsored by Weekend Pit Stop, the evening saw motorcyclists from around central Iowa for come together for great music, food and company.

Saturday of Newton Fest started early with the Birds & the Bees 5K Fun Run at the Newton Arboretum. Sponsored by Project AWAKE the races proceeds go towards supporting the Newton Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.

Popular events from previous years were back including the vendor fair, Backyard BBQ Competition, chainsaw artist Andy Klindt, “Cool Cars” Car Show, Newton Police and Fire’s Safety Fest and the Iowa Sculpture Festival Family Art Tent.

Music, which has become a staple of Newton Fest, was featured in a new event, the Local Music Showcase. Sponsored by 301 Studios, the showcase presented free live music from local entertainers in the DMACC Newton Campus corridor.

Acts including Nate Butler, World Gone Mad Rock & Roll Drum Corps, Justin Jagler, Misgivings Fall and many more filled the picturesque space with easy rock tunes, bass filled beats and unique originals Saturday afternoon leading up to the evenings featured bands.

With the sun setting on Newton Fest, opener Brother Trucker followed by featured artist Damon Dotson played to a full crowd wrapping up events for the year. Also at the DMACC Maytag Campus corridor, the concert was the perfect ending to a successful weekend.

“The corridor where we are having the music is amazing, an under utilized space in Newton. I think it is going to be a great place for other community events,” Lowe said.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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