What makes people want to “Get to Know Newton?” Well, those of us involved with the landmark 25th Annual Bowlful of Blues Festival can report that, for one fantastic day on Sept. 3, it was the convergence of many volunteers and the estimated 1,000 local, state, regional and national attendees who enjoyed Maytag Park. Many year-long volunteers, including the Bowlful of Blues Planning Committee, the festival-day volunteers from all over Jasper County as well as Des Moines volunteers (compliments of Central Iowa Blues Society), many sponsors/advertisers/in-kind donors, great local and statewide advertising and publicity support (a special shout-out to Danielle Rogers of the City of Newton) all helped to make this a hugely successful 25th Bowlful of Blues.
The work required to put together a festival of this scope is immense, but so is the joy derived from this enduring feature of the Newton landscape. Many young people approached members of our organization wondering how they can get involved. Many people reported they traveled from outside the county and will be back. Many Newtonians reported they didn’t know how great this event was until they finally decided to attend. The blues is surprisingly diverse and alluring, attracting lovers of all kinds of music. So, this is the enduring “festival that could” — started by hard-working people of the area, and continuing with the ethic of being a hands-on working volunteer organization ever since. So, we invite you, no matter your age or status, to put your stamp on the 26th Bowlful of Blues. Change is in the wind as our president ends her term, making way for yet another era and vibrant chapter in Bowlful of Blues history. We’re not hard to find: Facebook — South Skunk Blues, or email@example.com or www.southskunkblues.org — With the help of new volunteers, young and old, we will keep making sure more people Get To Know Newton in 2018.
Elaine Mattingly, Lorraine Overhouse and Mike Retman
South Skunk Blues Society Board of Directors