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Paint the town

Posted August 27, 2014 in Boone
Suzy and Jesse Gulbranson enjoy a ride at the Scenic Valley Railroad.  Celebrating railroad heritage is what Pufferbilly Days is all about. Photo by Lori Berglund.

Suzy and Jesse Gulbranson enjoy a ride at the Scenic Valley Railroad. Celebrating railroad heritage is what Pufferbilly Days is all about. Photo by Lori Berglund.

There couldn’t be a better time to “Paint the Town Puffer” than the 38th annual Pufferbilly Days.

Slated for Thursday, Sept. 4 through Sunday, Sept. 7, Pufferbilly Days 2014 will have a little something for everyone.

Always the same things you love from year to year, always something new and different, and always a great time to reconnect with old friends, make a few new ones and celebrate the best of Boone.

“We put a lot of hard work into it, but seeing everyone have fun is my favorite part of it,” says Emily McColloch, events coordinator for the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce. “I also really enjoy getting together with all our volunteers and getting to catch up with all of them.”

Pufferbilly Days has always been a time to reconnect and celebrate all that Boone has to offer. McColloch is pleased to see the interest continue to grow.

“I’ve really had a lot of phone calls, reunions, and people really like to come back to Boone for Pufferbilly Days,” she notes.

Remembering our fallen
Pufferbilly Days will again feature plenty of old favorites as well as a few new events and celebrations.

One of the most dramatic will pay tribute to Iowans who have lost their lives in the War on Terror.

Maggie Whitney goes for a spin on a carnival ride at Pufferbilly Days 2013.  Photo by Lori Berglund.

Maggie Whitney goes for a spin on a carnival ride at Pufferbilly Days 2013.
Photo by Lori Berglund.

“Everyone who’s fallen since Sept. 11 is honored in the exhibit,” says McColloch. “It’s just a really neat tribute to our fallen heroes.”

“Remembering Our Fallen” is a special exhibit honoring the more than 80 Iowans who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.

McColloch is particularly pleased at the local support to bring the exhibit to Boone.

“We actually had the American Legion, the VFW and the Marine Corp League all pitch in together to make it happen,” says McColloch. “We’re all very thankful that they did that.”

The public is encouraged to attend the solemn opening ceremony for the exhibit at City Hall at noon on Friday, Sept. 5. Roll Call of the fallen and full military honors will be given. Guest speakers will include State Rep. Chip Baltimore, Boone County Veterans Affairs Director Kevin Brown and Coordinator of Survivor Outreach Services Misty Stumbo.

The exhibit will be open to the public at the City Hall auditorium from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday through Tuesday.

Putting a name to the men and women who have died in this conflict is a moving experience and brings home the reality of the lives lost, McColloch notes.

“I hope people really take advantage of this and come out to honor the fallen,” she notes. “It makes you thankful for the life you have.”

Bands include old favorites, new sounds
On a much different note, Pufferbilly Days will take a light-hearted approach to entertainment and draw attention to hometown and central Iowa talent with bands at the Entertainment Center downtown.

It’s always a good time to gather downtown during Pufferbilly Days. Photo by Lori Berglund.

It’s always a good time to gather downtown during Pufferbilly Days. Photo by Lori Berglund.

“We’re really glad to feature some local entertainment, so we have Hawk McIntyre, who’s here in Boone, and then we have Vinyl Vagabonds, which is from Ames,” McColloch notes.

McIntyre is just a freshman at Boone High School, but he’s already performed at venues from the Iowa State Fair to DMACC and a host of local celebrations and festivals.

McIntyre is set to perform from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Entertainment Center. Vinyl Vagabonds will follow from 8:30-10 p.m. Admission is free on Thursday night.

The Vagabonds feature a mix of folk, rock, blues and rockabilly music.

Also in the Entertainment Center, Burnin’ Sensations will be back by popular demand on Friday Night, but to mix things up on Saturday night there will be a new band in town. Toaster is known for playing songs that everyone knows and everyone loves to dance to all night long.

New twists on old favorites
In keeping with efforts to make Sunday all about family, Pufferbilly Days will feature a Family Fun Day on the Eighth Street green space from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will three inflatables set up for kids, as well as all the family-friendly events scheduled throughout the day. (See full event schedule at the end of this story for more.)

McColloch noted that the softball tournament is also expanding this year.

“Last year it was just one just one or two days, but this year it’s going to be a Thursday, Friday Saturday event,” she says.

A full list of entertainment options and registration forms can be found on the Chamber website.

Bike ride is back
A popular event that’s back for the first time in several years this year is the Pufferbilly Days Bike Ride.

“I did some research, and I know that at one time they had a bike ride for Pufferbilly Days, but in the two years I’ve been here we haven’t, and we’re excited to bring that back and make it part of the event again,” McColloch says.

Riders can choose among several different ride options. There will be a 7.5 mile Family Fun Ride around the city of Boone. For those wanting a longer trek, there will be a 34.5-mile ride to the Iowa Arboretum and back. In addition, there will be a “High Roller Ride” with three stops on this poker-style route.

More information about the ride and registration forms are also available on the Chamber website.

New volunteers always welcome
McColloch gives great credit to all the volunteers who help make Pufferbilly Days a success from year to year. She can’t even begin to count the number.

“Oh, that’s really hard to put a number to how many people volunteer,” McColloch says.
From setting up before the festivities begin, tearing down when it’s all done and all the many volunteers in between, she agrees that the total number of volunteers must be in the hundreds.

“We have everything from the brat stand to the memorabilia booth, the beer tent, the tickets — it takes so many volunteers that I don’t even know if I could put a number on it,” she says.

Pete Frangos is serving as chairman for the 2014 festival. He’s joined on the Pufferbilly Days Committee by Kurt Phillips, Fenner Stevenson, Holly Larson, Waylon Andrews, John Rouse, Jessica Russell, Darcy Bosch, Randy Johnson, Ed Knight, Kellie Molitor, Ron Russell, Jon Snedden, John Leland and Mike Marquardt.

New volunteers are always welcome and much in demand. For more information on volunteering, and the many volunteer opportunities available, contact McColloch at the Chamber office, (515) 432-3342.

Here’s a look at the full lineup of fun set for Pufferbilly Days 2014:

Thursday, Sept. 4
(Free entrance into the Entertainment Center)
•    5 p.m.: Little Miss & Mr. Pufferbilly Pageant
•    1:30 p.m.: Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad ride
•    5 p.m.: Carnival and games open, $15 unlimited ride armband special from 6 to 8 p.m.
•    5 p.m.: Food court, brat stand and beer tent open ($2 Thirsty Thursday Special)
•    5 p.m.: Classic Car Show downtown
•    5 p.m.: Photo Contest display
•    6 p.m.: Opening Ceremonies, Boone Veterans Council
•    7 p.m. Pufferbilly Unplugged concert featuring Hawk McIntrye and Vinyl Vagabonds
•    10 p.m.: Beer tent closes

Friday, Sept. 5
($2 entrance into the Entertainment Center)
•    9 a.m.: Quilt Show, Boone County Historical Society
•    11 a.m.: Food court, brat stand open
•    1:30 p.m.: Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad ride
•    4 p.m.: Carnival and games open
•    5 p.m.: Beer tent open
•    6 p.m.: Bingo with Ogden Lions
•    6 p.m.: Softball tournament
•    7:30 p.m.: Burnin’ Sensations concert
•    12 a.m.: Beer tent closes

Saturday, Sept. 6
($2 entrance into the Entertainment Center)
•    7 a.m.: Pufferbilly Days 5K and 10K run
•    9 a.m.: Craft Fair opens downtown
•    9 a.m.: Quilt Show, Boone County Historical Society
•    9 a.m.: Food court, brat stand open
•    9 a.m.: Softball tournament
•    9:30 a.m.: Pufferbilly Days Parade down Story Street; dance and tumbling teams perform downtown following the parade
•    10 a.m.: Beer tent opens
•    11 a.m.: Tailgate party for Iowa State vs. Kansas State and Iowa vs. Missouri State
•    11 a.m.: Carnival and games open
•    Noon: Bags Tournament, located by Entertainment Area
•    1 p.m.: Motorcycle show
•    1:15 p.m.: Parade Band Awards
•    1:30 p.m.: Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad ride
•    1:30 p.m.: Kids’ Choo Choo Fun Ride
•    1:30 p.m.: Spelling Bee, open to all first through ninth graders, Herman Park Pavilion
•    5 p.m.: Bingo with Ogden Lions
•    6 p.m.: Craft Fair closes
•    7:30 p.m.: Toaster concert
•    Midnight: Beer tent closes

Sunday, Sept. 7
• 9 a.m.: Pufferbilly Days Bike Ride
•    9:30 a.m.: Pufferbilly Days Church Service, Herman/McHose Park
•    10 a.m.: Food court opens
•    10 a.m.: Craft Fair opens
•    10 a.m.: Mud volleyball, fairgrounds
•    10 a.m.: Horseshoe tournament, Memorial Park
•    10:30 a.m.: Family Fun Day
•    11 a.m.: Pet show, Herman/McHose Park
•    12:30 p.m.: Spelling Bee
•    1:30 p.m.: Barbecue cook-off
•    1:30 p.m.: Quilt show, Boone County Historical Society
•    1:30 p.m.: Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad ride
•    3 p.m.: Craft Fair closes





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