CORALVILLE (July 29, 2021) – FRYfest, the annual kickoff to the college football season, today announced that the event’s theme will be “Celebrating the Legends,” as it is the first FRYfest event since the passing of its namesake, Hayden Fry, in December 2019. The event takes place in Coralville’s Iowa River Landing on Friday, September 3.

“We haven’t been able to celebrate Coach Fry’s life and legacy since he passed away in December 2019. You can bet he’s looking down at us with his friend, Bump Elliott, waiting for an Iowa-style High Porch Picnic. We’re going to celebrate them in a great way,” said Josh Schamberger, president of Think Iowa City and founder of FRYfest.

Organizers say there will be panel discussions throughout the afternoon of the event that will pay tribute to Fry, Elliott, and other Hawkeye greats. These panels will consist of those closest to Coach Fry, as well as those in the news media that covered his teams.

“It’s well known that Hayden used his psychology background to motivate his players in many ways. One of those ways was how he spoke to the media. You know these guys have some stories to tell,” laughed Schamberger.

Also announced is that the 80’s-to-2000’s cover band, The Spazmatics, will return to headline the Gilcrest/Jewett outdoor stage. “We had a great response following their performance in 2019. They sound great, they are a lot of fun, and they play music that we all know with their own twist. It’s just a good time,” said Monica Nieves, event director. Tickets are $5 and will be available August 10 and at the gate.

Returning are FRYfest mainstays like the World’s Largest Hawkeye tradeshow, Kids Zone inflatables area, Ultimate Hawkeye Trivia Contest, bags tournament, blood drive, Hall of Fame panel, pep rally, and fireworks. New to the event are the FRYfest Games. The GreenState Family Fieldhouse will host Pickleball and 3-on-3 basketball competitions throughout the day. Registration for the games will open at

FRYfest is produced by Think Iowa City with partnerships from the City of Coralville and University of Iowa Athletics. Key sponsorship is provided by the Eastern Iowa Airport and GreenState Credit Union. More details at

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