Saturday, January 13, 2018

Small Talk of Iowa #1: What Brand-New Festival Would You Create in Iowa?

I'm going to try something new tonight. Back in 2016 when I was trying to create a community radio station for Iowa City, I came up with an idea for a show called "Small Talk of Iowa." It was a riff on IPR's "Talk of Radio" program and would feature loose discussions picked from my Iowa Chat Pack. That never materialized, but I thought that I'd give it a try here on Jon's Blog and see where it takes me:
In Iowa, we have hundreds of fairs and festivals celebrating everything from tulips to sheep & wool to Glenn Miller. If you could add a brand-new festival to our statewide list, what would it be?
I would like to create something called Amish Fest somewhere in the state. Possibly in Washington or Riverside, but possibly also in the Northeast Iowa. The nice thing about Washington County is that it has a local Amish and Mennonite population. Plus, it's just off of Interstate 380 and relatively close to an airport in case anyone flew in from far away.

We would feature plenty of vendors, including several vendors from the local Amish population. I would fly in Amish celebrities, from such programs such as "Breaking Amish"/"Return to Amish," "Amish: Out of Order," and "Amish Mafia." I understand that these are reality TV shows that stretch the bounds of reality, but people know these people and they're likely to attract visitors from other communities. I would also try to bring in some writers and speakers for more down-to-earth programming. And then I would see how things unfold.

What brand-new festival would you create in Iowa if you had the power? Please share in the comments section!

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