Bring your family to the "Best Small Town Celebration in Iowa," the 99th Annual Farmers Day in Jesup. "Come Together" is the theme for this year's celebration, in observance of The Beatles' arrival in America 50 years ago. The Saturday night musical entertainment on July 12 headlines Liverpool: A Tribute to the Beatles at 9 PM, followed by The Crayons, a club band from Kansas City at 11 PM. Opening for these two groups is Gary Charlson on acoustical guitar at 8 PM. All this music is absolutely free!
Hours and hours of free entertainment takes place on the Farmers Day Stage all three days, plus more entertainment and activity in the Gazebo in Land O' Corn Park on Saturday.
Entertainment & fun
Begin Farmers Day with a "Celebration of Community" on Wednesday, July 9, in the Park Pavilion in downtown Jesup at 7 PM. The event is hosted by the Jesup Ministerial Association and includes a time of fellowship both before and after the celebration; be sure to enjoy some free dessert as well.
Traditional Farmers Day events from July 10-12 include a carnival midway that compares to many county fair midways, with special Wrist Band rates of just $14 to ride all night on Thursday, and $14 to ride all afternoon on Friday. Delicious foods are everywhere, and there are dances, music, artists, vendors, parades, competitions and so much more!
For Farmers Day this year, there will be musicians from all over the United States, including Kansas City, Branson, New York and right here in the Cedar Valley.
Thursday night's music is by Talon at about 8:30 PM from Cedar Falls/Waterloo; their music from the late '90s and the past decade will be a sure hit for the younger set.
Friday afternoon, enjoy New York country singer/songwriter Chris Kemp, who just completed a south Florida tour, on stage in the Park Pavilion from 3-5 PM. On Friday night, Branson's Bill Chrastil will wow the crowd with the music of Elvis, Conway Twitty, Neil Diamond, Tom Jones and Johnny Cash beginning at 6:30 PM. After Chrastil, be sure to see Michael J. Thoma and Friends as they return to Farmers Day with their heartland ballads that lean toward the country style of music.
Catch Chris Kemp again on Saturday from 12 Noon to 4:30 PM in the Gazebo; while listening to Kemp, get a free caricature sketch from artist Barb Jacobs at the Gazebo on Saturday.
Returning attractions to Farmers Day include the Square Dance, the 5K Run/Walk, the Domestic Arts Show (in the newly-remodeled basement of City Hall again this year), Bingo in the park, the Petting Zoo, Children's Games, Eric Michaels Magic Show, Beer Garden and the Great Farmers Day Parade.
Contests for kids this Farmers Day are the Prince & Princess Contest (25th Anniversary) on Thursday night, the Pet Show on Friday afternoon, the Talent Show on Saturday afternoon, and the Children's Tractor Pull.
Don't miss the newly-added Quilt Show in the American Legion Hall on Saturday from 11 AM-4:30 PM.
Community organizations will man food booths that serve up a delicacy to everyone's taste such as brats, funnel cakes, donuts, ice cream, lemonade, pie, maidrites, fries, barbecued pork sandwiches, tacos, nachos and more.
The 65th Annual Great Farmers Day Parade kicks off at 10 AM on Saturday, July 12, and has so many entries, it takes at least an hour to see it all!
Farmers Day, Inc. President Alan Wright invites everyone to "Come Together" for this year's Farmers Day celebration in Jesup, July 10-12!
For a complete listing and schedule of activities for Farmers Day go to www.jesupfarmersday.org, or call 319-827-1128.
Liverpool will take you on a magical trip back to the beginning where it all began for the Fab Four ... Liverpool. It may not be John, Paul, George and Ringo, but this is as close as one can get to a Beatles reunion.
Liverpool's performance spans the entire Beatles career from The Ed Sullivan Show to Abbey Road. There's something for everyone at a Liverpool show. The band prides itself on playing a wide variety of selections including songs that other tribute bands do not play.
Forming a tribute band
A loyal following for more than 20 years is testimony to Liverpool's authentic look, sound and dedication to the craft.
But, how does one put together a Beatles tribute band? Are there auditions and searches for John, Paul, George and Ringo look-alikes?
According to Larry Kips [John Lennon in the band], three members of Liverpool started as a club band called "The Crayons" in Kansas City in the 1980s.
"We played '60s music and a lot of it was the Beatles," said Kips. "At some point, we said why don't we do a tribute band?"
The band members saw "Beatlemania" of Broadway come through their area, and began the transformation to what is now called "Liverpool: A Tribute to the Beatles."
The process took about a year of rehearsals. Kips said it took a long time to acquire the right wigs, staging, authentic costumes and the same vintage guitars and equipment used by the Beatles.
"We started early in the 1990s when there were only about five Beatles tribute bands back then," said Kips. "We're among the original ones."
Band members are Larry Kips as "John," Dave Tanner as "Paul," Steve Davis as "George," and Gary Butler as "Ringo." Offstage sounds are provided by keyboard player Mark Agnew to round out the famous sound that the Beatles created and made famous in the recording studio.
During the past 25 years, Liverpool has performed all over the United States before crowds as large as 10,000-15,000 people.
"The band does a good job," concluded Kips, explaining the groups popularity and longevity.
The appeal of the Beatles crosses all generations and is great entertainment for families, children and teenagers, as well as the generation that grew up with their music.
Be sure to see Liverpool: A Tribute to the Beatles on July 12 at 9 PM.
Other music on stage
Gary Charlson is not a member of Liverpool, but he was an original member of the 1980s club band, The Crayons. He will perform an acoustic guitar solo set at 8 PM on the Farmers Day Stage.
Liverpool plays at 9 PM, followed by The Crayons at 11 PM. They will perform all the best songs from the 1960s and '70s.
Don't miss this night of great music in downtown Jesup.
Farmers Day in Jesup will be July 10, 11 and 12, 2014.
The Beer Tent area will be expanded to include the Pavilion during the evenings. This change will allow everyone to enjoy both the entertainment on stage and beverages from the Beer Tent.
The time for the expanded Beer Tent will vary from night to night and will be appropriate for that evening's entertainment. For example, the Beer Tent will not be expanded during the Prince & Princess Contest on Thursday evening.
Watch the newspaper and the Farmers Day Schedule for the expanded Beer Garden hours.
In the meantime, let family and relatives know the Farmers Day dates so everyone can enjoy the celebration, and remember, Liverpool: A Tribute to the Beatles" will take the Farmers Day Stage on Saturday night, July 12.
This year's Farmers Day Theme is "Come Together" in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles arrival in the USA to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Aaren Balvanz plays bass guitar, Marc Kramer and John Schloemer are both lead guitarists and Rich Schmidt plays drums for the group. All four musicians sing.
Talon plays favorite hits from the past four decades, and they have over 70 songs in their arsenal, including "Plush" by Stone Temple Pilots, "Shine" and "December" by Collective Soul, "Far Behind" by Candle Box, "Wonder Wall" by Oasis, "Kryptinite" by 3 Doors Down, "The Middle" by Jimmy Eats World, "Times Like These" by the Foo Fighters, "Who Says You Can't Come Home" by Bon Jovi, "How Far We've Come" by Matchbox 20 and "Tonight" by Seether.
Talon brings a level of professionalism to each and every performance.
Remember, new this year, the Beer Tent area will be expanded to include the Pavilion during the evenings. This change will allow everyone to enjoy both the entertainment on stage and beverages from the Beer Tent.
The time for the expanded Beer Tent will vary from night to night and will be appropriate for that evening's entertainment.
On Thursday night, the Beer Tent will be expanded to the pavilion AFTER the Prince & Princess Contest.
“It takes a lot of willing people and lots of money to make Farmers Day happen each year,” explained Farmers Day president Alan Wright. “In order for Farmers Day to continue as it has for so many years, we need to have enough income each year. We ask all attendees of Farmers Day events to be sure to patronize all the local Farmers Day vendors, including food and beverage providers located in the park, so that the Farmers Day board will be able to continue the tradition of successful celebrations for years to come.”
It takes over $30,000 to put on the Jesup Farmers Day celebration each summer, according to records of the Farmers Day, Inc. Board of Directors.
Most years, the celebration has returned several thousand dollars in cash flow (income over expenses) to the Farmers Day bank account.
This money is kept on hand as a self-funded insurance policy to make sure all the bills can be paid for the event each year -- even if foul weather or disaster would strike, and all or most of the income expected from the event just wouldn’t materialize. So even in the event of a disastrous year, Farmers Day would have enough money to pay its bills and continue on the next year.
Over the last several decades, Farmers Day has also been able to generate funds for a number of important investments in Farmers Day, and in the community.
1. Farmers Day paid for the building of the huge pavilion in the downtown “Land O’ Corn” Park, where most of the Farmers Day activities take place.
2. Farmers Day paid for the materials for a storage building near the city’s shed on Tenth Street. This storage building is used for Farmers Day materials. (Thanks to Rex Reinhart for providing the labor for this building.)
3. Farmers Day has paid for all or much of many other electrical, concrete and “additions” to the pavilion as needed over the years.
4. Farmers Day funds a scholarship for a Jesup High School senior each year through Dollars for Scholars.
5. Farmers Day has purchased many of the Holiday decorations used in Jesup over the years.
6. Farmers Day has purchased equipment needed to operate the funnel cake stand, investing thousands of dollars over a number of years.
7. Farmers Day paid all the expenses to have the old one-room school house moved to the Jesup School grounds, even moving the rocks from the original foundation into town and replaced them under the school. They also reroofed the old school and put in a new hardwood floor.
8. Farmers Day was in charge of RAGBRAI the year it came through Jesup.
9. Farmers Day made a donation to the Jesup Community School Band program.
10. Farmers Day made a donation to the new All-Weather Track and Football Complex project at Jesup Community School.
11. Farmers Day, in cooperation with the City of Jesup and local organizations, produced the entire Sesquicentennial Celebration in 2010, and the Quasquicentennial Celebration in 1985. Most communities have to fundraise for months to have an historical community celebration.
12. And last, but not least, Farmers Day provides the opportunity for civic and religious organizations to raise funds for a good deal of their annual expenses with their Farmers Day food stands.
However, over the past several years, Farmers Day has seen its largest income stream — the beer garden — drop in half.
The beer garden income normally represents 30% or more of the entire celebration’s operating budget, enough to pay for all the FREE entertainment each year.
In the last two years, however, that income stream has dropped almost in half, resulting in an actual cash loss for Farmers Day in 2012.
The major income streams for Farmers Day each year are:
• The Beer Garden
• The Carnival, which pays a percentage of its income to Farmers Day
• Local non-profit organizations, which contribute 15% of their sales to Farmers Day;
• The Funnel Cake/Mini Donut Stand, which is operated by Farmers Day;
• The 5K Run
• Miscellaneous income — which comes from souvenir sales, t-shirts (when available), history books, cook books, etc.
Expenses for Farmers Day include:
• Stage Entertainment.
This is the largest part of the Farmers Day budget each year, taking 30-50% of the income. Admission has always been free to every single Farmers Day entertainment event -- and frequently Farmers Day is the ONLY venue where a person can see these quality entertainers without paying an admission charge.
• Marketing and Advertising.
Farmers Day has successfully promoted this event regionally for many, many years, resulting in huge turnouts for the celebration each year. Less than 10% of the event’s income is used for marketing.
• Cost of goods sold.
This is the cost of the beer and other beverages, the mix for the donuts and funnel cakes, beer licenses, t-shirts (when sold) etc.
A major expense for Farmers Day each year is insurance coverage.
There are many miscellaneous expenses each year. Prizes for the parade and domestic arts, printing of flyers, tickets, sign-up sheets, decorations and more.
The Farmers Day board decided to NOT offer t-shirts for sale this year because in recent years very little money, if any, has been made from the t-shirts.
It takes hundreds, maybe even thousands of volunteer hours to make Farmers Day happen.
President Alan Wright, and board members Dawn Quackenbush, Dale Rueber, Peggy Shaffer, Wayne Natvig and Kim Adams put in many volunteer hours planning the event each year. Chairpersons for each of the major events also spent a great deal of time planning, then carrying out these events. They include: Doug Frush for the beer garden; Sarah Curry for the Prince and Princess Contest; Wayne Natvig for the Great Parade; Dawn Quackenbush for the Talent Show; Teri Schares for the Children’s Parade; Josh Zuck for the Children’s Games; Pat McIntosh and Karen Frost for the Domestic Arts Show; Kyle Troyer and Steve Pedersen for the 5K run; Jerry and Donna Amfahr for the Square Dance; Paul Nagel for the children’s Tractor Pull, Dave Sabers for all the seating in the pavilion and Alan Wright for everything else!
Each of the organizations that provides food or entertainment booths also have hundreds of volunteer hours involved. They include: St. Athanasius Bingo and Food Booth, Boy Scout Food Both, Lions Club Brats and Hot Dog stand; Jesup School Lemonade Stand; Friends of Library Popcorn and Ice Cream stand.
Request for Support
“We thank all the thousands of people who have supported Farmers Day over the years,” Wright concluded. “We ask for your continued support this year.”