Schedule of events released for Fairfield’s 175th birthday
Fairfield will celebrate its 175th birthday this year and the community has a lot to celebrate.
From being named “one of America’s best small towns” by Smithsonian magazine to being dubbed “America’s most unusual town” by Oprah Winfrey, Fairfield approaches life with a lot of diversity.
This year’s celebration will honor Fairfield’s past, present and future during a four-day period. The festivities will be held during the July 4th weekend and will encompass a wide variety of events including a parade and an impressive fireworks display.
The celebration begins on Thursday, July 3 at 4 p.m. with the premier showing of the Lee Gobble collection of historic photos and postcards at the Carnegie Historical Museum.
The Lee Gobble Collection encompasses a vast array of historic artifacts and is a significant addition to the museum’s collection. The museum also houses Parson College memorabilia and artifacts that connect Fairfield to Abraham Lincoln.
1st Fridays Art Walk, held on Friday, July 4, will honor Fairfield’s rich cultural traditions. Art walk, which has garnered two Iowa Tourism awards, will honor Fairfield’s history and what’s on its horizon with art, music, children’s activities and a historic photo display on the square. The events start at 6 p.m. and this promises to be a great place to celebrate the Fourth of July with family and friends. Food and craft vendors will be on hand.
On Saturday, July 5, the celebration continues with the Fairfield Farmers Market located at Howard Park. Local farmers and crafters will be on hand as well as Nauvoo on the Road, an historic performing group who will be demonstrating pioneer crafts such as rope and soap making.
The Farmers market is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The historic Maasdam Barns, located south on Highway 1, next to the Jefferson County Health Center, will be home to an antique tractor show. Tractors will be on display from 9 a.m. to noon before leaving to join the parade.
At 2 p.m., the 175th Celebration parade will travel from the Fairfield High School to the square and continue north to Howard Park. The parade will highlight area businesses, Fairfield’s history, and will also have a special kid’s section. Area children are invited to participate in the parade and may dress up or decorate bicycles in a patriotic theme.
Waterworks Park will be the location for the main celebration event. Festivities start at 4 p.m. with children activities, historic games, tours of Bonnifield Cabin and more. Bonnifield Cabin is considered to be the oldest remaining white settler's cabin in Iowa. Area musicians and country dancers will be on hand to entertain the crowd.
Bring your dancing shoes and enjoy the sounds of Jefferson County Green Band and East of Omaha Band who will be taking center stage from 4:30 to 9:45 p.m. To cap off the evening, the largest fireworks display Fairfield has ever had will take place at the park. There will be plenty of food available as well so bring your family, bring your lawn chairs and enjoy some amazing fireworks!
On Sunday, July 6th, the Fairfield Square will be filled with cars for the Fairfield 175th Celebration Car Show. Cars will be on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and live music and a children’s coloring contest will add to the day.
The local quilt guild has created a commemorative quilt which includes photos of local historic buildings. The quilt, which is intended to be a wall hanging, will be raffled off, with the winner to be drawn at the end of the weekend. Raffle ticket can be purchased from committee members and also at O’Grady Cleaners.
Funds raised from this raffle will help defray expenses from the weekend. Raffle tickets, along with commemorative T-shirts will be on sale during Art Walk as well as the entire July 4th weekend. T shirts are also available at Hy Vee, The Chamber of Commerce and at City Hall. Whatever your plans are for the July 4th weekend, take some time to help Fairfield celebrate this momentous occasion. For more information visit http://www.travelfairfield.com/fairfields-175th-birthday or contact the visitors bureau at 472-2828.