Junque fever

WEBSTER CITY — Webster City residents can expect some guests from all over the Midwest during Memorial Day Weekend this year.

Last year, visitors to the annual Junquefest vendor show came from 84 communities in Iowa and six states, including Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Indiana, and Arkansas.

Junquefest 2018 is scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend in downtown Webster City where vendors will feature primitives, vintage, repurposed, yard art, rusty finds, architectural salvage, up-cycled items, painted products, and handmade items. Local wineries will also be in attendance selling their wares.

Junquefest is the largest event that the Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce coordinates each year.

“We had thousands of people attend the event in past years and we are working hard to make this the best one yet,” said Denise Smith, who wears many hats as the 2018 vendor coordinator, a member of the Chamber Board of Directors and the owner of SOS Vintage in downtown Webster City.

“An added amenity for our guests will be that volunteers will be available to help deliver large items to shoppers’ vehicles thanks to the use of utility vehicles on loan from Woolstock Equipment and Gerber Auto. Vendors will receive bags filled with information about Webster City merchants which will include coupons and gift items that welcome them to our community,” Smith said.

Streets blocked Thursday

Streets will be blocked on Thursday afternoon for vendors to set up and for reasons of safety, the public is asked to refrain from visiting the venue until the show begins at noon on Friday. “Anyone that is not associated with the event that is downtown during setup time will be put to work,” said Volunteer Coordinator and Chamber Intern, Breean Hoyt.

Second Street will be closed between Prospect and Seneca Streets. The 600 and 700 blocks of Des Moines Street and Wilson Avenue will also be closed. Thru traffic will not be allowed along the alley behind the 500, 600 and 700 blocks of Second Street.

Officials said downtown merchants encourage residents to visit local businesses as many will be open throughout the weekend and accessible from the parking in the rear of the stores as well as along the event route.

Kristen Crystal of First State Bank, JunqueFest Team member and member of the Chamber Board of Directors emphasized some of the benefits of hosting the event downtown.

“We love to showcase our local businesses and all that we have to offer. Our downtown is unique from anywhere else and we want to invite folks to check it out. The event will be handicapped accessible and stroller-friendly, and in case of rain showers, the pavement will dry quickly, and we can continue to have fun.”

George Johnston draws on his experience as the Parking Coordinator for Shellabration in Fort Dodge to plan the logistics of JunqueFest parking this year. “Handicapped and public parking will be available close to the venue and clearly marked with directional signage for folks to easily find their way to the event.” Directional and Parking signage sponsored by SOS Vintage will be placed around the community.

New to the event this year will be a food court and picnic table seating, as well as Music in the Park that will be going on throughout the weekend at Availa Bank Plaza. Everyone is encouraged to bring their lawn chairs, visit the food court or dine in local restaurants and enjoy musical entertainment, while taking a break from shopping local merchants and JunqueFest vendors. Music in the Park will showcase local talent in an open-mic format throughout the weekend. Musicians can contact the Chamber to sign up to perform.

New events

Many new activities are being added to the event this year. Event information and a running list of vendors is being added to the website as it comes available. These updates and a map can be found on the Junquefest website at www.junquefest.com

A pancake breakfast fundraiser hosted by American Legion Post 191 will be held on Saturday and Sunday from 7 to 11 a.m.

A church service at the Availa Bank Plaza will take place on Sunday morning

Farmers Market will be located north of the JunqueFest venue on Saturday morning and will include many local vendors and food producers.

The Webster Theater will have a matinee at 2 p.m. and will be showing the movie “Avengers: Infinity Wars.”

Spangler Automotive, another JunqueFest sponsor, will be showcasing their Mustang Convertible give-away contest. Information on how to sign up for tickets to win will be available.

In celebration of their 10-year anniversary, a street dance will be held at The Grid Iron Family Grill & Sports Lounge located on the east side of Webster City on Saturday night from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. There will be live music featuring the Kris Karr Band, a 5-member band that hails from the rural areas of central Iowa and has strong vocals, skilled song writing, and polished sound in a mix of Americana and full harmony vocals.

Registration is available online at www.junquefest.com.

“It is our hope that this event will increase the awareness of what Webster City has to offer so more people will come back and bring their friends and family! Last year we had thousands of people come for the event and we had a lot of positive feedback about our community” says Linda Christianson, Chamber executive director.

This event is supported in part by the City of Webster City Hotel Motel Grant and local sponsors, including Seneca Foundry and those sponsors previously mentioned. A list of sponsors and show information can be found at www.junquefest.com.

Follow JunqueFest on Facebook and Twitter before and during the event. Photos of the event will be posted multiple times each day of the event, which will be facilitated by Social Media Sponsor, U.S. Cellular Premier Locations. You can find photos of the event at #junquefest.

Volunteer opportunities can be found on www.junquefest.com, by contacting the Chamber at 832-2564 or stopping at the office at 628 Second St., Webster City.