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A festival is coming, a festival is coming!

In to the Wind

May 31, 2011
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Yes Virginia, there is going to be a Toledo Stoplight Festival this year! Contrary to recently heard rumors, planning is well under way for what should be a stellar festival this year.

How do rumors get started? I think some people just have a shortage of sense, and an abundance of free time. As one of the planners for the festival this year, I can tell you certain things.

Abby, the endearing character from NCIS, played by Pauley Perrette, was heard to exclaim on a certain episode, “Oh my God. I got this email that says I may have already won fifty million dollars and I’m really, really psyched!”

There are five bands lined up for the festival this year! Mariachi Ameca will start the show. The second band will be Malek’s Fishermen Band. Third on the billing will be Seymour Brothers Band, formerly Texas and Legend. The next band taking the stage on the Courthouse Bandstand is Inner Light. The final act, returning to our festival for the second year is Four Happy Chaps.

This is the second year for the Toledo Stoplight Festival. The festival is a celebration of the historic landmark which sits in the middle of the main intersection in downtown Toledo. This historic stoplight has been directing and playing bumper cars with traffic since 1949. Ours is a celebration of its faithful and enduring service to the community.

The Toledo Stoplight Festival is being held in conjunction with the Toledo Farmers Market and the annual Tama Toledo Chamber of Commerce BBQ Cook Off.

By decree of the organizers, including yours truly, the festival will be an annual event on the Friday following the 4th of July. This year it happens to fall on July 8, 2011. Beginning at 5:00 pm when the Farmers Market whistle blows, and ending at 10:00 pm, many family oriented activities are planned.

Every Friday at 5:00 pm throughout the season, the Toledo Farmers Market vendors offer homegrown produce and homemade baked goods for sale to the public Once again this year, the market will be the cornerstone of the festival.

The Annual Tama Toledo Chamber of Commerce BBQ Cook Off has been a popular happening on the courthouse square in Toledo. We are proud to once again be associated with this event. Revelers will be able to sample BBQ fare from several local culinary artists, and vote for their favorite delight. The winner will be announced during the festival.

The Toledo firemen will once again host their ever popular water fight. Last year, this activity was well-liked by the kids. Participants should be prepared to get VERY wet! This event will be staged at the north end of the courthouse square, close to where other kid related activities will be located.

While the BBQ Cook Off is a chance to sample some food, there will also be several food vendors situated close to the square to serve the public. My suggestion would be to get your produce early from the Farmers Market vendors. Next, think of the BBQ Cook Off samples as your appetizer. Then, find one of the food vendors to fix your main entrée for you. Finally, settle in for an evening of musical entertainment and enjoy the festival activities.

We will have picnic tables located on the square, but bring your lawn chair or blanket so you can sit and enjoy all the fine music we have planned.

So mark your calendar!

Toledo Stoplight Festival

Friday July 8, 2011

5:00 pm until 10:00 pm

Tama County Courthouse Square, downtown Toledo, Iowa

Music, food, entertainment

Until next time—

You can read past columns by visiting and clicking on the “Local Columns” button at the bottom of the page.

In to the Wind and this column are copyright 2011 Mike Gilchrist. Readers, feel free to contact me at via email, or write to me at P.O. Box 255, Toledo, IA 52342.

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