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Stop here for fun

In to the Wind

July 12, 2012
By Mike Gilchrist , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Editor's note: Mike, as one of the co-founders and chairs of the Toledo Stoplight festival was extremely busy last Friday as deadline for his column approached.

The following is the his column which appeared before the premier of the first Stoplight Festival in 2010.

This space, usually reserved for idle banter has been turned over to promotion of a summer activity planned for Downtown Toledo.

Article Photos

Organizers have given the green light for a night of fun on the Courthouse Square in Downtown Toledo for Friday July 9, 2010.

Billed as The Toledo Stoplight Festival, it will be held in conjunction with the Farmers Market and Tama Toledo Chamber of Commerce Barbecue Cook-off, and is scheduled to begin at 5:00 PM, and end at 8:00 PM.

Beginning at 5 p.m., the usual time for Farmers Market to start, several activities are planned, and two bands are scheduled to perform.

A local band, Four Happy Chaps, comprised of Joe Murphy, Jeremiah Murphy, Clyde Purk, and Joe Rebik will perform first. Later in the evening a regionally renowned bluegrass band from Des Moines, Mr. Baber's Neighbors will perform.

Organizers and sponsors have positioned this festival as an all county, family night of fun. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or a blanket and settle in for the evening. You may bring your own picnic or purchase food from various vendors who will be set-up around the Courthouse Square.

A Nickel Scramble, a bounce house, and other children's activities are planned. The fire department plans a kid's water fight.

The Wieting Theater Guild plans to have a dunk tank in operation during the festival.

The Tama Toledo Chamber is planning their annual Barbecue Cook-off in conjunction with the festival. The BBQ Cook-off committee is currently seeking businesses to sponsor chefs. This year they are asking that each business supply their chef with the ingredients and supplies needed, including the grill, to serve approximately 200 people.

If your business is willing to sponsor a chef, or has any other questions regarding this part of the festival, you may contact Gery Hagerty at 641-751-7301, or the Chamber office at 641-484-6661. The Chamber of Commerce may also be reached by email at There will be prizes for the top 3 grillers.

The Toledo Stoplight, which was built in 1949, has been refurbished and reconditioned. A new base has been poured, and the city of Toledo has a renewed interest in preserving this historical landmark.

As part of the festival, a plaque dedication for the stoplight, by the Stoplight Restoration Committee is planned.

The committee is looking for vendors wishing, for a nominal fee, to set up a table or booth to highlight their business or organization, or to sell food and refreshments. They are also looking for vendors to showcase their arts and crafts during the festival.

The Stoplight Festival Committee is eager to field new committee members or activity ideas. Please email any comments or ideas to

So there you have it.

I think this is going to be a fun filled evening. Yours truly has even agreed to take a seat in the dunk tank. Come and try to dunk me. Some of you think I'm all wet already, so here is your chance to prove it.

Until next time --

In to the Wind and this column are copyright 2010 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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