Vinton, Iowa: Iowans who missed the state fair this year will have a second chance to see a piece of the fair's history recreated at Boomtown in Vinton, Iowa on Saturday, August 24. The festival's main event will include a "Pyrotechnic Trainwreck," an explosive reenactment of the head-on locomotive collisions made famous by "Head-On Joe" Connolly at Iowa State Fairs in the late 1890s and early 1900s.
"It's an impressive display that comes with a little Iowa history lesson," said Charles Yedlik, Iowa Pyrotechnic Association President. "Head-On Joe's locomotive collisions were reportedly a financial salvation, bringing tens of thousands to the fair at a time when it was struggling. This year, the Pyrotechnic Trainwreck will draw thousands to Vinton as part of a firework display that's said to rival the show at Walt Disney World.
Festivities start Friday, August 23, at the Benton County Fairgrounds with food vendors, live entertainment and a fireworks preview show. Saturday kicks off at 10 a.m. with Boomfest in Vinton's downtown, including kids' activities, vendors and more. The Benton County Fairgrounds re-opens on Saturday at 4 p.m. for more live entertainment, pyrotechnic demonstrations and the main event at 9:30. Picnic-style seating is available for free throughout the fairgrounds. Grandstand seating is limited and costs $5 per person. Front-row "Boom Box" seats are $10. Details, including a complete schedule of events, are available at www.vintonboomtown.com.
Boomtown is Iowa's largest firework festival and organized by the Iowa Pyrotechnics Association (IPA) and Vinton Unlimited. The event started in 2007 as part of the IPA's annual meeting and has grown to become the state's most renowned firework display.