COLFAX – With the warm sun and hot temperatures returning to Jasper County, it is a perfect time of year to stop by Quarry Springs Park and enjoy the cool water.
From its fishing derby to its outdoor music concert, the Colfax Parks and Recreation Auxiliary Board is making it easy to find an excuse to come to Quarry Springs in June and enjoy a day of fresh air.
Children up to 18 years old have a chance to win fabulous prizes, from toys to gift cards, at Colfax Parks and Recreation Auxiliary Board’s second annual fishing derby June 3 at Quarry Springs. The event will allow participants to catch fish on the west lake from 9 to 11 a.m.
“We had a little (more than) 80 kids register last year and come. We are hoping for a little growth. We are hoping for (more than) 100 this year,” marketing and promotions chair Patrick Utz said. “Kids love the outdoors. They don’t like to be cooped up inside. Fishing allows them to get some exercise and go outside. Let them run around a little bit. Let them be curious. Just by giving them a worm, they are intrigued by it.”
The board member said this year’s derby will feature three age divisions.
“I think if you are 12 or older, it is all about luck with fishing,” he said. “You are probably going to be in the same boat as all of them.”
Although parents and adults are not allowed to participate in the competition, they are encouraged to fish, as the derby coincides with Iowa’s Free Fishing Weekend. This weekend allows anyone to fish without a license.
“Hopefully people will come out, see that there is good fishing and explore the park more next time they come,” Utz said. “We have a diverse ecosystem at the park and new things if people haven’t been there since last year.”
According to Utz, officials will be on location to take measurements of large fish during the event. Registration for the fishing derby begins at 8:30 a.m.
The marketing and promotions chair said there will be a free-will donation lunch following the derby.
“We are going to grill some hot dogs and Hy-Vee will be donating some chips, water and cookies,” he said. “You can enjoy some lunch. It’s family time.”
The following weekend, the quarry will get a little more electrical as the board kicks off its second annual “Rock the Quarry Concert” June 10 at the park.
The dance, which will be emceed by KBOE on-air personality, Steve “The Round Guy” Pilchen, will gather four bands to play music across a variety of generations and genres.
“We wanted a variety. Last year, we only had two bands,” Utz said. “What we found is bands are really excited to play at places, especially being outdoors... They get to really rock it and play outdoors, so they are really excited to play.”
Rich Webster Band, Dogfathers, Lux and Nate Butler and the Geezers will headline the concert.
“Personally, I’m most excited about Rich Webester Band. They have played at the Iowa State Fair. They have some unique instruments — they have a saxophone and a guy who is pretty good on the keyboard,” Utz said. “They play 80s and 90s music. I grew up in the 80s and 90s.”
Utz said the concert will bring in several food options for the event. Georgioz pizza, Cocina Hernandez Mexican restaurant and the Thirsty Turtle bar will serve food and drinks at the dance. The Music Booster Club will also offer several concession stand treats at the concert.
“It is an event. You go to a Friday night football game, my kids love eating popcorn during the football game,” he said. “Having peanuts and candy is a special treat.”
There will also be a 50/50 raffle fundraiser at the event to help raise money for future projects at the park.
General admission is $10 in advance, and $15 at the gate. Tickets for children in kindergarten through 12th grade cost $5,
“Great bands are in central Iowa and we can get them here,” Utz said. “You can see great bands at a $10 admission charge.”
Colfax Park and Auxiliary Board is in need of volunteers to help with the park. Anyone who wishes to volunteer can attend its monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the basement of the Colfax United Methodist Church the second Wednesday of every month.
Contact Anthony Victor Reyes at firstname.lastname@example.org