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Saturday, September 18, 2021

    Thank Goodness It’s (Almost) Friday: Almost Friday Fest Brings Weeknight Fun

    Margaret Hurlberthttps://discovermuscatine.com
    Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

    Muscatine Living

    With the riverfront open after more than three months of flooding and the longest days of the summer here, everyone in Muscatine wants a reason to get out and have some summer fun. The first ever Almost Friday Fest (AFF) provided the perfect opportunity. An exciting summer series put on by Keep Muscatine Beautiful (KMB), residents will get to enjoy some of the best music, food, and fun each month all summer long.

    This year, with the Mississippi Drive reconstruction complete, KMB decided they wanted to do something big and host community events on the riverfront. Chris Boar, a member of KMB shared the group, “wanted to bring an event to Muscatine for residents to enjoy the riverfront that was family friendly and free to the public.” With these goals in mind, KMB came up with AFF.

    Taking place the fourth Thursday of each month, June through September, AFF offers activities for people of all ages. For kids eager to play, AFF features bounce houses and exciting lawn games, such as mega connect four, dominoes, Jenga, and pool, as well as other classics, such as cowboy golf. For grownups, AFF features live music from top musicians from across Iowa and the Midwest and a beer and wine tent. For festival goers of all ages, AFF has food trucks from Butcher’s Vegetables, Boonies, Chicharo’s, Hy-Vee, and the Missipi Brewing Company ready to satisfy any cravings.

    Kids playing with bounce houses and oversized connect four games at Almost Friday Fest.
    Almost Friday Fest goers testing out life-sized pool.
    A family playing enormous Jenga, while others enjoy cowboy golf and mega dominoes.
    The Tim Stop band from Chicago performing at Almost Friday Fest.

    After the first AFF on Thursday, June 27th, Boar reported that, people loved the event, and that she has high hopes for the next three. “It was a really good time. Kids were having fun, adults were having fun, and the riverfront was beautiful. It was a great time for socializing. . .. I bet we had 300 people there,” she said. With fantastic music from the Tim Stop Band and good weather, AFF had the perfect recipe for a successful event.

    With more AFFs on the way this summer, Boar and her fellow volunteers look forward to improving the experience at each event. “We welcome feedback,” she stated. “We just want to make it bigger and better.” To that end, Boar encourages everyone with ideas to contact KMB by visiting the AFF website, www.almostfridayfest.org, or the KMB Facebook page. With the community’s support, AFF will give the community reasons to get excited for the weekend a little early all summer long.

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