Downtown events get county approval to use courthouse grounds – Newton Daily News

Organizers of three separate downtown Newton events this summer received permission from the Jasper County Board of Supervisors on May 17 to use the courthouse grounds for community festivities, on the condition that they s ensure that no food vendors or vehicles will be set up or parked on the lawn.

Laurie Moffitt, Newton Main Street Promotions/Organizing Committee Chair, relayed information about the event to supervisors on behalf of Executive Director Erin Yeager. The weekly Newton Farmers Market, Thunder Nites and the car show during Newton Fest all received board approval.

The Newton Farmers Market will be held from 4-6:30 p.m. every Tuesday from June 7 to September 27. Moffitt said Main Street has talked about holding farmers’ markets on the second Saturday of every month, but the organization is struggling to find vendors.

The Farmer’s Market will be held on the northwest side of the square. Vendors are strictly tied to the street, as has been the case for some years. Live music will play throughout each farmers market, which will use the electrical hookups northwest of the courthouse.

“It’s going to be, like, two people max,” Moffitt said. “They’ll be setting up a tent and it’ll be on the sidewalk, maybe a bit on the grass. But there will be a tent set up so it’s protected. So it’s the farmers’ market. I know Erin submitted the application for this, so we should be ready.

Thunder Nites was recently picked up by Main Street after a two-year hiatus. The original organization has handed over the reins to Main Street, which will hold the events on the north side of the square from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on June 10, July 8 and August 12. The band stage will be near First Street.

Main Street will block off a few streets for Thunder Nites, which will also host food vendors and merchandise vendors in addition to live music performances. Moffitt said Yeager submitted maps to the city and county. Supervisor Brandon Talsma confirmed he received the card.

“I think it will be great for downtown because there will be a lot of activity,” Moffitt said of Thunder Nites.

The Greater Newton Area Chamber of Commerce’s “Cool Cars” car show will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 11 in downtown Newton as part of Newton Fest. Moffitt said the bid for the car show had also been submitted and would be installed along the north and west sides of the plaza.

According to information released by the chamber, the motor show will award trophies for best in show, people’s choice and other classes. Pre-register for the car show at the chamber office, 113 First Ave. W., by calling by phone at 641-792-5545 or online at

Pre-registration is $10 while day of registration is $15. The first 100 people registered will receive a free brochure.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or [email protected]

David H. Henry