America’s favorite fizzy beverage is the focus of a weekend celebration in southwest Iowa. Atlantic calls itself the Coca-Cola Capital of Iowa and the town is popping the top on Coca-Cola Days. Meghan Roberts, director of the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce, says the event draws collectors and vendors from across the country.
“We look forward to seeing them every year and they look forward to coming here,” Roberts says. “We usually have different people coming in to see what they have for wares but these collectors travel to different shows all over the United States all year long. Atlantic is one of their routine stops now.”
This is the second-largest convention of Coca-Cola collectors in the U.S., second only to Atlanta, Georgia, the home of the popular soft drink. Roberts says collectors of Coke memorabilia are well known for their expertise about the product and are excited to share their knowledge with others who may be just getting into the hobby.
“Coca-Cola collectors sometimes will collect a certain genre of signs or bottles and they all have stories to go along with every piece they have,” she says. “It’s very interesting to sit down and have a conversation with them.” Atlantic is home to the Coca-Cola Center and Museum at 207 Chestnut Street. Today (Saturday), there’s a Show, Swap and Sell event from 9 A.M. until 2 P.M. at the Herring Building, along with a Collectors Showcase.
The annual Coca-Cola Days parade begins at 4 P.M. and is open to all individuals and groups, but the children’s entries will be judged and awarded prizes. Each float must have a tie to the Coca-Cola theme. Events runs through today (Saturday). For information, visit “www.atlanticiowa.com”
By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic