Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

July 28, 2011

Rathbun Lake's 40th anniversary: A change of pace from last year

By Michael Schaffer - Managing editor
Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — Rathbun Lake's 40th anniversary celebration is this weekend and helping to spread the word was Tod Faris, Appanoose Economic Development Corporation executive director, in his office Wednesday afternoon, with KTVO reporter Greg Deffenbaugh.

Faris said the big change this year is how the many businesses that surround the lake have been asked and agreed to host activities. In years past, all activities were centrally located in one place and was called "Summer Splash."

"And so what our Rathbun Lake Association is doing is helping to market for them what events they're having this weekend," Faris said. "Instead of having one centralized place we're actually having numerous events throughout the lake."

Faris said different businesses at different times of the day this weekend are offering activities that would appeal to families with children or to adults. Friday night a lighted boat parade and fireworks in the Island View area will be offered. Both are new this year, with parking available after 8 p.m. on the dam.

Also new this year is the air-conditioned trolley, which will be operating Saturday from 3 p.m. to midnight to shuttle visitors around the lake to various activities, Becky Maxwell, Rathbun Lake Association president, said.

If this year goes well, Maxwell said, they would have fireworks every year and make this an annual event.

Find a complete list of Rathbun Lake 40th anniversary activities going on this weekend at Rathbun Lake Association’s  website,

Deffenbaugh also inquired about the economic benefits Rathbun Lake has brought to Centerville, local businesses and the county.

"We've been very blessed to have the lake, lake Rathbun, for our county," Faris said. "It brings a lot of traffic, a lot of economy development from the standpoint of a lot of folks spending their dollars here."

Faris said besides the lake, Honey Creek Resort has helped to increase tourism traffic county-wide. These people eat locally, sleep locally and camp at the lake.

"The bottom line is, it really is a boost to our economy because of that added foot traffic," Faris said.