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Iola Explorations
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Charlie Melvin Mad Bomber Run and Festivities

Address: 1 N. Washington Avenue
Iola, KS 66749
Telephone Number: 620.365.8128

Email Address:

About this Exploration:

Charlie Melvin, Iola's Mad Bomber, had threatened the citizens of Iola that they would be sorry if they didn't stop selling the illegal liquor in the back of the local stores in the early 1900s.  By January 7, 1905, Charlie decided he'd take matters into his own hands and dynamite several of the local saloons in order to stop the illegal activity. 
Little did he know that his deplorable actions would turn to good over 100 years later!  In 2009 Thrive Allen County and Crime Stoppers decided to make this a colorful, fun, healthy family event by creating the Charlie Melvin Mad Bomber Run, and having a multitude of activities surrounding it. 
Again this year,  along with the other festivities:  a drag race, face painting, inflatable play equipment & all sorts of food.  Along with all of the activities, there will be a dance, and a light parade.  Last year, it was a beautiful event, with many floats, decorated with lights, as the crowd was able to watch the 9p.m. entertainment of exciting light entries.
 At the early morning hour, just after midnight, the same time over 100 years ago that Melvin did his dynamite deed, there is a 5k and 3k walk/run race. The signature 12:26 a.m. walk/run draws an estimated 750 - 1,000 participants each year.
Prices, prizes, and events are listed on the web site or you can call Thrive Allen County at 620-365-8128 to find out more details or go to: for more information.  The race in 2016 will be July 9.

contact info
Donna Houser
205 E. Madison Ave
Iola, KS 66749
Phone: 620.228.0439
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