Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival
This year’s Freedom Festival has been kicking around Cedar Rapids since June 20, but the final days, including Independence Day, bring the most celebratory events. To attend Freedom Festival-produced events, guests will need a $5 Freedom Festival button, which can be purchased at Hy-Vee stores, Casey’s General Stores, the U.S. Cellular Center Box Office and the Freedom Festival itself.
At Guthridge Park in Hiawatha on July 3 at 7:30 p.m., the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band will be performing a free concert. The hour-long event will feature music for all ages, and bringing a lawn chair or blanket is encouraged. Also on June 3, Pianopalooza will be playing at the Czech and Slovak Museum Amphitheatre for Freedom Festival Button holders at 6 p.m.
The Freedom Festival’s annual Pancake Breakfast will welcome both early and late risers on July 4 from 8 a.m. until noon in the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Entry will cost $6 for adults and $3 for children, and each person with a Freedom Festival Button will receive $1 off.
The Five Seasons Ski Team will be performing a free hour-long ski show each night at 7 p.m. leading up to July 4 at Ellis Park. On July 4, the Cedar Boat Club’s free fireworks show on the river will follow the water skiers’ performance. (Free Five Seasons Ski Team shows will continue through the summer every Thursday.)
The fireworks show will close out the festival on June 4. Due to construction on the 3rd Ave bridge, only the 2nd Ave bridge will be open for viewing for button-holders. Face painting, food and beverages, a kid’s inflatable zone and exhibits of military vehicles will also take place on the bridge. Viewing from elsewhere is free.
Coralville celebrates the Fourth of July every year with 4thFest. July 3-4, the festival’s carnival will take over the Coralville Community Aquatic Center’s parking lot starting at 2 p.m. with rides, food and games. Visitors can purchase wristbands, $15 in advance and $20 the day of the carnival, which will allow unlimited rides for one wristband session each (either July 3 2-6 p.m. or July 4 10 a.m.-2 p.m.). Tickets can also be bought and used for rides for $1 each. Rides cost 1-5 tickets each.
On July 3, two free concerts will take place at S.T. Morrison Park — the Sidewinders will go on at 6:30 p.m. and Steve Augeri, former lead vocalist of Journey, will perform at 8 p.m.
July 4 brings the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast from 7 a.m.-10 p.m at Northwest Junior High. Entry will cost $6 in advance or $7 at the door, and children under 5 eat free. The Independence Day parade begins at 10 a.m. and will circle the streets surrounding S.T. Morrison Park. The route can be seen on this map.
Throughout the afternoon, activities such as bounce houses, face painting, giant Jenga and a water balloon toss will begin. At dark, approximately 9:45, the free fireworks show will begin at S.T. Morrison Park.
Red, White and Boom!
Nothing beats fireworks on the Mississippi. The Quad Cities’ biggest annual Fourth celebration and fireworks show, Red, White and Boom!, will take place in Davenport’s Modern Woodmen Park and include performanced by Rude Punch (6 p.m.) and the 34th Army band, 42 Romeo (7:45 p.m.). Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch will deliver an address, proclamation and a brief history of the 1st Infantry Division at 6:30 p.m.
Fireworks will kick off around 9:30 p.m. over the Mississippi River, synced to music from 97X FM. If you’ve ever tuned your radio to watch a synced Christmas lights show, you know the drill.
Iowa City Jazz Festival
The 2019 Iowa City Jazz Festival will begin on Friday, July 5, and fireworks will be shown for free on the Pentacrest the same evening at approximately 9:30 p.m. The rest of the Jazz Festival will celebrate the genre with four stages and a variety of jazz groups and musicians through July 7.