North Liberty parade, events dubbed 'Salute to Salm'

Events take place of Fun Days, which was largely canceled this year

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The city of North Liberty will host a children’s fair Friday after the Salute to Salm parade.

Following the cancellation of North Liberty Fun Days, city staff banded together to provide alternate events and keep the parade going.

North Liberty’s Fun Days celebration was a multiday event, featuring a carnival, parade, and music in Penn Meadows Park, and organized by residents each summer for more than three decades. Many of this year’s events were canceled because of lack of funding or sponsorship.

“We heard rumors that everything was canceled, so (we) started getting the word out about the parade and children’s fair,” said North Liberty police chief Diane Venenga. “We knew that Mayor (Tom) Salm enjoyed the time he got to spend with his family during the parade, so we decided to continue the normal tradition of the parade on Friday night.”

Sgt. Adam Olson suggested renaming the event Salute to Salm, in honor of Salm, who died last month.

“Salute to Salm is a way for all city employees to come together and give back to our community, the same thing Mayor Salm did for North Liberty,” Venenga said.

The festivities will begin at 2 p.m. Friday with a bicycle rodeo sponsored by the Iowa Bicycle Coalition and the North Liberty Police Department. Kids ranging in age from kindergarten to eighth grade can come with their bikes to learn basic safety skills and make sure their bikes work. Free bike helmets will be provided by Sugar Bottom Bikes while supplies last.

Registration is not required for the bicycle rodeo, but those who preregister online can receive frozen yogurt and cupcakes. Participants can register at before the event.

Those interested in taking part in the parade can begin lining up at 6 p.m. at the North Liberty Community Center, and no preregistration is required. The parade will begin at 7 p.m. at the Community Center, go east on Cherry Street, turn southeast on Dubuque Street, and turn west onto Zeller Street before ending at North Stewart Street.

The children’s fair will take place at Penn Meadows Park beginning at 8:30 p.m. and will feature games, prizes, public safety demonstrations and a display of public safety and maintenance vehicles such as fire trucks and ambulances.

“A lot of kids love checking out the big trucks,” said Nick Bergus, North Liberty’s communications director. “We wanted to have the community get together and have something fun to do after the parade.”

The North Liberty Fire Department may also set up a barrel and have water fights in front of Penn Elementary.

The event will last until dark or until the games and prizes run out.

Salute to Salm is being sponsored by the City of North Liberty, Johnson County Emergency Management, North Liberty Recreation, North Liberty Police Department, North Liberty Fire Department, Tiffin Fire, Johnson County Ambulance Service, and the Johnson County Bomb Squad.

Dubuque Street will be closed to traffic during the parade. Detour and no-parking signs will be posted along the route.

No decisions have been made about future Fun Days or Salute to Salm events.

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