ARTICLE

Children snap into action at Freedom Festival

Hundreds gather for event with 100 pounds of Legos

Cliff Jette/The Gazette

Four-year-old Erik Mrozek of Marion builds a Lego car as his father, Brian, looks on Saturday during the Freedom to Build Lego Extravaganza at the NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids. The event continues today with crafts, Lego play stations and a display of entries in the contest that were judged Friday.
Cliff Jette/The Gazette Four-year-old Erik Mrozek of Marion builds a Lego car as his father, Brian, looks on Saturday during the Freedom to Build Lego Extravaganza at the NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids. The event continues today with crafts, Lego play stations and a display of entries in the contest that were judged Friday.

CEDAR RAPIDS — The snap of plastic could be heard Saturday throughout NewBo City Market as children from around the area gathered to share their love for Legos.

A small racetrack in the back allowed participants to see who could craft the fastest car while another booth challenged kids to build their best Lego house.

As a child, Mrozek said, he always was interested in building and played with Legos, which he credits with leading to his job in which he oversees construction.

Lego has been in the spotlight recently after the company announced it would release a female minifigure set in August.

While the Freedom Festival event was attended overwhelmingly by boys, plenty of girls were on hand too.

Kyle Wilcox of Cedar Rapids took his 6-year-old daughter, Abby, and 8-year-old son, Aiden, to the event. “We need a few more (Legos) series for girls, so they enjoy (everything) even more,“ Wilcox said.

Robyn Rieckhoff, Freedom Festival executive director, said organizers already are thinking of how to expand the event for next year. Her goal is to have professional teams build large-scale Lego creations beforehand. But she said offering Legos as opposed to other toys was a no-brainer because “it’s something kids of all ages can do.”

l Comments: (319) 538-4543; brent.griffiths@sourcemedia.net

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