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This week's Freedom Festival highlights

Cedar Rapids Washington High School cheerleaders walk across the 16th Avenue bridge from Czech Village to New Bohemia during the Freedom Festival Parade in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, July 2, 2016. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Washington High School cheerleaders walk across the 16th Avenue bridge from Czech Village to New Bohemia during the Freedom Festival Parade in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, July 2, 2016. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

From DockDogs and patriotism on parade to the Voices of Hope and a pancake breakfast, the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival has a bang-up lineup leading up the July 4 fireworks downtown. Here are some highlights. (All events are in Cedar Rapids, unless otherwise noted.) For details, go to Freedomfestival.com/events

TODAY (6/28)

Movie Night at the Ballpark: Disney’s “Frozen,” 7 to 10 p.m., Veterans Memorial Stadium, 950 Rockford Rd. SW; free with festival button. Bring blankets; lawn chairs, outside food and drink are not allowed. Free inflatable zone and free T-shirt for the first 1,000 kids.

Voices of Hope: 7 p.m., New Covenant Bible Church, 3090 N. Center Point Rd. NE; free. Patriotic music and narration, military recognition; broadcast on KMRY-1450 AM radio at 4 p.m. July 4.

FRIDAY (6/29)

DockDogs: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library front lawn, 1400 Inspiration Place SW; free with festival button. Canine aquatics competition.

Pianopalooza: 6 to 9 p.m., NewBo City Market lawn, 1100 Third St. SE; festival button required. Dueling pianos with Tony Bohnenkamp and Jerry Lorenson; bring lawn chairs, food and beverages available for purchase, NewBo City Market will be open.

SATURDAY (6/30)

Building Block Extravaganza: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., inside NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE; free with festival button. Play stations and building block activities.

Imagination Square: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., NewBo City Market lawn, 1100 Third St. SE; free with festival button. Family-friendly and educational interactive booths, activities, entertainment on NewBo Stage, patriotic memories chalk the walk noon to 2 p.m., blood drive, free cake (while supplies last) after the parade.

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Freedom Festival Parade: 10 a.m. to noon, Czech Village/NewBo route. Theme: “Happy Birthday, Freedom Festival!” in honor of the festival’s 35th anniversary. More than 100 entries, with floats, vehicles, music, dancing groups, businesses and other local organizations, as well as the “Freedom Festival Express” trackless train.

Taste of Freedom Street Taco Showdown: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE; tickets $3 each or try all five for $10. Judge different creations by Cedar Rapids/Marion Hy-Vee chefs.

Iowa National Guard’s 34th Army Bands, 6 to 9 p.m., NewBo City Market lawn, 1100 Third St. SE; free. Music by Scrap Metal, a modern New Orleans-style brass band, and the 42 Romeo rock band. Bring lawn chairs, food and beverages available for purchase, NewBo City Market will be open.

SUNDAY (7/1)

34th Army Band: Sidewinders: 7 to 10 p.m., Lowe Park Amphitheatre, 4500 N. 10th St., Marion; free. Pop, rock music; bring seating, coolers allowed.

MONDAY (7/2)

Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen: 6 to 9 p.m., NewBo City Market lawn, 1100 Third St. SE; festival button required. Mount Vernon-based band mixes three cups of German-style polka music with one cup of Czech music, and a half-cup each of country, big band and party favorites. Bring lawn chairs, cooler allowed but no outside alcoholic beverages.

TUESDAY (7/3)

Music at the Museum: The Fez: 6 to 8 p.m., National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library Amphitheater, 1400 Inspiration Place SE; free. Steely Dan tribute band from Iowa City; bring lawn chairs, picnics but no coolers; food and beverage garden on-site.

WEDNESDAY (7/4)

Fifth Season 8K, 5K run/walk: 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting at Greene Square, Third Avenue and Fifth Street SE; 8K begins at 8 a.m., followed by 5K.

Pancake Breakfast: 8 to 11 a.m., Veterans Memorial Building, 50 Second Avenue Bridge downtown; $6 adults, $3 kids, $1 off with festival button. Music by Vintage Jammers. Free parking in Mays Avenue Parkade, but vehicles must be removed by noon.

Car Show: 8 a.m. to noon, Third Avenue Bridge downtown; free to spectators, $15 participation fee.

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Celebration of Freedom Fireworks: 4 to 10:30 p.m., downtown; festival button required for ages 9 and up at entry points. On the bridges: kids activities, food and beverages to buy, military vehicles and exhibits. Coolers allowed on bridges; no outside food or drink at the amphitheater; no glass anywhere.

Freedom Festival Concert: 5 to 9:45 p.m., McGrath Amphitheatre, 475 First St. SW; free with festival button. Airwaves from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by the Johnny Holm Band. Stay for fireworks; no coolers allowed.

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