116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Inching ever closer to the Fourth of July red-white-and-boom grand finale, the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival in ready to make a splash with another week full of family — and canine — friendly events.
“Even in the first few days of our festival, we’ve heard so many positive comments from the community,” Executive Director Karol Shepherd said in a statement. “People are excited to see us return and wear their 2021 Freedom Festival button proudly.”
New programming also is creating a buzz, she said, including the Military Tribute Banners, saluting 76 veterans and active military members whose pictures are emblazoned on light pole banners around downtown Cedar Rapids. Also new is the Patriotic Porch contest, inviting people to decorate their porch, yard or storefront in a patriotic theme. Entry is free, but participants who want to vie for cash prizes have until Sunday (6/27) to email their name, address and photo of their decorations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the festival’s official and affiliated events happening June 24 through July 1 in Cedar Rapids, unless otherwise noted:
Jump for Freedom, Dueling Dogs: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 24 and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 25, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, 1400 Inspiration Place SW. Competitive dog jumping events; entry fees detailed at freedomfestival.com/events/jump-for-freedom-dueling-dogs/94. Spectators free with a Freedom Festival button.
Jump for Freedom, DockDogs: 4 to 8 p.m. June 25 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 26, National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, 1400 Inspiration Place SW. Competitive dog jumping events; entry fees detailed at freedomfestival.com/events/jump-for-freedom-dock-dogs/93. Spectators free with a Freedom Festival button.
Linn County Fair: Through June 27, Linn County Fairgrounds, 201 Central City Rd., Central City. Grandstand events, carnival, exhibits, contests; thelinncountyfair.com.
Freedom Festival Parade: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 26. Traditional parade following downtown route; “United We Stand” theme, winners announced in Greene Square immediately afterward; no pets with spectators.
Volta Youth Music & Art Festival: 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 26, NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE. featuring Eastern Iowa Arts Academy youth rock bands and other area youth musicians, as well as local, professional rock bands; Freedom Festival button required for guests ages 9 and older; bring chairs, soft-side coolers but no outside alcohol; food and beverages sold on site.
Marion Airport Fly In Drive In Breakfast: 7 to 11 a.m. Sunday, June 27, Marion Airport, 1690 Marion Airport Rd., Marion. Pancake breakfast: $7 adults, $5 under age 12, $1 discount with Freedom Festival button; free to all pilots and veterans. Also, $25 airplane rides, $50 helicopter rides. Event host: Marion-East Cedar Rapids Rotary Club.
Freedom Bike Ride: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, June 27, Lowe Park Amphitheatre, 4500 N. 10th St., Marion. With 28-mile and 45-mile loops passing though Marion, Cedar Rapids, Center Point and Hiawatha. Fee: $40 includes box meal afterward and $10 in Bike Bucks honored at all pit stops. Same-day registration, 9 a.m., Lowe Park.
Cedar Rapids Municipal Band: 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, June 27 Bever Park, 2700 Bever Ave. SE; free admission, bring seating. Also, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Bever Park, with 6:30 p.m. prelude by Brass Transit Authority. crmuniband.org/concert-schedule
Voices of Hope: Patriotic concert, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Faith Bible Church, 1800 46th St. NE. Choral works, hymns, poetry, prose and Scripture; free admission, donations accepted; Freedom Festival button-wearers entered in a drawing; concert rebroadcast at 4 p.m. July 4 on KMRY radio, 93.1 FM, 1450 AM.
Five Seasons Ski Team: 7 to 8 p.m. June 24, Tuesday, June 29, July 1, 3 and 4, Cedar River at Ellis Park, 1979 Ellis Blvd. NW. Daredevil jump acts including helicopters and flips, 50 mph barefoot pyramids and preshow events; free admission, bring seating, concessions available.
Movie Night: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” 6 to 10 p.m. July 1, NewBo City Market, 1100 Third St. SE. Outdoor movie at dusk with silent disco beforehand. Admission: Free with Freedom Festival button; food and drink sold on site.
Event details: freedomfestival.com/events. The Gazette is among the sponsors for this year’s Freedom Festival.
Buttons: $5 at Cedar Rapids and Marion Hy-Vee Food & Drugstores, Casey’s General Stores; use the Deetz app to unlock Button Benefits during the festival.
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