116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION — The city’s concert series — Marion by Moonlight and Uptown Getdown — will be moving to Lowe Park this summer.
Lowe Park, 4901 Alburnett Rd., offers more space for social distancing and also allows the popular events to avoid construction projects in Marion’s downtown, sponsors said.
In previous years, Marion By Moonlight, held in June, and Uptown Getdown, held in August, took place in City Square Park in the heart of Marion’s downtown.
This summer, Marion’s streetscape project will close portions of Seventh Avenue. The Marion Square Plaza strip mall is being turned into a mixed-use development called Broad and Main, and the new Marion Library also is in the middle of construction.
This is the 25th year for the Marion by Moonlight concert series, which is hosted by Farmers State Bank this year. The concerts will be held Thursday evenings at Lowe Park.
“We are beyond excited to be back and be in person at a park,” said Brittany Barnhart, a marketing assistant for the bank. “We’re definitely excited to have a little bit of normal.
“Everyone in Marion knows this event and comes out to it,” she said. “The staff has been talking about it for months.”
Tami Schlamp, with the Marion Chamber of Commerce, said the city’s Parks and Recreation Department has been experimenting at Lowe, cutting the grass in a checkerboard pattern to assist with social distancing at the concerts.
“It’s so people can visually see what 6 feet looks like,” Schlamp said. “The idea is to keep distance. I don’t know if we will need that in August, but I’m interested to see how things go in June.”
She noted hand sanitizer and sinks will be available for people to use.
Masks won’t be required of concertgoers, though “people are welcome to,” she said, though food vendors will be wearing gloves and masks. ”
The Marion by Moonlight was canceled last year because of the pandemic. Uptown Getdown held one concert before canceling the rest after the Aug. 10 derecho.
It will feel good to bring back live music, Schlamp said.
“It’s going to feel good to know it’s safe to do now and to see people enjoying that live music — just to see people welcomed back to some of the things they missed the most,” she said.
Uptown Marion Market
The Uptown Marion Market — with 26 vendors — moves to a new location — the city-owned parking lot at Eighth Avenue and 12th Street.
Live music and kids’ activities will return to the markets, scheduled for June 12, July 10, Aug. 14 and Sept. 25.
Eat, Drink and Be Marion
The annual pub crawl returns on July 8.
Last year, the chamber hosted Eat, Drink and Be Marion At Home, which included take-home kits and promoted ordering takeout from restaurants.
Brooke Prouty, the chamber’s program director, said the At Home event saw more participation than ever before.
“We actually did better last year with the take-home kits,” Prouty said. “So this year, we have the in-person option or the option of a take-home kit.”
The event is a fundraiser for the Uptown Marion organization, where participants buy tickets to get a shirt and a cup to get dollar drinks at bars. Shops stay open later as well.
“Luckily, this one won’t be largely affected by construction,” Prouty said. “We’re having these events through construction to show people they can still get down here to shop, eat or drink. We will also be getting great signage and working on shop local campaigns.”
Comments: (319) 398-8255; email@example.com