Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival Announces Events For 40th Year
It all started in 1984 with a fireworks display and, four decades later, the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival is ready to celebrate its 40th birthday.
Let me begin with a tip of the cap to Peter Teahen.
Teahen was the person who, in 1984, secured the support of the Cedar Rapids Metro Veteran's Council for a 4th of July fireworks display in the city. The "Celebration of Freedom" fireworks were born. It's my favorite annual event in Cedar Rapids, and it's easily the most attended.
Over time the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival has grown to include a number of events every year and the lineup for this year has been revealed. The 3-week series of events will begin on Wednesday, June 14, and conclude on Tuesday, July 4. Below is a look at the specifics of some of what will be happening.
The very popular Cedar Rapids Balloon Glow will be held at Jones Park (201 Wilson Ave. SW) for the second straight year. In 2023, it will be held on Saturday, June 17.
Balloon Glow will also feature live music from 42 Romeo (34th Army Band, Iowa Army National Guard):
and The Bamboozlers:
Thursday, June 29 'Top Gun Maverick' will be shown for 'Movie at the Ballpark' (Veterans Memorial Stadium).
On the 4th of July, in advance of fireworks, there's a concert featuring Brass Transit Authority:
As always, the Festival of Freedom fireworks will conclude the festival on the 4th of July. This year's Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival calendar is below. You can find more details on specific events here.
* A 2023 Freedom Festival button will be the entry ticket for almost all of this year's events. They will be $10 and will be available later this spring at area Hy-Vee and Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh stores.