The Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival is back for 2021!

Last year, the Freedom Festival's series of events were wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic but they're back with a ton of great events, the first of which begins on Monday, June 14.

Derecho Log Carving Demonstration

For the first time, and hopefully the last in all honesty, a Log Carving Demonstration will be held at the Jones Park Lagoon Pavilion on June 14. I say I hope it's one and done because all the wood that will be carved is logs damaged by last year's derecho, and provided by the Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department. None of us ever need to see another one of those storms in our lifetime. Local artists will be carving the wood as a silent auction fundraiser. This page will go live on Monday, May 24, and will have the carvings added to it as they are completed.

Balloon Glow

The 2021 Balloon Glow will be held at Hawkeye Downs on Tuesday, June 22, with Alisabeth Von Presley performing. There will also be 10 hot air balloons, the most ever at Balloon Glow. This will be a limited-capacity event with reservations preferred in advance. More information will be available starting on Monday, May 24.

Dock Dogs

The flying dogs as I like to call them, Dock Dogs will be held at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library for four days... June 24 through 27.

Walk-Thru Parade

The annual Freedom Festival Parade will feature stationary parade entries that attendees will be able to "walk-thru." The parade will be held in the same area as this year's Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Markets.

Music at the Museum

Saturday, July 3, the Pork Tornadoes will perform, via Facebook, in a virtual event.

4th of July

The Independence Day celebration will begin with a drive-thru pancake breakfast and Car Show at ImOn Ice Arena and will conclude with the Celebration of Freedom Fireworks downtown.

New Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival Executive Director Karol Shepherd explains the plan for 2021:

Our goal this year is to provide the community a good mix of programming that reflects a safe return to live events. We will have a mix of in-person programming, but will also incorporate some online components—where those that don’t feel comfortable gathering, can still experience the festival. i.e. Tribute to Heroes, Flag Retirement, Balloon Glow, etc.

The full list of 2021 Freedom Festival events is available HERE.

This year's Freedom Festival buttons go on sale on Friday, May 28. They'll be available at Hy-Vee Food Stores and Hy-Vee Drug Stores in Cedar Rapids and Marion, as well as Casey's General Stores. Each button is $5.

More information on individual events will be coming in the weeks ahead.


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