On May 20, Uptown Friday Nights mark the unofficial start of summer in Cedar Rapids. They've been going on in some way, shape or form, since 1988. The event fits perfectly in the McGrath Amphitheatre, on the bank of the Cedar River and draws thousands of people who enjoy it for a variety of reasons. Whether it's the music, dancing, food, and drinks, or just people watching, it is a welcome sign of summer's return in Cedar Rapids.

Uptown Friday Nights
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The summer tradition that is pushing its 30-year anniversary is stronger than ever, thanks to these three factors:

  • Chris Carson
    Chris Carson
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    1

    Live and Local Music Outdoors

    In real estate, it's location, location, location. When it comes to live outdoor music, it's local, local, local! The Pork Tornadoes kick off this year's event on Friday, May 20 followed by Vicebox on Friday, May 27.

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    Getty Images
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    2

    Cold Adult Beverages

    Ice cold beer, ales, hard ciders and a nice variety of wines, make it an easy choice without having to get too fancy or pretentious. Uptown Friday Nights is known for its affordable prices too.

  • Sarah Klein
    Sarah Klein
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    3

    Low Cover Charge

    With admission a cheap $5, there is no better value for live music under the stars with the downtown skyline and Cedar River in the background.