Events/Announcements Feed

Johnson County Fair Mock Election Will Include Superheroes

This year’s mock election at the Johnson County Fair will have both secret ballots and secret identities.  Voters will choose the greatest superhero.

Because it’s a caucus year, we’re going to have a presidential contest too.  Democratic and Republican presidential candidates will be on separate ballots, but the same superheroes will be listed on both because superheroes are nonpartisan.

Mock election voting hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, July 27 through Thursday, July 30.

The Auditor’s Office has hosted mock elections at the county fair since 1999.  Everyone attending the fair, including kids, will be able to see and use real voting booths and machines.  Preliminary results will be posted during the fair.

Candidates on the ballot will be:

Captain America
Iron Man
Wonder Woman

Democratic Presidential Candidates
Lincoln Chafee
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
Bernie Sanders
Jim Webb
Uncommitted Democrat

Republican Presidential Candidates
Jeb Bush
Ben Carson
Chris Christie
Ted Cruz
Carly Fiorina
Lindsey Graham
Mike Huckabee
Bobby Jindal
John Kasich
George Pataki
Rand Paul
Rick Perry
Marco Rubio
Rick Santorum
Donald Trump
Scott Walker
Uncommitted Republican


Downtown streetscape update and open house July 30

IOWA CITY, IA. -- The public is invited to attend an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 30 to hear an update on the North Pedestrian Mall and Washington Street streetscape project, hosted by Genus Landscape Architects and the City of Iowa City. The Downtown streetscape master plan was adopted by the City Council in 2014 and identified Washington Street and the Pedestrian Mall as two top priorities. Proposed enhancements focus on underground utilities, wayfinding, pedestrian accommodations, public art and planting areas. The event will take place in the Amos Dean Ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel, located at 210 S Dubuque Street. A brief formal presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m.

For more information on the Downtown streetscape project visit or contact Geoff Fruin, Assistant City Manager at 319-356-5013 or

Iowa City welcomes RAGBRAI with "Ride and Shine" event July 25

Iowa City can expect nearly 20,000 RAGBRAI riders to pass through town on the morning of Saturday, July 25. The route will take cyclists into Iowa City by way of Mormon Trek Boulevard, bring them by Kinnick Stadium and eventually wind their way to Jefferson Street, Clinton Street, Iowa Avenue and Gilbert Street. Along the way, cyclists can follow signs that will lead them downtown to fuel up for their final destination to Davenport and the Mighty Mississippi. Highlights of Iowa City's "Ride and Shine" event will include fresh foods from the local Farmers Market and other vendors, as well as culinary delights and refreshments from downtown restaurants that are going mobile for the morning.

Adding to the downtown festivities on Saturday morning will be live music performed by the band Gruper Soup from 6 to 8 a.m. and Extra Credit Project performing from 8 to 10 a.m. on Iowa Avenue. The public is invited downtown to welcome the riders and enjoy food, music and fun.

RAGBRAI bicycle route street closures

From approximately 5:45 to 10 a.m, vehicles will not be allowed on the RAGBRAI route in the direction the bicyclists are traveling  (see route map at This will result in turning restrictions at several intersections. The Iowa City Police Department anticipates that streets on the route will reopen to vehicular traffic at 10 a.m., but will make a final determination near that time.

Street and bicycle route closures will be as follows during the time RAGBRAI bicyclists are coming through Iowa City:

  • Mormon Trek Boulevard will be closed southbound from 2nd Street / US 6 in Coralville to Melrose Avenue in Iowa City.
  • Melrose Avenue will be closed eastbound from Mormon Trek Boulevard to Hawkins Drive through Iowa City and University Heights.
  • In Iowa City, Hawkins Drive will be closed northbound from Melrose Avenue to Elliott Drive on the University of Iowa campus.
  • Elliott Drive will be closed northbound from Hawkins Drive on the University of Iowa campus to Newton Road.
  • Newton Road will be closed eastbound from Elliott Drive to Riverside Drive / US 6 through Iowa City and the University of Iowa campus.
  • Iowa Avenue will be closed eastbound from Riverside Drive / US 6 to Madison Street.
  • Madison Street will be closed northbound from Iowa Avenue to Jefferson Street.
  • Jefferson Street will be closed eastbound from Madison Street to Clinton Street.
  • Clinton Street will be closed in both directions from Jefferson Street to Washington Street.
  • Iowa Avenue will be closed in both directions from Clinton Street to Gilbert Street.
  • Gilbert Street will be closed southbound from Jefferson Street to US 6 in Iowa City.
  • Stuit Hall and Seashore Hall parking lots will be able to be accessed only south of Jefferson Street.

Additional closures

  • Hawkeye Park Road will be closed in both directions from Hawkeye Court to Mormon Trek Boulevard.
  • Prairie Meadow Drive will be closed in both directions from the University of Iowa Athletic Hall of Fame to Mormon Trek Boulevard.
  • MacBride Road will be closed at Melrose Avenue.
  • Westgate Street will be closed at Melrose Avenue.
  • Emerald Street will be closed at Melrose Avenue.
  • Melrose Avenue will be closed in both directions from Hawkins Drive to Grand Avenue. Local traffic only will be permitted.
  • Woolf Avenue will be closed at Newton Road. Woolf Avenue will be closed southbound from the bridge over US 6 / 2nd Street to Newton Road.
  • Madison Street will be closed in both directions from Iowa Avenue to Washington Street.
  • Dubuque Street will be closed in both directions from Jefferson Street to Washington Street.
  • Linn Street will be closed in both directions from Iowa Avenue to the alley south of Tower Place Parking Ramp.
  • Washington Street will be closed both east and west of Gilbert Street.
  • College Street will be closed at Gilbert Street, on the west side only.
  • Court Street will be closed at Gilbert Street.
  • Prentiss Street will be closed at Gilbert Street.
  • Benton Street will be closed at Gilbert Street, on the west side only.
  • East 1st Street will closed at Gilbert Street, on the west side only.

For more information, contact Simon Andrew, Administrative Analyst, at 319-356-5010 or For a map of the Iowa City bicycle route and festivities visit

Trump to introduce Def Leppard at Iowa State Fair -

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CNN) Donald Trump is set to introduce 80s hair metal band Def Leppard at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 15, two Iowa Trump campaign aides told CNN on Friday.

The concert, which also features bands Styx and Tesla, will take place at the State Fair Grandstand on the fairgrounds in Des Moines.


Young Footliters presents RAPUNZEL! RAPUNZEL! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale July 24-26 at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts

The Young Footliters will present Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale July 24-26 at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $11-$17 and are available online at, by phone at 319.248.9370, and in person at the CCPA box office (1301 5th Street) and Coralville Recreation Center (1506 8th Street).

Book, Music and Lyrics by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman
Directed by Dave Helmuth
Musical direction by Jessica Palmer

Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale is a modern spin on the story of Rapunzel.  This hilarious musical is filled with wonderful characters and unforgettable songs.  According to director Dave Helmuth,  “This is one of the most talented young casts I've seen.  Each young actor has worked hard to make their character hilarious and over-the-top.  It will be easy for the audience to pick a favorite." 

Show times:

Friday, July 24 at 7:00 PM

Saturday, July 25 at 2:00 & 7:00 PM

Sunday, July 26 at 2:00 PM

Ticket prices:

Adults: $17

Seniors: (age 55+): $14

Students (age 13-18): $14

Children (age 12 and under): $11


Visit an enchanted fairy tale land with dragons, a handsome prince, an evil would-be Queen, a really great hair stylist, and that famous princess with the long, long, long hair! Hold on to your hair and prepare for a brand new magical musical re-telling of the classic fairy tale! 

On the edge of glory, the evil Lady Za Za determines to rule the kingdom by keeping the beautiful Princess Rapunzel – with the long, long, long hair – trapped in a tower in the deep, dark, dank, dismal, dreary forest. It’ll be up to Sir Roderick and his hair stylist friend Edgar (who is on a quest to find the perfect head of hair) to rescue Princess Rapunzel and restore the kingdom – with the help of a slightly neurotic Gypsy Woman – isn’t there one in every fairy tale? and a tired, yet witty, old dragon named Socrates – who has lost his poof! 

Young Footliters is a program of the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts offering children and teens fun, creative, and educational theater arts opportunities in a safe, positive, and professional environment.  Young Footliters aims to produce quality productions and classes that promote responsibility, confidence, leadership, cooperation, and arts appreciation.

Cedar Rapids Fire Department & Fill the Boot for the Muscular Dystrophy

The Cedar Rapids Fire Department will be holding their Fill the Boot for the Muscular Dystrophy Association this Friday, July 17, 2015, beginning at 3 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m. Fire Department personnel will be in and around the following listed intersections and locations: •Wiley Blvd & E Ave NW •C Ave & 35th St NE •Lindale Hy-Vee Traffic is advised to slow down and use caution in these areas. Please see the website for additional information:

Sponsors, golfers sought for Golf Fundraiser to raise money for swim scholarships

The Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department and Parks and Recreation Foundation are hosting their second annual Golf Fundraiser to generate funds for a swim scholarship program to ensure that all local kids who want to learn to swim are able to, regardless of their family’s ability to pay for lessons. Organizers are now seeking sponsors for the event, as well as golfers.

The outing is scheduled Friday, Sept. 11 at Pleasant Valley Golf Course, 4390 Sand Road SE, Iowa City. Several sponsorship levels are available, ranging from a $100 tee sponsor to a $3,000 title sponsorship. Each level offers different opportunities to market or promote a business, product, or organization. For participating golfers, the cost to play is $60 per person or $200 per foursome, and includes green fees and a box lunch. Tee times start at 11 a.m.

The City of Iowa City teaches swimming lessons to nearly 3,000 people each year, but there are still many children who have not had the opportunity to learn these important skills. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (, an average of 3,500 people drowned annually in the United States between 2005 and 2009 -- about 10 deaths per day, two of which were children 14 years of age or younger. For every child who drowns, another five receive emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries that can result in severe brain damage and long-term disabilities.

Learning to swim is not only potentially life-saving for the swimmer and others, it also helps alleviate fear of the water, provides a healthy form of exercise, and promotes a variety of life-long social and recreational activities.

To register as a sponsor or a golfer for the event, visit For additional information, contact Aquatic Supervisor Matthew Eckhardt at 319-887-6117 or or call the Recreation Information Desk at 319-356-5100.


The Civics Education Initiative, a national effort to ensure all high school graduates have a basic understanding of United States civics and history, formally kicked off in Iowa this week.

The group has successfully promoted increased high school level civics education by passing legislation in Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Idaho, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Louisiana requiring high school students to pass the same 100-question civics test that new immigrants to the United States pass before becoming citizens. The initiative hopes to promote similar legislation in Iowa next year.

The USCIS Citizenship Civics test consists of 100 basic questions about American civics and history, such as: 

• What is the name of the President of the United States now?

• Name one branch or part of the government.

• What is the capital of your state?

• What major event happened on September 11, 2001, in the United States?

The proposal will allow students to take the test any time during their high school career, and to take the test as many times as necessary to achieve a passing score (60%). By using the well-established USCIS test, there will be no need or expense to create a new test or study materials, as these materials are already available online and for free.  

The following individuals have already signed on as Iowa Advisory Committee Members: former Secretary of State Matt Schultz, Representative Pat Grassley, Representative Mary Ann Hanusa, Representative Zach Nunn, Representative Greg Heartsill, Mayor Bill Peard, Jeff Lamberti, and Dr. Jim Dostal.

Veterans group from across America have been eager to support the work of the Civics Education Initiative.  In Iowa Lee Booton, a U.S. Navy veteran and former State Senior Vice Commander for the Iowa VFW, has signed on as an Iowa Advisory Committee Member.

This advisory committee is comprised of individuals from across Iowa, with various backgrounds and experiences in education, business, and elected office.

“I’m glad to be part of this robust effort,” said State Representative Greg Heartsill.  “Making sure Iowa’s graduates understand the way our government works makes it more likely they will be active and engaged citizens throughout their lives.” 

Over the course of this summer, the group plans to grow a grassroots network in Iowa, engage like-minded organizations and individuals to support and discuss the importance of civics education.

For more information or to get involved, contact Stephanie Crowley at: Stephanie@CoryCrowleyCo.Com or visit

The Civics Education Initiative is an affiliate of the Joe Foss Institute, which was founded to educate American youth on the importance of our country’s unique freedoms, and to inspire them to public service. Joe Foss was a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, former governor of South Dakota, and first commissioner of the American Football League.

Iowa Veterans’ Welcome Center Board of Directors Elect Cedar Rapids Business Owner, Steve Rathje, to Board Chair

Steve-rathjeThe Iowa Veterans Welcome Center Board of Directors has unanimously voted to elect Steve Rathje, Founder and CEO of International Procurement Services, Inc. and The Genesis Group, Inc., to Board Chair. Mr. Rathje will assume all duties, functions and responsibilities immediately.

Iowa Veterans’ Welcome Center Board Treasurer, Chuck Elias, said: “Steve Rathje is not only a respected member of our community as the CEO of a company that eliminates corporate waste, reduces spending, and brings good paying manufacturing jobs back home to America, but also a highly respected friend to all Veterans that will use his knowledge and skill to all levels of this organization to create, support, and maintain an environment whereby Veterans will receive the care and respect they were not only promised, but so richly deserve.”

“I am honored to work alongside the Iowa Veterans’ Welcome Center Board Members, volunteers, and fellow Patriots. Together we will strive to do what is necessary to put in place a mechanism whereby all Veterans, and their families, will have the support and/or the assistance that so many have been promised, but fell short of receiving. Our Veterans have served our country with honor and distinction, and now it it’s our turn, as grateful Americans, to thank them for their service, sacrifice, and a job well done.” Rathje said.

Ninth annual Rummage in the Ramp begins July 24

Rummage in the Ramp logo

The end of July is quickly approaching, which means three things in Iowa City:

  1. Annual leases are about to expire.
  2. Hundreds of people will be moving in and out of their homes and apartments.
  3. Rummage in the Ramp is almost here! 

Rummage in the Ramp, now in its ninth year, will take place Friday, July 24 through Sunday, Aug. 2. Rummage in the Ramp is the City’s annual mega-recycling event in which students and local residents are encouraged to donate, rather than throw away, items they no longer need or want. The donated items are then sold at bargain prices during a nine-day garage sale. It’s a pinnacle event in the local reduce/reuse/recycle/repurpose/upcycle way of thinking, and one in which everybody wins. Each year, the event helps people inexpensively furnish their living spaces, keeps tons of still-usable goods out of the landfill, and raises thousands of dollars for local nonprofits. 

Bargain shoppers and anyone looking to furnish their homes or apartments can find everything from furniture and beds to clothing, books, pots, pans, dishes, exercise equipment, electronics and other household goods, including many unique, one-of-a-kind or hard-to-find items. Proceeds benefit the local non-profit and student groups who work at the event. For a list of groups, visit

The sale will be held on the ground floor of the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp under the College Street bridge, across from City Hall (410 E. Washington Street) and adjacent to the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center parking area.

Donations and sales

Donations and sales will occur simultaneously during these times:

  • Friday, July 24: 4 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 25: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 26 - Friday, July 31: noon to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 1: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 2: noon to 8 p.m. 

On the last day, everything goes! Beginning at 4 p.m., staff will implement a “Name Your Price” sales event. Come on down, see what’s left and tell us what you’ll give for it! 

Electronics and small appliances

All electronics and small appliances will be accepted -- even those that aren’t working. If they are not in good working order, please let the sale assistants know so non-working items aren’t placed on a sale table. 

A recycling fee of $10 will be charged for donated TVs, computers or laptops (working or non-working) in case these items do not sell. 

Pick-up service

Pick-up service is available for Iowa City residents who want to donate items but have no way to transport them to the ramp. The pick-up fee is $10 (plus an additional $10 fee per item for TVs, computers or laptops). Beginning in mid-July Iowa City residents may visit to schedule an appointment. This service is available only to households within the City of Iowa City limits. 

Gift certificates to every 50th customer

Every 50th customer will receive a Rummage in the Ramp gift certificate to use on Saturday, Aug. 1 or Sunday, Aug. 2, making an already great deal even better. 

Last day specials and celebration

On the last day, Sunday, Aug. 2, staff will implement a “Name Your Price” sales event beginning at 4 p.m. Come on down, see what’s left, and tell staff what you’ll give for it. From 4 to 8 p.m. that day, a Rummage in the Ramp celebration is planned. Stay tuned on Facebook at and for more information. 

New this year 

Rummage redux—from serviceable to spectacular!

We are working with artists to pick a small number of items to repair/repurpose/upcycle to show how items can go from serviceable to spectacular. The items will be showcased at several events in the community this fall. 


Rummaging takes energy…and what better way to get that than local food trucks! As a growing community event, Rummage encourages permitted food trucks to station nearby the event to feed volunteers, donors and shoppers! 

Rummage in the Ramp is co-sponsored by the City’s Landfill/Recycling and Neighborhood Services Divisions. For more information, visit or contact Jennifer Jordan, City of Iowa City Recycling Coordinator, at 319-887-6160 or, or Marcia Bollinger with Neighborhood Services at 319-356-5237 or