Events/Announcements Feed

Holiday fireworks closures and parking information - Iowa City

Iowa City’s holiday fireworks display will close out the annual Summer of the Arts Jazz Festival on Sunday, July 2, 2017.

The show will get underway sometime between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m., following the final jazz performance. Be mindful of the possibility of delays due to inclement weather. The rain date is set for Monday, July 3. Same time, same place.  

Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and take in the show from the University of Iowa Pentacrest lawn. The west lawn provides the best view, but fireworks will be visible from the east side of the Old Capitol building and Downtown.

ADA parking is available in the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) parking ramp. People should arrive early to use those spaces.

The Iowa City Fire Department urges people to adhere to barricades and caution tape. Street closures, no parking, and other restrictions are put in place for safety. Vehicles parked in restricted areas may be towed.

The following areas will close to allow for fireworks set-up:

  • Hubbard Park, located at the intersection of Madison St. and Iowa Ave., will be closed Saturday and Sunday.
  • Metered parking adjacent to the IMU is unavailable due to construction.
  • All vehicles parked on the street near the IMU and Hubbard Park must be moved before 8 a.m., Sunday.

The following streets and walkways will close at 9 p.m., Sunday July 3:

  • Market St., Jefferson St., and Washington St., between Clinton St. and Madison St.
  • Madison St., between Jefferson St. and Washington St.
  • Iowa Ave., between Madison St. and Riverside Dr.
  • The tunnel between the English-Philosophy Building (EPB) and the IMU

Closures will be in effect until the fireworks display has ended and the crowd has cleared. Some areas will not reopen until crews have inspected and swept for firework debris. If barricades are up, do not enter the area.

For information regarding fireworks, contact Fire Marshal Brian Greer at 319-356-5257 or brian-greer@iowa-city.org

Additional downtown street closures and parking restrictions will be in place for the Iowa City Jazz Festival, scheduled June 30 - July 2, 2017. More information to come. For festival details, visit summerofthearts.org


Parks and Recreation offers Fourth of July fun for the entire family - Iowa City

Jump into Fourth of July activities with Iowa City Park and Recreation! This year, ICPR has lots of great events planned to satisfy the whole family. 

The celebration begins at Mercer Park Aquatic Center, 2107 Bradford Drive, with free Tot Time from 9-11:30 a.m. for youth ages 2-7. Tot Time includes access to the inflatable bounce houses, play games, ride scooters, or climb on the traverse wall. After that, stick around for free roller skating for all ages from noon-4 p.m. Looking for some outdoor fun? Participants can also check out tennis and pickleball equipment to try out at the new Mercer Park courts. 

At City Park, ICPR will offer free amusement rides from 1-7 p.m., and admission to City Park pool will be half-off all day long. Plus, kids can unleash their inner artist by drawing with chalk on the deck (chalk provided by ICPR). 

All of this and more is waiting for you and your family on July 4, 2017.


Jim Gill’s Nationwide Campaign for Play at ICPL June 29

Award-winning musician and author Jim Gill will be at the Iowa City Public Library on Thursday, June 29, as part of his Nationwide Campaign for Play tour! 

Join us in Meeting Room A from 10:30 to 11 a.m. for a fun-filled concert featuring songs from his newest CD, “Vote for Jim Gill.” Gill says a vote for Jim Gill means taking the time to play musical games with a child. 

"When parents or grandparents take the time to play with children, they naturally and instinctively challenge them and 'raise the bar' linguistically, cognitively and physically,” he said. 

Gill’s energetic rhythms on the banjo will have members of the audience singing, clapping, dancing – sometimes even sneezing – along! 

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.


Party In the Park continues next week at Oak Grove Park - Iowa City

Join in the neighborhood fun at the next Party in the Park, scheduled Thursday, June 29 at Oak Grove Park, 700 Page Street.  Bring your lawn chairs or blankets, and from 6:30 to 8 p.m., enjoy live music from Ace Jones, as well as games, arts and crafts, and frozen treats. The Iowa City Public Library Bookmobile will also be on hand, and don't forget to stop by and chat with Green Iowa AmeriCorps members to sign up for a free home energy audit. 

Party in the Park is a no-fee event and is open to the public. Check out the full schedule of events below.

Sponsored by the City of Iowa City’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Neighborhood Outreach Division, Party in the Park gives residents a chance to enjoy their summer evenings outdoors with friends and family while exploring the City’s many beautiful natural spaces and neighborhoods.

For more information, contact Joyce Carroll, Parks and Recreation Department Arts Supervisor, at joyce-carroll@iowa-city.org or 319-356-5100, or Marcia Bollinger, Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator, at marcia-bollinger@iowa-city.org or 319-356-5237.

 2017 PARTY IN THE PARK EVENTS:

 JULY

7/6/17
Creekside Park — 1858 7th Avenue Court
Entertainment: Mike Haverkamp

7/13/17
Reno Street Park — 516 Reno St.
Entertainment: Pennies on the Rail
Eulenspiegel Puppet Theater performance at 5:30 p.m.

7/20/17
Mercer Park — 1317 Dover Street
Entertainment: Kathy Maxey & Larry Mossman

7/27/17
Glendale Park — 1250 E. Jefferson Street
Entertainment: Yahoo Drummers

AUGUST

8/3/17
Wetherby Park — 2400 Taylor Street
Entertainment: Suzanne Wedeking
Eulenspiegel Puppet Theater performance at 5:30 p.m.

8/10/17
S. Hickory Hill Park — 1439 E. Bloomington Street
Entertainment: The Fritters

8/17/17
College Green Park — 600 College Street
Entertainment: Mitch McAndrew

8/24/17
Brookland Park — 550 Greenwood Drive
Entertainment: Bob and Kristie Black


July 4th Celebrations in the Corridor

How do you like to celebrate America's birthday?  A number of corridor towns have a parade and put on a fireworks show to celebrate the day.  Other events of interest include pancake breakfasts, tournaments and carnivals.  Here is a list of places to go and things to do by town.

Cedar Rapids - Freedom Festival:  Each year, hundreds of thousands of people attend the two week festival hosted in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to celebrate our nation’s birthday. The community of Cedar Rapids is showcased throughout the Freedom Festival with over 70 events taking place leading up to the grand finale on the 4th of July: the largest fireworks show in Iowa!

Coralville -  4th Fest:  Coralville's annual 4th of July celebration is a community tradition that attracts thousands of visitors and residents each year.  The multi-day event includes a 5K run / walk, entertainment, food, free concerts, a carnival, parade, and fireworks.  Coralville's July 4th celebration draws the biggest crowds in the corridor.  Festivities take place near the heart of downtown, in Coralville's S.T. Morrison Park.  There's something for everyone to enjoy, browse the listing of fabulous events by clicking here.

Hills - This community south of Iowa City celebrates the 4th with a kiddie tractor pull, a softball tournament, a horseshoe tournament, a Euchre tournament, a parade and caps it all off with fireworks.  Talk about a family fun in Iowa tradition!

Lake MacBride (Solon) - It's tough to beat a day at the beach on July 4, take in the boat parade at 4 p.m. (have you ever seen a boat parade?), then watch the booming colors sparkle over the lake later that night.

North Liberty - This little town north of Coralville puts on a parade at 2pm starting at S.R. 23 and Maple Street.  No Fireworks, but a very short drive down the street to Coralville takes you to all the festivities there.

Oxford - This town west of Coralville on Highway 6 puts on a darn good parade at 3pm and then has a fireworks show at the Lions Club Park.   Put together a picnic lunch and you've got a nice casual day of enjoyment. 

Sharon Center - This little community southwest of Iowa City puts on a good parade at Noon, followed by an awesome pork BBQ and potluck lunch at the Masonic Lodge at 1pm.  No fireworks.

If you're really into parades, you can see the circuit, starting with the Coralville parade at 10am; then the Sharon Center Parade at Noon; followed by the North Liberty Parade at 2pm; the Oxford Parade at 3pm; the Lake MacBride boat parade at 4pm and then the Hills Parade at 5:30pm.   Travel time could be an issue and such a feat would be nearly impossible, but I know people who do try to take in two if not three of these great parades.    Kids can really rack up on the candy!


Corridor Area Festivals: Holidays, celebration, music, fun and games, tradition

The following is a list of annual festivals and events in the corridor area, listed by month.

January

Coralville BrrrFest - Coralville Marriott Hotel and Conference Center Exhibit Hall
300 E. 9th St., Coralville.  Brew Up a Celebration of Craft Beers Coralville BrrrFest celebrates the beers of winter and the brewers who make them. Sample and purchase craft beers showcased by breweries from across the Midwest. A portion of the proceeds benefit Coralville's annual 4thFest celebration.

WinterFest - Experience the wonders of an Iowa winter at Coralville’s annual WinterFest. Since it began in 2008, thousands of people each year enjoy a showcase of winter-time demonstrations, indoor and outdoor hands-on activities, entertainment, food, and frosty fun for all ages.  WinterFest is held at various venues in the Iowa River Landing, just off Interstate 80 exit 242, at the corner of E. 9th Street and Quarry Road.

June

Iowa Arts Festival: The Iowa Arts Festival is a weekend-long, free, community celebration featuring over 115 local and national visual artists displaying and selling their artwork, a music festival, a “Culinary Row” serving regional and ethnic food, a variety of activities and entertainment, both creative and educational, for children and families. The Iowa Arts Festival is the most anticipated visual art-centered event of the summer.  Location:  Downtown Iowa City, starting on Clinton Street

Trek Fest:  If you've never seen a Klingon up close and personal, you might get your chance if you warp into Riverside, Iowa during a special summer weekend.  Riverside's annual Trek Fest is a celebration of the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk.   Good food, music, a parade, contests of all kinds and of course, a lot of people dressed up in Star Trek costumes.  

July

4th Fest:  Coralville's annual 4th of July celebration is a community tradition that attracts thousands of visitors and residents each year.  The multi-day event includes a 5K run / walk, entertainment, food, free concerts, a carnival, parade, and fireworks.  Coralville's July 4th celebration draws the biggest crowds in the corridor.  Festivities take place near the heart of downtown, in Coralville's S.T. Morrison Park.  Browse the listing of fabulous events by clicking here.

Freedom Festival - Each year, hundreds of thousands of people attend the two week festival hosted in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to celebrate our nation’s birthday. The community of Cedar Rapids is showcased throughout the Freedom Festival with over 70 events taking place leading up to the grand finale on the 4th of July: the largest fireworks show in Iowa!

Hills 4th of July- This community south of Iowa City celebrates the 4th with a kiddie tractor pull, a softball tournament, a horseshoe tournament, a Euchre tournament, a parade and caps it all off with fireworks.  Talk about a family fun in Iowa tradition!

Lake MacBride 4th of July (Solon) - It's tough to beat a day at the beach on July 4, take in the boat parade at 4 p.m. (have you ever seen a boat parade?), then watch the booming colors sparkle over the lake later that night.

North Liberty 4th of July - This little town north of Coralville puts on a parade at 2pm starting at S.R. 23 and Maple Street.  No Fireworks, but a very short drive down the street to Coralville takes you to all the festivities there.

Oxford 4th of July - This town west of Coralville on Highway 6 puts on a darn good parade at 3pm and then has a fireworks show at the Lions Club Park.   Put together a picnic lunch and you've got a nice casual day of enjoyment. 

Sharon Center 4th of July - This little community southwest of Iowa City puts on a good parade at Noon, followed by an awesome pork BBQ and potluck lunch at the Masonic Lodge at 1pm.  No fireworks.

Iowa City's Jazz Festival - Named one of the Top Ten Jazz Festivals in the country, enjoy a variety of well-known jazz musicians and an infusion of up-and-coming talent from four stages!  Jazz Fest is operated by the City of Iowa City Summer of the Arts.   This event takes place the first week of July.  

North Liberty Blues & BBQ - Held in North Liberty’s Centennial Park, at 1565 St. Andrews Drive. Our free celebration started as a way to highlight a newly completed park and commercial district. Since then, we have drawn thousands from across the state with kids’ activities, great music, local craft beers, and mouth-watering food. And we have weathered rain and storms and seen the continued loyalty that our community has for Blues & BBQ.

Solon Beef Days - The four groups that started Beef Days back in 1971 were the Solon Optimist Club, Solon Fire Department, Solon American Legion and the Solon Jaycees. It is named after Beef, as the Johnson County Cattlemen’s Association came in and cooked the steaks served at the event the first few years. When searching for an appropriate name for an annual Celebration, Beef seemed a good choice and stuck.  Good eats and carnival fun in downtown Solon.  The event takes place in mid-July.

TifFun Creek Fest - On the schedule are a Friday night concert and fireworks at Bella Sala and a Saturday morning parade followed by a full day of family-friendly activities, including inflatables, sports tournaments, a petting zoo and more!

on the schedule are a Friday night concert and fireworks at Bella Sala and a Saturday morning parade followed by a full day of family-friendly activities, including inflatables, sports tournaments, a petting zoo and more! Check out the late-July fun just south of Highway 6 in Tiffin.

August

Hoover's Hometown DaysAn annual event of West Branch, Iowa, birthplace of the 31st president and home to his presidential museum.  Each August, West Branch celebrates its most well known resident with music, food, rides, and the world championships of Hooverball.  This two day event is capped off with a patriotic fireworks display timed to the music of the Eastern Iowa Brass Band.

September

FRY fest:  Named in honor of former University of Iowa football coach Hayden Fry, FRY fest is a one day ‘Celebration of all that is Hawkeye’ to kick-off the Hawkeye athletic seasons the Friday before the first home football game. With over 20,000 members of Hawkeye Nation in attendance, it has become a tradition for fans to travel to Coralville, Iowa each year to take part in the numerous family-friendly activities.  Fan Favorites:  Hawkeye Car Show, blood drive, World's Largest Hawkeye Tradeshow and Tailgate Party, autographs, athletes, coaches, athletic demonstrations, kids' activities, food, pep rally, concert.  Located at the Iowa River Landing in Coralville.

December

Aisle of Lights - Coralville.   See how 30,000 white paper sacks, each filled with sand and a votive candle, create a magical scene on a winter evening! The City of Coralville’s annual Aisle of Lights luminaria display, started in 1980, is held in December.   Area businesses and organizations host a merry day of activities for all ages, and then residents and businesses who choose to participate light luminarias at 5:00 pm to burn throughout the night. Miles of luminarias are available for viewing by foot or car.  View the twinkling lights at your leisure, or take a tour. The City of Coralville provides one free wheelchair-accessible bus, departing from City Hall approximately every 45 minutes beginning at 5:15 pm. The last tour departs at approximately 8:15 pm. Each round is limited to 40 people, first come, first served. Open to the public.


2 bus routes to detour due to closure of Washington Street for the Downtown Block Party effective Saturday, June 24, 2017

Effective at 6AM on Saturday, June 24, 2017 Iowa City Transit will detour two eastbound routes due to the closure of Washington Street for the Downtown Block Party event. The affected bus routes are the outbound Court Hill, and the outbound Saturday Towncrest. These routes will detour using Clinton Street to Burlington Street instead of traveling eastbound on Washington Street. The inbound trips of these bus routes will not be affected. 

The bus stops located at Washington Street and Linn Street (#7200) and at Washington Street and Gilbert Street (#7201) will not be serviced during the road closure. Customers who normally use these bus stops should catch their bus at the main transit interchange located at the intersection of Clinton Street and Washington Street. Normal service will resume effective Monday, June 26, 2017. 

For more information, call the Transportation Services Department at 319-356-5151 or visit us on the web at www.icgov.org/transit.


Street closures and parking info for Downtown Block Party

Several downtown streets will close and street parking will be limited on Saturday, June 24, 2017, for the Iowa City Downtown District’s Downtown Block Party.

The event will run from 5 to 11 p.m. and span seven downtown blocks and the pedestrian mall. 

The City of Iowa City will offer free parking in the ramps all day Saturday, June 24 until 10:30 a.m., Sunday, June 25.

Street access and parking will be limited in the following areas beginning at 5 a.m. Saturday until early Sunday morning:

  • Iowa Ave. South from Clinton St. to Linn St., no parking
  • Dubuque St. from Iowa Ave. to Washington St., closed and no parking
  • Washington St. from Clinton St. to Linn St., closed and no parking
  • Linn St. from Iowa Ave. to the Iowa Public Library, closed and no parking
  • U.S. Bank parking lot will close Saturday at noon until Sunday morning
  • Alley access will be closed within the Block Party boundaries

See the included Block Party map for reference.

Block Party

 

Attendees who are 21+ are allowed to drink beer and wine in designated areas, using pre-purchased cups throughout the festival area. This event is for all ages and includes outdoor games, music and shows. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit downtowniowacity.com.



Student winner announced for Juneteenth essay contest

Iowa City and Johnson County area students put their creativity to paper as part of the 2017 Juneteenth celebration’s essay contest, and event organizers have now announced the contest winner. The competition was sponsored by Johnson County and the City of Iowa City.

Written essay competitors were asked to write about the progress and ongoing struggle for equal rights in Iowa and the United States. Xena Makky took the top spot with “The Legacy of Perseverance.” She will be recognized at the Juneteenth celebration. The event is scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 24, at Mercer Park, 2701 Bradford Dr., Iowa City.

Makky will receive a certificate in her name and a cash prize of $75. The essay may be viewed online at icgov.org/upcomingyouthandhumanrightsevents

Juneteenth, often referred to as the African American Emancipation Day, is a national observance marking the end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865. This year is the 150th anniversary of the Juneteenth celebration.

Other scheduled Juneteenth events include an informational display on the history of slavery and Black Iowans; live music and a variety of live entertainment; an indoor health fair; and food, games and activities for the whole family.

There is no fee to attend, and the public is invited to participate.