We were told that when the Medallion Hunt ended, the Freedom Festival Schedule of Events would be released.  And since the Medallion was located earlier, and the winners were awarded today, the Freedom Fest crew has delivered the schedule to us.  Get ready for another amazing year, loaded with old favorites, and plenty of new things to look forward to.


First off, the dates.  We know it ends July 4th of course, but this year, Freedom Fest officially kicks off June 18th with the traditional "Tribute to Heroes" Dinner at the Hotel at Kirkwood.  Dock Dogs will return to Kirkwood June 19-21.  Also at Kirkwood that opening weekend is the BIG event the entire area has been buzzing about for weeks: The Insane Inflatable 5k. (If you haven't registered yet, you might want to quick, as so many of the waves have already sold out... and we still have 2 months till the event!)

As we head into the first full week, you'll want to make sure you put the Balloon Glow down for June 23rd, at Brucemore of course.  It's easily one of the biggest and most popular events of the entire fest.

The second weekend of Freedom Fest brings the annual parade, which will run on a completely different route this year, as it'll go through the Czech Village/NewBo area.  In fact NewBo will be the centerpiece for a ton of family fun that weekend, including the return of Imagination Square (in the NewBo lawn this year) and Lego Extravaganza.  You'll also find Hy-Vee’s Taste of Freedom going on in the NewBo Lawn, as well as Freedom Bop, this year featuring The Legends and the Do’s & the Don’ts.  


On Sunday the 28th, as tradition, the Flag Retirement Ceremony will be held on the NewBo Lawn stage, and will feature the Eastern Iowa Brass Band.

The fun continues into the final week as Rock ‘n’ Bowl for Special Needs will be held at Westdale Bowling Center Monday, Movie Night at the Ballpark will be Tuesday,  and you can catch Bob Dorr and the Blue Band performing Friday night as part of the Music at the Museum concert at the National Czech and Slovak Museum.


Then comes the 4th.  While we're sad to see the event wrap up, it will go out with a bang! The day starts with the pancake breakfast in the Veterans Memorial Building this year, followed by the car/bike show downtown on 3rd Ave.

Then comes the big Thomas Dostal Developers Freedom Festival concert at the McGrath Amphitheatre, this year featuring 5 great rising country stars, headlined by Eric Paslay and A Thousand Horses. If you don't want to fight the crowds for the perfect view of the best fireworks display in Iowa that night, get your ticket to the shows (starting at just $19, which includes your Freedom Fest button cost), and you'll have a reserved seat for the fireworks, with a great concert to entertain you while you wait.  5 acts, reserved seat, AND your button... not a bad deal at all!

In addition to these Freedom Festival organized events, there are numerous other events affiliated with the Festival. All events will be listed by the middle of May. More information can can be found by visiting the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival website at www.freedomfestival.com.