Area gears up for Fourth

BY SHAFIN KHAN | JULY 02, 2015 5:00 AM

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Iowa City and Coralville are getting ready to roll out the red carpet for our nation’s birthday celebrations this weekend.

Coralville will host its annual 4th FEST. It began last weekend with a 5K around the city and a mini marathon for kids. On Wednesday, the Carnival opened at in the Aquatic Center Parking Lot, 1513 Seventh St., and it will continue at 5 p.m. today.

On Friday, the carnival will open at noon, and concession stands will open at 3 p.m. and run until dark. Food vendors will include typical Americana foods, including funnel cakes, corn dogs, hamburgers, giant tenderloins among the fair-food style Fried Twinkies and friend candy bars.

Also on Friday, there will also be a Coralville history presentation; Tim Walch, an area author, will share his new book, Images of America: Coralville, and Rex Brandstatter, a local historian, will give an oral history of Coralville. Walch’s book includes hundreds of photographs that tell the story of Coralville from its inception to today. day in the Coralville City Hall.

This year, the Friday night concert will feature the Sidewinders and Loverboy. The Sidewinders will open at 6:30 p.m. in Morrison Park. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs. The nine-piece band, which performs pop and rock classics, has played at the Iowa State Fair and various festivals around Iowa. It covers popular songs such as Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive.”

The main act, Loverboy, will throw it back almost 30 years. It’s known for its rock sound, bandanas, and red leather pants. Its most famous song is “Working for the Weekend,” but the group has other hits, including “This Could Be the Night,” “Hot Girls in Love,” and “Queen of the Broken Hearts.”

At 10 a.m. Saturday, the area’s largest Fourth of July parade will begin. It will run for two miles, starting at the Geico/ McGregor’s parking lot on Highway 6 W.

Coralville’s fireworks will begin at dark on the Fourth in Morrison Park.

Iowa City will host its 25th-annual Iowa City Jazz Festival this week as well. A new addition this year is late night shows on Friday and Saturday in the Englert Theater, 221 E. Washington St.

People can also find fireworks in Iowa City. They will begin around 9:30 p.m. in Hubbard Park.
North Liberty has no plans for fireworks, but it will have a hot-air balloon show at 8:30 p.m.

With so many events going on this weekend, public safety is a prime concern, Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Greg Obbink said.

“July Fourth is one of the nation’s deadliest times of the year,” he said. “There tend to be more passengers on the road this time of the year.

“Historically, July Fourth is one of the deadlier weekends, that’s why we will increase patrols.”

The State Patrol will put extra units on roads statewide from Wednesday through July 7. 

“There are always extra patrol on the road during holiday seasons,” Obbink said. “Our district is out of Cedar Rapids, so we have the responsibility of looking over the safety of six different counties.”

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