Enjoy the “Colors of Summer” at the 38th Annual Sturgis Falls Celebration and the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival June 27th through the 30th in Cedar Falls! Live outdoor musical performances abound at this grand event with no admission charged, ever! The all-volunteer staff have worked hard over the years to keep these festivals admission free. Thousands wander through several large parks listening to the sounds of rock, jazz, blues, and more. Enjoy bands like FireHouse, Vic Ferrari, Arch Allies, Lick It Ticket, GB Leighton and the Iowa Military Veterans Band plus many, many more.
Besides the ongoing music and live entertainment, attendees will find a huge variety of delectable food vendors, parades, a Classic Car Show, Arts and Crafts Fair, carnival rides, and a Commercial Vendor Market. The children have their own Kidsway and Big Top Stage offering all of the prerequisites that kids need like face painting, silhouette drawings, clowns, coloring contests, big wheel races – the list just goes on and on. Gateway Park offers abundant parking and shuttle service to Overman Park and a 40’ JUMBOTRON!! This forty foot big screen offers viewing of the live stage in Gateway Park, the crowd and other images. Visit them at http://www.sturgisfalls.org
Among this year’s celebrities are Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelley. High school sweethearts, they are Iowa born and raised, both from Cedar Falls and have overcome overwhelming obstacles that inspire all of us. While deployed to Afghanistan as an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician, Taylor was clearing the way for an army detail in May of 2012 when an improvised explosive device went off underneath him and he lost all four of his limbs. They are this year’s Celebrity Marshalls and will ride in the parade on Saturday. (August 3rd a concert given by Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan Band in Gateway Park with all proceeds going to build a “Smart Home” for our heroes. http://www.OperationTaylor.com)
The Cedar Basin Jazz Festival is a festival within a festival, running during Sturgis Falls in Sturgis Park, behind the Ice House Museum. It has become hard to imagine one festival without the other! Bring a lawn chair or blanket and relax and enjoy the sounds of Jazz throughout the weekend. Going for music with a different flair, when the Jazz finishes playing for the day, the Jazz Festival is hosting Sturgis Park After Dark. On Friday June 28th hear Gracia Harrison from The Voice and Double Shot. On Saturday night it’s Pirates Over 40 and a tribute to the Beatles by Rubber Soul. A different mix of food vendors are available at the Jazz festival. With an assortment of bands both local and from out of state, audience members travel from across the country to enjoy top notch entertainment at no charge. Visit their website at http://www.cedarbasinjazz.org.
So plan to spend a day or four in Cedar Falls, June 27th thru the 30th, at festivals intended for friends and family, for memories and affordable fun. It won’t be hard to find music you enjoy, food you like, activities for the kids, and live performances that make you smile and laugh. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and relax, letting it all happen around you. See you there!
Vicki S. Bailey
Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau