Coralville’s 4th Fest is back with some changes but the same timeless fun

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Coralville’s 4th Fest is back with some changes but the same timeless fun

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When it comes to the nation’s celebration of freedom, no one does it quite like Coralville. As 4th Fest draws closer, the entire Iowa City area is in for a summer treat.

According to the city of Coralville’s website, the festival includes a 5K, entertainment, food, a free concert, a parade, free family-friendly activities in the park, and to top it all off, Fourth of July fireworks.

The majority of the events will be held at Coralville’s Morrison Park.

Paula Bakey, one of the 4th Fest’s committee chairs, could not contain her enthusiasm for the festival. She most looks forward to the free concert, she said, featuring Rick Springfield, the artist behind the 1981 hit “Jessie’s Girl”.

“The concert absolutely tops my list,” Bakey said. “I had wanted to get Rick Springfield for years, but the cost was too much for our budget … On top of that, we are thrilled to have one of my favorites, Kevin Burt — off his well-deserved International Blues Challenge win — opening.”

Although this year will be the first 4th Fest without a carnival because one was not available, there will be plenty of family activities in the park, a variety of food and non-food vendors, and admission specials for the Coralville Community Aquatic Center. There will also be several noteworthy parade entries.

“The parade is also a highlight,” Bakey said. “As the only military band in the state, we are deeply honored that the 34th Army Band can make it back to Coralville this year. I always look forward to what crazy float and costume Keith Jones and Hills Bank & Trust will have … We also have several new parade entries, which is always fun to watch.”

Each year, the 4th Fest assigns a theme to the celebration, with 2018’s being the “Hub of Hospitality.” This refers to Coralville receiving that recognition in the 1960s because of its booming number of new hotels, restaurants, and shop openings.

However, this year’s theme means much more than just history.

“The ‘Hub of Hospitality’ goes deeper, which I think is representative of the entire corridor,” Bakey said. “We are proud of our community and enjoy putting on events that not only bring families and friends together and generate revenue for local businesses, but we also help create wonderful memories that make people want to come back.”

Other events will include the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at Northwest Junior High, 1507 Eighth St., from 7 to 10 a.m. on July 4, and the comedic magician Rick Eugene at 7 p.m.

Some of the vendors planning to attend are the Fun Factory Face Painting, Usborne Books & More, and Willustrations (caricatures). There will also be a bounce house, craft-making activities, and the fireworks show, which will conclude the fun as the sun sets on this year’s 4th Fest.

The 4th Fest is not just a celebration, Bakey said.

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