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Freedom Festival River Watch

Updated: Friday, July 4 2014, 01:10 AM CDT
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) – The holiday weekend has already started for many eastern Iowans and it’ll continue Friday in Cedar Rapids with the Freedom Festival activities all day, ending with fireworks at night.

While workers set up for the festival, they have one eye on the river. It’s expected to crest at about 1 am, at about 16.4 feet, just hours before everyone comes out to enjoy the holiday.

Fourth of July plans generally involve bodies of water in some way.

"It looks like a river now,” said Julia Lish, who came out to take pictures of the flooded areas of the Cedar River. “I mean, last year it didn't even look like a river, it looked like a stream."

But in Cedar Rapids, the goal on Independence Day isn’t to get your feet wet.

"When I found out the water was going to crest on July 4th, I was just hoping we could still have the festivities,” said Freedom Festival Executive Director Robyn Rieckhoff.

The show will go on, but as of now, the city says the 8th Avenue bridge will be closed.

"There are some safety concerns with the elevated river level of rapidly moving water, swift currents and debris that public safety personnel have noted in the river,” said Cedar Rapids Public Safety Spokesperson Greg Buelow.

It’s been a week to forget for much of Cedar Rapids, so this year, the fourth might just be a reason to think about something else.

"Well the concerts and stuff is just going to give people a good time,” said Lish. “It's going to be something that they can take their minds off."

"Watch some amazing fireworks and have that one night off before repairs and everything get going again,” said Freedom Festival Intern Brooks Kehoe.

Ahead are weeks of fixing and rebuilding, but for now it’s “on with the show.”

"This is what Cedar Rapids does,” said Rieckhoff. “We do come back, and really quickly and that's what we're all about.”
Freedom Festival River Watch

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