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What Went Wrong: Freedom Festival

Updated: Saturday, July 5 2014, 11:37 PM CDT
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28)--Freedom Festival organizers estimate more than 100,000 gathered last night for the event's grand finale, the fireworks.

The show didn't go as planned and many of you have reached out on our Facebook page to ask us why.

"I like seeing the big booms, the loud noises, the colors.

That's why Tammy Andersen went to downtown Cedar Rapids on July 4th.

"I thought it was nice just to watch the fireworks, the weather held up very nicely last night and it was just nice to come together as a city and watch fireworks," she said.

Things were going well, just like the Freedom Festival fireworks shows of the past 30 years, but soon there was silence. No more booms, no more lights.

"Something really rare happened. We had a short in one of the electrical boxes that happened. Typically once that happens the show would be done, but we had a really good fireworks crew that was able to come in and fix it," said Robyn Rieckhoff, Executive Director of the Freedom Festival.

Soon, there was a second delay.

"People tried to jump the fence and get into the fall out zone of the fireworks and so we had to stop for that as well," Rieckhoff said.

She says it's a Freedom Festival first, "and it's not the easiest thing in the world just to start a fireworks show back up. There's a lot of planning that goes into it, a lot of safety," she said.

Some were disappointed by the delays and they sounded off on our Facebook page.

Eric Stephenson said "it was the worst i have seen ever." Rick Bartlett said "disorganized and Jenni Clark said "worst! I had to leave because of all the issues," but others like Tammy were simply happy to be there.

"I thought they were very nice and I had a good time cause I was with my friends and family and that's what really matters," she said.

Between the fireworks show, safety and other efforts, it costs about 125,000 dollars to put the freedom festival together.

Organizers will start planning next year's festival in a few weeks. What Went Wrong: Freedom Festival


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