CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) – After moving to a virtual format in 2020, the in-person return of Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival this year has given the downtown area an economic boost.
Over 70 events took place this year over a two-week span, including several concerts, the Balloon Glow, a movie night, a car show, a pancake breakfast and of course the annual fireworks show.
After a year of closures, reduced capacity limits, and fewer people feeling comfortable going out in public due to the pandemic, the return of Freedom Festival events has given a much needed boost to businesses across the country. downtown.
In addition to Alliant Energy PowerHouse and ImOn Ice, Cedar Rapids’ VenuWorks operates the McGrath Amphitheater and Paramount Theater, which have hosted several Freedom Festival events. VenuWorks estimates that the five events held over three days at the two sites brought in nearly $ 600,000 in downtown consumer spending.
Over 10,000 people attended the five events, including concerts by Fitz and the Tantrums and REO Speedwagon at McGrath Amphitheater and Sevendust at Paramount Theater.
“This past weekend has been very busy and very exciting for our team, especially as we come out of the COIVD-19 pandemic. Michael Silva, executive director of VenuWorks from Cedar Rapids, said. “The numbers keep rolling in, but we estimate that 40% of our concert audience comes from more than 50 miles outside of Cedar Rapids, which means they’ve likely had hotel rooms in Cedar Rapids. , ate at local restaurants, and spent money at local retailers. “
More live events are expected to return to the region in the coming months.
“July through October will be the busiest we’ve ever been at the McGrath Amphitheater and the Paramount Theater is set for a record quarter and 4 quarter,” added Silva. “The Alliant Energy PowerHouse is also backing down with indoor arena shows starting to come together. We anticipate a busy second half of the calendar year and an extremely busy start to 2022. “
For an up-to-date list of events at Alliant Energy PowerHouse, ImOn Ice Arena, McGrath Amphitheater or Paramount Theater, Click here.