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Multi-day Independence Day celebration set for Charles City

Multi-day Independence Day celebration set for Charles City
Fireworks light up the sky over the Cedar River after being launched from the First Street Bridge in this 2021 file photo. Press file photo by Bob Steenson
To The Press

Get set to “Party in the Heartland” during the annual Fourth of July celebration in Charles City July 1-4, with a variety of events and activities planned for all ages.

Things actually get under way on Thursday, June 30th, at 7 p.m., with the Stony Point Players presentation of “Live and Local at the Charles Theatre: An Evening of Community Theatre,” featuring eight short plays by local playwright James Grob. There will be a matinee presentation on Saturday, July 2nd, at 2 p.m. at the Charles Theatre.

Friday, July 1st, is Kids Day presented by Soifer Family McDonald’s and First Citizens Bank, beginning at 10 a.m. in Central Park with registration for the Kids Day Parade at 10:30 a.m.

Children are encouraged to decorate their rides (or themselves) in patriotic colors and parade around the park with family and friends.

Afterward there will be games and a McDonald’s meal available in the park until noon, with a stage show planned from noon to 1 p.m. Also offered that day will be Kids Bowling at the Comet Bowl from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., miniature golf at Bayou Bend Mini Golf from 1-3 p.m., and free swimming at Lion’s Field Pool from 3-5 p.m.

The evening of July 1st, the third installment of this year’s summer Party in the Park series will be held from 5-9 p.m. The “Hero Night” themed-event will feature the band Chocolate Crackers and is free to attend. There will be food vendors, a beer garden, games and activities to enjoy, with the National Guard’s Climbing Wall tentatively scheduled to be there.

Other than the second performance of the community theater plays at the Charles at 2 p.m., the only scheduled holiday activity on Saturday, July 2nd, will be the Charles City Bike Ride, which will depart the First Citizens Bank & Trust lot downtown at 8 a.m.

The fee is $5 and riders can choose from three different routes ranging from 26 to 50 miles, with a sag wagon available. Register that morning before the ride or contact Richard Neal at [email protected] for more information.

“With all of our businesses, restaurants and bars open that day, the Chamber really wants to encourage people to check out all that Charles City has to offer,” said Community Development Director Mark Wicks. “We have a lot of great shops, dining and local attractions like the Farmers Market that day from 9-noon, the museum, art galleries, the Carrie Lane Chapman Catt home and more to enjoy and take advantage of.”

The Central Park activities resume on Sunday, July 3rd, with a community hymn sing and community prayer at 11:30 a.m. organized by the Evangelical Free Church.

Starting at 1 p.m. there will be music and entertainment, with juggler Dan Kirk performing multiple shows, along with pony rides until 6 p.m., various activities, food vendors and a beer garden in the park.

The Southland Band will be performing at 3:30 p.m., followed by a hot dog eating contest sponsored by Fareway and Dave’s Restaurant at 7 p.m. and headline performer John King at approximately 8 p.m.

King is a rising country music singer and songwriter who has toured with Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Sam Huint and Travis Tritt. His debut single “Tonight, Tonight” was released in 2014 and entered the Country Top 40. He signed with Sony/ATV Nashville in April 2018. King’s single, “Try Saying Goodbye,” was named one of Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Country Songs.

The Charles City Municipal Band will perform its annual patriotic concert at 7:30 p.m. along the riverfront behind the library. The annual fireworks show will be held after the King concert on July 3rd, at approximately 10:15 p.m. downtown over the Cedar River. The Main Street Bridge will be closed from 9-11 p.m. that night for the show.

Then on Monday, July 4th, get an early start with the 20th Annual Charley Western Firecracker 5 races (5K and 5 mile) at 7:30 a.m.

The Independence Day Parade will begin at 10:30 a.m., coming up North Main Street to the bridge and over onto North Jackson. Immediately after the parade there will be activities in Central Park including food vendors, the beer garden and live music by The Mixed Tape. Hy-Vee will sponsor a watermelon eating contest at approximately 2 p.m.

Helping to make the Fourth of July Celebration possible are sponsors Cambrex, CUSB Bank, First Security Bank & Trust, L&J Industries, Extreme Mediacom, Tynan Recycling, Zoetis, Hauser Weishaar Funeral Home, Subway, Bruening Rock Products, S&T Collision and Towing, Kronlage & Olson PC and Central Park Dentistry.

The Fourth of July Celebration is a collaborative effort organized primarily by the Charles City Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information call (641), 228-4234, email [email protected] or visit

Charles City Fourth of July Celebration 2022 Schedule


  • 7 p.m. – Stony Point Players Community Play at Charles Theatre


  • 10 a.m. – Kids Day registration begins
  • 10:30 a.m. – Kids Day Parade
  • 10:45 a.m. – McDonald’s Lunch offered in Central Park
  • 11 a.m. – Free kids games in Central Park
  • Noon – Stage show in Central Park
  • 10-2 p.m. – Kids bowling at The Comet Bowl
  • 1-3 p.m. – Miniature golf at Bayou Bend Mini Golf
  • 3-5 p.m. – Free swim at Lion’s Field Pool
  • 5-9 p.m. – Party in the Park (Main Street CC)


  • 8 a.m. – Charles City Bike Ride – 3 route options (26-50 miles), departing from First Security Bank lot
  • 2 p.m. – Stony Point Players Community Play at Charles Theatre


  • 11:30 a.m. – Hymn sing and community prayer in Central Park
  • 1 p.m. – Central Park activities with food vendors and beer garden
  • 1-3 p.m. – DJ music
  • 3:30-6:30 – Southland band
  • 7 p.m. – Hot Dog-eating contest
  • 8-10 p.m. – John King performance
  • 7:30 p.m. – Charles City Municipal Band Concert along river behind library
  • 10:10 p.m. – Fireworks show over the Cedar River downtown


  • 7:30 a.m. – Firecracker-5 Run
  • 10:30 a.m. – Independence Day Parade
  • Noon – Central Park activities with food and beverage vendors and beer garden
  • Noon -4 p.m. – Mixed Tape band
  • 2 p.m. – Watermelon contest (Hy-Vee)


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