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Summer’s back, and so is Charles City’s Party in the Park

Summer tradition kicks off Friday, May 31

A summertime tradition now in its 21st year, Party in the Park in Charles City is back starting this coming Friday, May 31.

The event is organized by Main Street Charles City and held in Central Park from 5 to 9 p.m. on four select Fridays from late May to early August.

In addition to free admission and live music, each party offers food and beverage vendors in the park, a beer garden, various activities and display booths.

“The family-friendly event is a great way to connect with friends and neighbors, unwind with work colleagues and entertain guests and visitors,” said Mark Wicks, Charles City community development director.

Summer’s back, and so is Charles City’s Party in the Park
Jazzy/funky/rock/blues band Deja Blue will be featured at this year’s first Party in the Park, May 31.

The jazzy/funky/rocking blues band Deja Blue will be featured at the first party, May 31.

“The group of seven seasoned musical veterans hail from the Waterloo area,” said Wicks. “Lead singer Craig Bravender is a member of the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, while saxophonist Tom Barry engineers recordings and sound for concerts and recitals at the University of Northern Iowa School of Music. He also directed the UNI Jazz Band. The group is well known for hosting a weekly jam night at the Screaming Eagle American Bar and Grill in downtown Waterloo.”

Other scheduled Party in the Park acts this summer are the funk R&B Dick Danger Band on June 21st, country musicians Mike Bernard & the Midwest Made on July 5th, and the rock and blues music of the Kris Karr Band  at the Aug. 2nd Party in the Park finale.

Food vendors scheduled to be on hand May 31st include Smokin’ Mana’s, Barbara & Maria’s Tacos, All About Cheesesteaks, Island Grill, Hy-Vee Grille, The Cookie Doughtique, Watcha Like and the Rotary Popcorn Wagon.

As in past years, special PIP tokens will be used to purchase food, beverages or take part in some of the activities in the park. They are available for $1 each from the Main Street Charles City tent near the center of the park, or from red apron-wearing token sellers wandering around the grounds.

“The orange tokens are good at all four PIP events this year, as well as in future years,” said Wicks. “Leftover tokens from 2023 are also still good, but any dated PIP tokens prior to last year are not.”

Making the May 31st Party in the Park possible is presenting sponsor Yokohama TWS, along with co-sponsors Central Park Dentistry, CUSB Bank, Fareway, First Security Bank & Trust, Larry Pump CPA and Subway.

Main Street Charles City is a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization committed to preserving and enhancing downtown Charles City. For more information, contact the MSCC Office at 401 North Main St., (641) 228-2335 or email

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