Yesterday, RAGBRAI 2020 was canceled. Today, the Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival is the latest to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a media release from the Freedom Festival, Executive Director Carissa Johnson said,

It’s difficult to anticipate what the public health horizon will look like in June when the annual Festival events would normally begin. After consultation with the Mayor of Cedar Rapids and the Linn County Public Health Department, we are making the conservative decision to cancel all 2020 Freedom Festival produced events.

That means the massive 4th of July fireworks display in Cedar Rapids won't happen this summer. There will also be no Balloon Glow, Freedom Festival Parade, and countless other activities. However, Jill Costigan, the president of the Freedom Festival board says,

We are exploring ways the community can still enjoy Freedom Festival Events virtually for the 2020 Festival – utilizing video, Facebook Live, and other options. We look forward to sharing these plans as they develop.

Even though there will not be a festival this summer, you're encouraged to buy commemorative 2020 Freedom Festival buttons. They go on sale May 1 at Hy-Vee Food and Drug Store locations in Cedar Rapids and Marion. Purchasing buttons will help the non-profit festival offset pre-paid costs for this year's event.

Next year's Freedom Festival will be held June 17 through July 4, 2021.