Summer in Downtown Cedar Rapids

Glasses clink from the tables of al fresco diners. Flowers blooming on every corner. Cyclists pedal down the bike lane towards a local brewery. Tunes from pianos fill the air. Welcome to summer in Downtown Cedar Rapids!

Storm Drain Mural Art

Many believe pollutants entering storm drains will be treated at water pollution control facilities, when in reality these storm drains flow directly into the Cedar River. Pollutants like grease, cigarettes and trash thrown in these drains ends up in our waterways, on our banks, and in our wildlife. Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, with support from the City of Cedar Rapids, coordinated the creation of eight murals on storm drains around Downtown with the goal of visually transforming them and providing education around the storm water cycle.

See the location for each mural on the map below!

Downtown Cedar Rapids Summer Passport

Did you know each dollar you spend locally returns an average of 3X more to our community than buying elsewhere? This summer, Downtown Cedar Rapids and The Gazette will launch a buy local program to encourage consumers to support small, locally-owned businesses in the heart of the city.

It’s no secret that this winter served up challenges for small businesses – many saw lower than average sales due to harsh weather conditions that kept consumers indoors, and some had to close their doors for multiple days. The Downtown Cedar Rapids Summer Passport program will invite locals to fill up their Downtown Passport with stamps from small businesses and community events in the district.

Much like filling up a passport with travel destinations, the Summer Passport invites you to take a bit of a “staycation” in Downtown Cedar Rapids. And of course, staycationers will be rewarded for their efforts. Fill up a Passport, and you will be eligible for some big prizes.

Passports will be available June 21 at the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, The Gazette, and all participating businesses. Read more about the program, including prize package details!

Food Truck Friday

Food Truck Fridays in Downtown Cedar Rapids are a great way to spend a Friday afternoon for lunch. Get out of the office from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., and take a stroll to Greene Square where you can pick up your favorite dish, and picnic with live music in the park. All are welcome!

Mark your calendars for the following Food Truck Friday dates: June 7, June 21, July 12, July 26, August 9, and August 23.

Special thanks to Park Cedar Rapids for their assistance in food truck parking and Cedar Rapids Parks and Rec for maintenance of Greene Square.

Beautification in All Districts

This spring, 40 planters throughout Downtown received spring bulbs and other green plants went in over 200 planters. Kingston Village, Czech Village and NewBo will also be in bloom this summer. Additionally, the Economic Alliance coordinates efforts to to clean up downtown and surrounding neighborhoods each year with the United Way's Day of Caring. This year, groups from Marco, RSM, UFG Insurance, Aerotek, The Gazette, and Collins Aerospace worked on projects throughout the districts to make our community shine!

Music in the Air

Returning for the 2019 season, pianos will be place around core districts and will be embellished with custom artwork by local artists. Feel free to play those you find uncovered, and let your melodies soar!

Bike Share Program

The City of Cedar Rapids has announced a new bike share program throughout core districts in Cedar Rapids, featuring a fleet of 150 electric-assist bikes and 90 bike racks. Read More

Cedar Rapids Downtown Summer Passport

The Downtown Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID), The Gazette, and the Economic Alliance have partnered to create the Downtown Cedar Rapids Summer Passport program to encourage shopping locally and frequenting local amenities. Passport holders can stop in to any participating business to get a stamp in their book. Once full, completed passports can be submitted to the Economic Alliance to be entered to win big prizes!

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