The final performance in this summer's Iowa City Press-Citizen Friday Night Concert Series will be more than a great musical event. It'll be a chance for the community to mark the end of a long wet summer, note the incredible progress the area has made since the Iowa River flooded in June and - of course -- have a good time.
The City of Iowa City's Summer of the Arts, United Way, the University of Iowa and local government officials have declared the Sept. 5 concert, featuring the reggae/ska band Public Property, a "community celebration." In addition to the performance, which is sponsored by MidWestOne Bank, the night will include special activities for children and brief remarks by community leaders who want to thank the thousands of people who pitched in to reclaim the land from the river.
"This community has been through a tremendous ordeal this summer with the flooding," said Mary Frieden, executive directorâ€¨ of the City of Iowa City's Summer of the Arts. "While there's still a great deal of work to do, this seems like the perfect time to pause, have some fun, share stories and celebrate the fact that despite the struggles we've faced -- and maybe because of them -- this community is stronger and more vibrant than ever."
Festivities begin at 5 p.m. with children's games and prizes in the Black Hawk Mini Park (Pedestrian Plaza), followed at 6 p.m. with a special introduction and remarks and at about 6:20 p.m. with live music by Public Property.
Among the speakers scheduled to give remarks before the musical performance and during the breaks are Charlie Funk of MidWestOne Bank, UI President Sally Mason and Patti Fields with United Way of Johnson County.
The children's activities will run until 8 p.m. and include a basketball hoop, ring toss and beanbag toss, courtesy of Big Ten Rental. Prizes will be awarded while supplies last, including gift certificates to area restaurants, coloring books and CDs, and children can get free cotton candy. University of Iowa Children's Hospital will provide free face painting and Hawkeye tattoos, members of the UI Dance Team members, UI cheerleaders, Herky and Perky are all expected to make special appearances.