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After Trying Week, Cedar Rapids Takes In Freedom Festival

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa- After a week that left downed trees, power lines and flash flooding, thousands had a Friday - on Independence Day - to exhale after a stressful stretch.

Amid higher water on the Cedar River, people still came out on a clear and relatively mild evening for the signature event of the 2014 Freedom Festival, the fireworks display over Mays Island.

“Celebrating the country, everything we fought and died for,” said Scott Lane of Cedar Rapids, who was with his wife, Angela, and their three young children. “Many soldiers overseas and independence from other nations. Freedom.”

After an afternoon of face painting, bounce houses and bingo, the Lanes settled in on the Second Avenue bridge for the fireworks.

The weather led to two Fourth of July being canceled, include the Cedar Rapids Boat Club canceling their Thursday fireworks show because of the high water on the Cedar River. The Five Seasons Ski Team also canceled all of their Freedom Festival shows from the high water.

Back in downtown, in the hours before Friday night's fireworks, some parents found the combination of snacks, electronics and sugar to be the ideal formula to keep those young children in place for hours.

“We had fun all day, played outside and finished off coming out here to watch the pretty fireworks,” said Josh Johnson, who was perched on a blanket with his wife, Heather, and their young girls.

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