Cedar Rapids Fourth of July Fireworks Stopped Twice

By Forrest Saunders

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The Fourth of July was a bit of a fizzle for some watching fireworks in Cedar Rapids. The show was stopped and started twice.

The Freedom Festival fireworks show typically lasts 20 to 30 minutes. Friday night it took more than an hour to get from start to finish.

About 11 minutes into the show, officials with Freedom Festival said technicians had a short in an electrical box causing the first delay.

“The crazy thing is normally they can never fix that once it shorts out. But we had a really good team … that was able to fix that and get the show back on,” said Robyn Rieckhoff, the executive director of Freedom Festival.

Success was short lived, though. The show resumed for about a minute and a half until officials had to delay it again for safety reasons. Two people jumped a security fence surrounding the firework launching area on the First Ave Bridge.

“We have a distance that people are not allowed to be within and they went past that line,” Rieckhoff said. “So, we had to get them and take them to jail and go from there.”

Issues with fireworks aren’t anything new to Eastern Iowa. Last Fourth of July a computer glitch caused up to 75 percent of Coralville’s fireworks to go off in the first minute.

l Comments: (319) 368-8610; forrest.saunders@kcrg.com

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