About the 4thFest Parade
The 2023 4thFest parade begins at 10:00 am on July 4. The 4thFest parade is the area's largest Independence Day parade. The annual parade features marching bands, floats, and loads of excitement!
The two-mile 4thFest parade route, begins and ends at the corner of 22nd Avenue and 9th Street. It travels east on 9th Street and 8th Street, south on 14th Avenue, east on 7th Street, south on 12th Avenue, west on 5th Street, north on 20th Avenue, and west on 8th Street. View the parade route.
Where to Watch
Seating along the route is first come, first served. For safety, always stay behind the curb when watching the parade.
Seating is not available on 22nd Avenue (parade entries line up on 22nd Avenue).
If You Have Noise Sensitivity:
An area is designated a "limited noise section" of the route.
- 5th Street from the fire station west until the end of S.T. Morrison Park.
- To assist those with hearing and sensory needs, entrants should not use sirens or horns in this section of the parade. The area will be marked with signs.
- Parade organizers communicate this information to parade applicants in writing, but we cannot guarantee any section of the parade will be noise-free.
Who Is in the Parade
The parade features entries from Coralville and the surrounding area. Download the 2023 4thFest parade program (PDF)
Rain or Shine
The parade is scheduled to be held rain or shine, except during severe threatening weather conditions. If you are watching the parade or walking in the parade, plan accordingly.
If the parade is held during rain, heat, or other inclement weather, plan ahead and use your own judgment when deciding to attend or participate.
If there is severe weather that has the potential to impact the public’s safety outdoors:
- The start of the parade may be briefly delayed or the parade may be canceled.
- Because of changing weather conditions, it may be necessary to wait until close to the start time on the day of the parade to make a decision.
- Any changes to the parade will be posted at www.coralville.org/news and at www.coralville.org/4thFestParade as soon as possible.
If the parade must be canceled, it will not be rescheduled. Hundreds of people volunteer to be in the parade, and many logistics are involved with staging, street closures, public safety, and more behind the scenes. Rescheduling the parade is not possible.
Be in the Parade
- Review the packet sent to registered entrants one week prior to the parade.
- Download 2023 Parade Entrant Lineup and Information Packet (PDF)
- Park in the Hy-Vee parking lot or a nearby lot.
- Only parade vehicle entries may be in the staging areas.
- Be in place by 9:00 am in your assigned location. There are three staging areas:
- Staging Area 1: Plaza West parking lot (871-899 22nd Avenue, just north of Central State Bank)
- Staging Area 2: Central State Bank parking lot (805 22nd Avenue)
- Staging Area 3: South and west parts of the Hobby Lobby parking lot (2050 8th Street)
- Select entries will line up on 22nd Avenue, north of the staging areas
- Know your number in line. Entry numbers are posted around the staging area. Volunteers will be at the entrances.
- The parade starts promptly at 10:00 am.
- Enter from 21st Avenue and 8th Street, or from 22nd Avenue, from the north.
- There will not be access to 22nd Avenue from Highway 6. See the map in the info packet.
- Put your cell phone away. Cell phone use (including talking, texting, or taking photos/video) is prohibited when driving a vehicle, riding an animal, or cycling in the parade.
- All entrants driving a motorized vehicle must have a valid driver's license.
- Watch for children. Be careful when driving the route; kids will want to enter the road. Minimize distractions inside your vehicle so you can focus on driving safely.
- Keep the pace. Stay directly behind the entry in front of you and leave at least two car lengths
- Do not stop the parade. Performances must be quick and simple.
- Walk to the crowd at the curb to hand things out. Do not throw candy into the street.
- Never encourage spectators to approach your float or to enter the street.
- Keep it safe. No open flames. All floats must be secure.
- Do not squirt water at spectators.
- Bring water to stay hydrated; the parade route is over two miles long.
- Keep pets safe. Lack of shade, water, and rest on a hot day put pets at risk for overheating. The street surface may be too hot for a pet’s feet to endure through the parade route. See the "Animals in the Parade" tab on this webpage for information before including any pet in the parade
- Respect the "limited noise" part of the parade route free of sirens, horns, etc.. See "If You Have Noise Sensitivity" section above.
Deadline Is June 1, 2023
- Completed applications for all entrants must be received by June 1.
- Parade slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Like Coralville 4thFest on Facebook for parade tips and information.
- Registered entrants will be contacted with additional information one week prior to the parade.
- On the day of the parade, all entrants must be in the parking area prior to 9:00 am. Location and details provided one week prior to the parade.
Awards will be given in the following categories:
- Best interpretation of theme
- Best walking group
- Most patriotic float
- Grand Marshal's award
Please give careful consideration before including any pets or animals in your parade entry:
- The parade may be hot. Inadequate shade and water, combined with a lack of rest throughout the parade route, may put even healthy pets at risk for overheating.
- The street surface temperature may be too hot for a pet’s feet to endure through the parade route.
- Pet owners should have a backup plan to get their pet shade, water, and rest along the route without stopping the parade.
- All pets participating in the parade must wear their license tag at all times and must have a current rabies vaccination.
- Pets riding in a parade vehicle must be secured. Animals on a driver’s lap increases the risk of accidents for everyone, including parade spectators.
- Pets walking in the parade must be on a leash at all times. See leash laws
- Owners/handlers are responsible for any injury or damage their pet causes.
- Parade organizers may ask any owner/handler to remove their animal(s) from the parade due to safety or health concerns.
Scoop the Poop
- Owners/handlers are responsible for picking up and properly disposing of their animal’s waste before, during, and after the parade.
2023 Grand Marshals
Has Your Family Lived in Coralville for 100 Years?
As part of Coralville’s celebration of Independence Day and 150 years since the city’s incorporation, the 2023 4thFest Parade Marshals represent “Century Families” -- families whose members have lived in Coralville for 100 years (since 1923) or longer.
The parade marshals are:
The Bowers-Nicola family: Coralville residents since 1881.
At least six generations of the Bowers-Nicola family have lived in Coralville since at least 1881. Benjamin and Samantha Bowers, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren lived on 1st Avenue (Bowers subdivision) from at least 1917 through the 1960s on a 200-acre dairy farm that supplied milk to the UI Children’s Hospital. This area was eventually developed into the Iowa River Landing. The six generations of the Bowers-Nicola family served Coralville in many ways including donating land for the cemetery, serving as council members, town marshal, Board of Adjustment, volunteer fire department, first assistant fire chief, first clerk-in-charge of the “new” (1955) post office, first female director of the summer playground (beginning of the Recreation Department) and other volunteer positions.
The Alwine (Allwein) family: Coralville residents since the 1890s.
Frank Allwein moved with his family to Coralville from Pennsylvania in the 1880s or 1890s, where they built a house on 1st Avenue and changed the spelling of the last name to A-L-W-I-N-E. His son Clarence was born in the house in 1901. Clarence had four children, including daughter Marian and son Kenneth. Representing the Alwine family are Marian Alwine Brown, and Mrs. Kenneth Alwine, both of Coralville.
The Wenman family: Coralville residents since 1910.
The Wenman family came to Coralville around 1910. Members of the family have a long history of public service to the community, and some were long-time City employees.
The Brandstatter family: Coralville residents since 1923.
The Brandstatter family's service to Coralville includes town marshal, town treasurer, City Council, Coralville Volunteer Fire Department, and much more. Rex Brandstatter is Coralville's town historian.
- Where is the parade?
To see a map of the 4thFest parade, visit www.coralville.org/4thFestParade.
- Where can I park for 4thFest?
Accessible parking during 4thFest is available at the Recreation Center main parking lot, 1506 8th Street, which is the closest accessible parking to the concert. This lot will be monitored. Volunteers will be in S.T. Morrison Park with golf carts, as they are available, to assist those who need a ride. There is also accessible parking in the Coralville Community Aquatic Center parking lot, 1513 7th Street, and at Coralville City Hall, 1512 7th Street, with a hard surface path through S.T. Morrison Park that leads to the Recreation Center. Use of parking spaces marked as reserved for accessible parking requires a state-issued disability parking permit or a disability license plate.
General parking is available in the Town Center Parking Ramp at the corner of 5th Street and 12th Avenue, in the Northwest Junior High parking lot (1507 8th Street), in the Coralville Community Aquatic Center parking lot (1513 7th Street), and on area streets as permitted. Some spots at City Hall (1512 7th Street) remain reserved for City Hall customers. Some street closures may be in effect beginning at approximately 9:00 am on July 4 and lasting until the parade ends.
- When are the fireworks?
The fireworks start on July 4th at approximately 9:45 pm in S.T. Morrison Park.
The fireworks may be live-streamed on www.facebook.com/Coralville4thFest.
- Will events be held if it rains?
The concert on July 3rd is scheduled to go on as anticipated, rain or shine. The stage is covered to protect the band and equipment from the elements. An outdoor concert can still be held even if it is raining, so concert-goers should plan accordingly. Both band representatives and City officials closely monitor the weather conditions. In the event of severe weather that has the potential to impact the public’s safety outdoors, band representatives and City officials will determine if a brief delay is necessary. Because of changing weather conditions, may be necessary to wait until close to the start time to make a decision.
The parade is scheduled to be held rain or shine. Summer weather can be hot. Plan accordingly and use your own judgment when deciding to attend or participate. In the event of severe weather that has the potential to impact the public’s safety outdoors, parade organizers and City officials will determine if a brief delay is necessary. Because of changing weather conditions, may be necessary to wait until close to the start time on the day of the parade to make that decision.
In the event of cancellation, the parade will not be rescheduled. Hundreds of people volunteer to participate in the parade, so rescheduling the parade for a later date is not possible.
The Coralville Fire Department will hold the fireworks as scheduled as long as the weather conditions make it possible. In the event of rain, there is the potential to delay until the weather clears enough to operate the show.
If in the unlikely event there are changes to the concert, parade, fireworks, or other main 4thFest events due to weather, information will be posted at www.coralville.org/news and www.coralville.org/4thFest as soon as possible. We will not be able to respond to individual messages asking about the weather.
- Is the concert on July 3rd free?
Yes, it really is!
- Where can I watch the 4thFest parade?
To see a map of the 4thFest parade, visit www.coralville.org/4thFestParade. Seating along the route is first come, first served. For safety, always stay behind the curb when watching the parade.
Seating is not available on 22nd Avenue.
The parade may be live-streamed on Mediacom cable 118-8 in Coralville and at www.facebook.com/Coralville4thFest.
- Are sparklers allowed at 4thFest?
Do not light sparklers in S.T. Morrison Park. They are a safety hazard (sparklers burn hot enough to cause third-degree burns) and a fire hazard (especially when the grass is dry), and used sparklers left on the ground can cause injury when grass is mowed. Sparklers are best used at your own risk on your own property under close adult supervision.
- Are pets allowed at 4thFest?
Loud noises like fireworks or concerts, being in crowds, and the noise and activity of a parade may be overwhelming, frightening, or stress your pet. Please consider your pet’s health and safety before bringing your pet to 4thFest.
Know the leash laws: Pets must be leashed at all times unless confined by a tether or within the owner’s enclosed property. Pets cannot be tied to public property, or off-leash in public spaces, even with the owner present. If you take your pet to 4thFest, it must be on a leash, under control of an adult at all times, and current with its rabies vaccines.
Pets should always wear ID tags when leaving their owner's property. Always pick up after your pets.
If you are marching in the parade and are considering bringing your pet to be in the parade with you, please see "Animal in the Parade" at www.coralville.org/4thFestParade.
Service animals are allowed.
- Is smoking allowed at 4thFest?
No, you may not smoke in the park during 4thFest entertainment events. Under state law, the Smokefree Air Act prohibits smoking in almost all public places and enclosed areas within places of employment, as well as some outdoor areas. The law applies to outdoor entertainment events. “No Smoking” signs are posted throughout S.T. Morrison Park during 4thFest.
- Are coolers allowed at the 4thFest concert? Can I bring alcohol?
Yes, coolers are allowed. Glass bottles are not allowed. Alcohol is allowed in city parks if you are at least 21 years old; open containers can not leave the park.
- Can I put up a pop up tent, canopy, or sun shade for the concert?
Items like pop-up canopies, tents, or large sun shades are not allowed during the performance. These could block the view of those behind you. Please be courteous; not everyone is able to stand and move to see around obstructions.
Event organizers may put up a canopy/tent for sound, video, or other support stations.
- Are grills allowed at 4thFest?
We're sorry, you may not bring your own grill to 4thFest due to safety reasons with the large number of people in attendance. Feel free to pack a picnic or grab a bite of food from one of the vendors in S.T. Morrison Park on July 3rd and 4th, and enjoy the festivities!
- What items are not allowed in the park during 4thFest?
For the safety and enjoyment of all, the following are not allowed in the park during large special events, except under permit with event organizers:
- Amplified music
- Open flames
- Glass bottles/containers
- Are there seats in the park during 4thFest?
Feel free to bring lawn chairs and blankets to S.T. Morrison Park. Make yourself comfortable for the free concert on July 3, activities and performances in the park on July 4, and fireworks on July 4. Some people choose to arrive early and set up chairs in the park to reserve a spot for the concert on July 3. Please be respectful of other people's spots. S.T. Morrison Park is a large park with plenty of room for concert seating. Please do not set up items that block the view of other spectators.
- Where can I eat at 4thFest?
Food vendors set up in S.T. Morrison Park on July 3 and 4. The vendor listing and times are available at www.coralville.org/4thFestEvents. Or, feel free to pack a picnic or bring a cooler. Check local restaurants for their 4th of July holiday hours.
- Where are the restrooms?
Porta potties are available in S.T. Morrison Park (1513 7th St.) beginning the afternoon of July 3 and all day July 4.
City Hall (1512 7th St.) will be open for 4thFest information and restroom access on July 4 from 2:00 pm-8:00 pm. Times are subject to change and volunteer availability.
The Recreation Center (1506 8th St.) will be open with restroom access on July 4 from 9:00 am-9:00 pm.
- The concert is loud. What can I do?
Sound amplification is part of the annual 4thFest concert so that the thousands in attendance can enjoy the music. Residents close to the park may be able to hear the concert on their property. While some neighbors love the free music, others may not.
The concert typically ends before 11:00 pm, and a sound permit is filed with the City each year for the 4thFest concert. All sound permits are reviewed the Chief of Police, Community Development Director, and City Clerk.
- The fireworks are loud. What can I do?
Noise is part of any fireworks display. Residents closer to the park may be able to hear the fireworks from their property. Some animals have a heightened sense of sound and may be able to hear fireworks from a greater distance than humans.
Wind speed and direction, humidity, air pressure, cloud cover, and barriers like buildings, hills, and trees impact how far away the fireworks can be heard. The fireworks typically start around 9:45 pm and may last 20 to 30 minutes. If someone in your household is sensitive to the sound of fireworks, please plan accordingly.
- I live on the 4thFest parade route. When will my street close?
Typically the parade route streets close by one hour before the parade starts on July 4. If you need to go somewhere during the parade, plan to park your car on a non-parade street before then, and ask guests wishing to park in your driveway to arrive before the streets close. Parade-goers start lining up at the curb early, so set out your own blankets/chairs early too. Enjoy the front row seats!
- Who is in charge of 4thFest?
A volunteer committee and the City of Coralville organize 4thFest. Financial support from the City, sponsors, donations, and a basket auction make the celebration possible.
4thFest 2023 celebrates Coralville's 150th anniversary to honor our rich history and bright future. All parade entries should tie into this theme. Be creative! Learn more about Coralville's 150th anniversary
About the logo:
- Coral in the upper left corner represents our city's namesake. The town was christened "Coralville" for the fossilized corals found in natural rock exposures along the Iowa River, including where the foundation was dug for mills along the river in the 1800s.
- The wheel in the lower left corner represents Coralville's biking and recreational trails, as well as the river-powered mills of Coralville's early days. It also represents the Mormon pioneers who stayed in Coralville in 1856 and 1857, preparing for a 1,300 mile journey from the Midwest to Utah, towing their belongings in handcarts.
- The tree symbolizes Coralville's many parks and open spaces, and the growth of our community.
- Fireworks in the upper right corner represent our community's festivals and celebrations, including Coralville's 4thFest fireworks.
- The iconic 1876 schoolhouse in the lower right corner, with its native limestone foundation and cast iron star claps, was where generations of children in Coralville went to school; it is on the National Register of Historic Places and still sits on 5th Street.
- The vibrant colors of the logo represent the diversity of our community and Coralville's bright future.
A copy of the 2023 theme logo for use with parade floats is available by request. Request logo
*Standard logo usage guidelines apply: the logo may be proportionately enlarged or reduced in size, but cannot be distorted, compressed, or stretched. Do not alter or modify without authorization from the City of Coralville.