Music is always better outdoors, because the fresh air washes over the instruments and allows each pent-up chord to properly oxidize. Soak up the jams with today's Groupon: for $12, you get five tickets to Uptown Friday Nights hosted by Cedar Rapids Jaycees at Greene Square Park (a $25 value).
Every Friday from May 27 to July 29, the Cedar Rapids Jaycees—a community-based leadership-training organization for local adults—book a band, tap some drinks, and raise money for charities. So far, sessions of outdoor revelry have helped raise funds for organizations including the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Make-A-Wish Foundation. With a different musical performer on each of the 10 scheduled nights, concert-goers can boogie to a variety of summertime syncopations. Swing Crew commands covers ranging from Garth Brooks to The Clash, and takes requests in a variety of genres. For a slightly different groove, the Cedar Island Band mixes Jimmy Buffett covers with original island music, and rockers Black the Sun blow down the house with their pop-infused grunge.
In case of rain, sleet, or invasion of irresistibly cute puppy aliens, tune into Mix 96.5 for announcements about contingency plans.
Cedar Rapids Jaycees
Founded in 1933, the Cedar Rapids chapter of the Iowa Junior Chamber of Commerce—or Jaycees—hones the leadership skills of its members through projects and programs that benefit the community. Once-a-month Sunday breakfasts bring locals together in the common pursuit of pancakes, and Uptown Friday Nights in Green Square Park are filled with music, food, and drinks. The Jaycees also fling wide the doors of its newly opened Jaycee Center to renters for conferences, parties, wedding receptions, and driving-school-class reunions.
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