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Iowa Arts Festival Day 1: A Parade of Creativity

by Lauren Arzbaecher

Photos by Lauren Arzbaecher

Winged dancers move along the parade route. Photo by Lauren Arzbaecher

Winged dancers move along the parade route.
Photo by Lauren Arzbaecher

Color coursed through downtown Iowa City on the backs of butterfly wings, balloons, and streamers to kick off the 2019 Iowa Arts Festival. Artists, musicians, writers, dancers, entertainers, and countless other supporters of the arts flooded the streets around the Pentacrest. Community members of all ages joined in on the celebration of creative expression.

Friday night started out with a carnival parade full of brightly-colored costumes. Performances dotted several stops along the main festival route. Dancers of various ages showed off their talents through choreographed group numbers, smiling while helping the younger dancers to remember all the moves.

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A young dancer shows off her moves. Photo by Lauren Arzbaecher

A young dancer shows off her moves.
Photo by Lauren Arzbaecher

Hundreds stopped for a bite at any number of the delicious food stands along culinary row, stationed on Iowa Avenue and portions of Clinton Street. Festival attendees can choose from countless cuisines, from grilled cheese to Mexican street corn. My personal favorite was a refreshing scoop of shaved ice to help combat the heat, through there are plenty of other dessert options for fellow sweet tooths.

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The Solera Quartet plays a rendition of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon." Photo by Lauren Arzbaecher

The Solera Quartet plays a rendition of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon."
Photo by Lauren Arzbaecher

The musical performances for the opening night brought listeners back to the 1970s with performances of songs by The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd. Members of the crowd clad in tie-dye danced in front of the stage as local band Winterland began their Dead-inspired set. Winterland captured the essence of the legendary band by blending genres to reach a unique style of psychedelic rock. Closing the mainstage for Friday was the Solera Quartet, who performed their rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” The well-known album was given a entirely new direction in the classical style, a treat for listeners.

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Join in on the fun by looking through the schedule of events for the rest of the Iowa Arts Festival and check back in to Fools for more updates on events around Iowa City!