Let the Bands Play on!

posted on Thursday, June 1, 2017

Let the Bands Play On! That's the theme of this year's Sturgis Falls Celebration in Cedar Falls, Iowa, June 23-25, 2017

Maybe it’s the smell of turkey legs roasting on the grill in Overman Park, watching the kids in the parade, the sounds of the Marine Band, the music of the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival in Sturgis Park or just knowing that year after year you’ll be able to meet up with old friends in a place that’s familiar. For all the reasons you enjoy the Sturgis Falls Celebration, you can count on the festival delivering again this year during their 42nd annual celebration June 23-25, 2017.  

This year, the theme of the Sturgis Falls Celebration is “Let the Bands Play On!”  And that’s truly the case. Bands will be playing on a multitude of stages…and all the entertainment is free!

Overman Park is home to food vendors and lots of entertainment | Sturgis Falls Celebration 2017 is June 23-25

The festivities in Overman Park begin early at 11am on Friday, June 23. Our local Cedar Valley Jazz Club will kick things off followed by Heartland Marimba Band, Musica Ficta, Chocolate Cracker, Doo Wops and the Sturgis Falls Children’s Choir. And that’s just the start of a weekend filled with entertainment. Plant your lawn chair in a shady spot and enjoy the Bill Riley Talent Search, Cedar Falls Community Theatre, Scrap Metal (34th Army Band), Camp Lejeune Marine Concert Band, Milk & Honey, Crystal Weber, The Michael Reed Band, Clarence Williams and the Rising Sons and more!  

The Cedar Basin Jazz Festival will kickoff at 5pm on Friday at two venues, at Sturgis Park behind the Ice House Museum and at NewAldaya Lifescapes (7511 University Avenue in Cedar Falls). The Saints Dixieland Jazz Band, The Dandelion Stompers, The Pelican Jazz Band and The Maytags are a few of the bands making an appearance this year and Trippin Billies, a Dave Matthews tribute band, will be the featured artist on the Sturgis Park stage Saturday night from 9pm until midnight.

We also need to include the talent lined up for the little ones. The kids will have the Kidsway Stage all to themselves where they can enjoy the magic of Eric Michaels, the Heinz Performing Arts Academy, the “Dean of Juggling,” Science and Magic with Vikash and Snakes Alive!


Gateway Stage will host more than 10 bands during the 2017 Sturgis Falls Celebration, June 23-25.

(photo courtesy Sturgis Falls Celebration, Justin Adams performing in 2014 on the Gateway Stage) 

To top it all off, the sounds of rock ‘n roll will be heard in Gateway Park where more than 10 bands will make an appearance including Stackhouse, The Pork Tornadoes, Wicked Andersons, Sixteen Candles, Checker & The Bluetones and Bob Dorr & The Blue Band.

More than 100,000 people attend the Sturgis Falls Celebration. With so many visitors, non-profit vendors play a vital role and provide hundreds of volunteers. This year’s non-profit organizations include Kiwanis, Boy Scouts, Sons of Norway, Mt Caramel Baptist Church, Masonic Lodge and the YMCA. Sartori Hospital/Wheaton also provides a First Aid Tent that’s manned by volunteers. 

As Iowa’s largest, completely free annual city celebration, this year’s Sturgis Falls Celebration will have activities for every age and interest. Main Street in downtown Cedar Falls will be host to the annual parade Saturday morning, you’ll want to visit the Gateway market and carnival on your way to the Gateway Stage, watch the kids in their annual parade Friday afternoon and shop at the Arts & Crafts Fair on Sunday from 10am-4pm.   

Need more information? Sturgis Falls Celebration programs will be available, free of charge, at the Cedar Falls Visitor Center. We also have this year’s Sturgis Falls Celebration t-shirt available for purchase in our gift shop. T-shirts will also be available during the Sturgis Falls Celebration at their tent in Overman Park or available prior to Sturgis Falls at Worlds Window in downtown Cedar Falls.  

Want more ideas of places to visit while in Cedar Falls? Give us a call at the Cedar Falls Visitor Center. We can be reached at 319-268-4266 (800-845-1955). Or, stop by the Cedar Falls Visitor Center (6510 Hudson Road). We’re open Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Saturday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and Sunday, noon until 4:00 pm.

We’d be happy to help you!

Camp Lejeune Marine Band at the Sturgis Falls Celebration in Cedar Falls, Iowa, June 23-25, 2017

(photo courtesy Scot Starbeck, Sturgis Falls Parade)

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