The Iowa City Jazz Festival, part of Iowa City’s Summer of the Arts festival series, will bring its annual three-day sizzle to Downtown Iowa City next month, resulting in street closures, parking changes, and alterations to bus routes. The Jazz Fest kicks off Thursday, July 2 and wraps up Saturday, July 4 with the City’s fireworks display. 

The following changes will be in effect during the festival: 

Street closures

Wednesday, July 1: Beginning at 2 p.m., Clinton Street will be closed between Washington and Jefferson Streets, and Iowa Avenue will be closed between Dubuque and Clinton Streets. These streets will remain closed throughout the festival and will reopen around 2 a.m. on Sunday, July 5, after events have concluded.

Saturday, July 4: Prior to the start of the fireworks, several streets near the Pentacrest will be closed in the vicinity of Hubbard Park, including Market Street (between Clinton and Madison Streets), Madison Street (between Market and Washington Streets), and Iowa Avenue (between Madison Street and Riverside Drive). On-street parking will also be restricted. These streets will be closed until the fireworks are over and the crowd has cleared the area. 


All five City parking ramps located near the Jazz Festival activities -- Tower Place, Chauncey Swan, Dubuque Street, Court Street Transportation Center, and Old Capitol Town Center -- will be open throughout the festival, although on Saturday, July 4, they will be unstaffed due to the holiday.

On-street parking will be extremely limited due to festival-related street closures, with some parking spaces reserved for festival staff and vendors. To avoid being towed, watch for posted signs indicating restricted parking during the festival and the fireworks. 


The following bus stops will not be serviced from noon on Wednesday, July 1 through Saturday, July 4, due to street closures: 7400, 7401, 7202, 7205, 7206, and 7207.

Minor detours will be in effect for the following routes, as sections of Clinton Street will be closed: North Dodge, Night and Weekend North Dodge, Rochester, Eastside Express, Night and Weekend Manville Heights, and 7th Avenue.

On Thursday, July 2, buses will run on a normal schedule with the above-mentioned changes in effect.

On Friday, July 3, free Saturday schedule service will be available, with Jazz Fest changes in effect.

On Saturday, July 4, no bus service will be available due to the holiday. 


Please consider the following information from Iowa City Animal Services and Adoption Center before bringing your pet to the festival:

If your pet is not completely comfortable around all sorts of strangers, including children, they should not attend. People who do bring their pets should have them under the control of an adult at all times. Dogs are required to be on a leash. Pets must be up-to-date on rabies vaccines.

Pets will not be allowed in Culinary Row or in the playground area on the Ped Mall outside the Library.

A dog’s ears are much more sensitive than a human’s, meaning that all sounds, including music and fireworks, are louder for a dog. Pet owners should not take animals close to the festival stage or speakers when music is being played, and dogs should never attend fireworks.

Asphalt streets are extremely hot in the July sun, and may burn the pads on your pet’s feet. Make sure they’re walking on grass or cooler areas.

Keep your pet hydrated. A pet hydration station will be located at the Jazz Festival, where animals can get drinking water and/or soak in a pool to cool off.

Watch for signs of stress in your pet: fear, excessive panting or vocalization, or lethargy. If stress is apparent, get them out of the situation.


The City’s fireworks display will conclude the Iowa City Jazz Festival on Saturday, July 4.

Hubbard Park will be closed Friday and Saturday, July 3-4 to prepare for the fireworks show. On-street parking in the area will be restricted. Cars must be moved away from the fireworks area before 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 4, or risk being towed. Watch for posted signs and/or barricades.

Fireworks will be launched between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. from Hubbard Park near the Iowa Memorial Union, although inclement weather may call for flexibility in the start time.

Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and take in the show from the University of Iowa Pentacrest lawn. The west lawn provides the best view, although the fireworks display will also be visible from the east side of the Old Capitol building and Downtown.

Rain date for fireworks is Sunday, July 5.


An accessibility shuttle golf cart will be available to people with mobility issues who need help getting back and forth from the parking ramps to the main festival area. Walkers and wheelchairs may be placed on the back of the cart. Call 319-325-6567 during festival hours to request a pick-up.

Stage area: A designated area near the front left of the stage will be provided for those attending the performances who use a wheelchair or other assistive mobility device, along with one guest. The area will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Information, assistance and emergency services

•    For information and assistance, attendees may stop by one of the festival information booths.
•    City staff working in the Downtown area, identifiable by their "Ambassador" shirts, as well as police officers who will provide foot patrol Downtown, will also be able to provide assistance.
•    Johnson County Ambulance Service will staff the First Aid booth during peak festival hours, when available, and other First Aid-certified volunteers will be staffing the booth at other times.

•    The Iowa City Fire Department reminds the public of the festival's close proximity to Fire Station #1 on the corner of Washington and Gilbert Streets, and asks festival-goers to be prepared to yield to emergency vehicles. 

For more information, contact Shannon McMahon, City of Iowa City Communications Coordinator, at 319-356-5058 or To view the schedule of Iowa Jazz Festival and other Summer of the Arts activities, visit

Date of publication

Thursday, June 25, 2015