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Uptown Friday Nights Kicks Off in New Venue

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/ FOX 28)- The Cedar Rapids' Jaycees Friday kicked off their 26th annual Uptown Friday Nights at a new venue.

"It's a venue for the type of event we host," Uptown Friday Nights Director David Haeley said.

A crowd of 1500 was expected at the new McGrath Ampitheatre right along the Cedar River downtown.

A space that provided more room for folks to spend time outdoors and a cost savings for the Jaycees.

Haeley said the Jaycee's decided to use this venue because it costs less and saves them labor.

"It actually saves us money because we don't have to try and expense those out"

A venue that allows the Jaycees to pay a lower fee upfront and helps them save money because of a partnership with VenuWorks.

"It's a new partnership and we're excited to have them here to kick off our season," McGrath Ampitheatre Marketing Director Sarah Madalinski said.

The new venue alows the Jaycees to pay a lower fee upfront and helps them save money because of a partnership with VenuWorks.

"It's a new partnership and we're excited to have them here to kick off our season," Madalinski said.

Sponsors like the McGrath partnership also helps with the finances.

Their sponsorship makes it possible to give everyone a low rate and so the Jaycees can make some money.

A benefit for both partners and a way to help cover the extra costs.

Money that's helping fund the venue for 10 weeks.

"The ampitheatre is beautiful. And the set up is nice," Lauren Shuster said.

Her husband plays for The Jif band and they played Friday night.

But she said that even though the venue is located near the river, it does take foot traffic from downtown.

Haeley said he doesn't want to do that, so he hopes that people will use a trolley.

A troller to help concert-goers get from the ampitheatre to parking. And close to downtown businesses.

"Our ultimate objective is to obtain funds to give back to the community," Haeley said.

The Jaycees donate the money they raise from Uptown Friday Nights to local non-profits.

 
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