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Loessfest canceled for second straight year

Posted at 10:52 AM, Jan 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-24 11:53:09-05

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — Due to flooding in 2019, the popular Loessfest Festival, which takes place at Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park, was canceled. This year, organizers say the same due to a need for flood-damage repairs and a lack of time to complete them.

“We can’t begin restorations until spring. Planning and executing Loessfest is very labor and time-intensive," said Council Bluffs Director of Parks Vincent Martorello. "Because of the current conditions of River’s Edge Park, we have decided to focus our spring efforts on returning the park to its original beauty.”

When toying with the idea of holding Loessfest in other locations, organizers ultimately decided that Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park was a key component and that it shouldn't be held elsewhere.

The park is designed to handle typical flooding but last year proved to be too much for built-in safeguards.

Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh says he has confidence in restoration crews scheduled to begin work in spring.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but our crews are prepared for the challenge,” said Mayor Walsh. “River’s Edge Park is a point of pride for Council Bluffs and we look forward to opening again soon.”

Loessfest has been a free Memorial Day tradition in Council Bluffs since 2013 and features attractions like live music, movies and a number of vendors.

The Parks and Recreation Department says staff is working on another event series in 2020 at several parks in Council Bluffs and plans to announce the details soon.

Officials are hopeful that the Loessfest Festival will return in 2021.