Travel Council Bluffs Today!


May 25-28, 2018

Council Bluffs, Iowa


Council Bluffs, IOWA — March 8, 2017 — The City of Council Bluffs and Iowa West Foundation announced the full lineup of events for the fifth annual Loessfest (pronounced luss-fest) today. Loessfest showcases Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park, located at the foot of the Iowa side of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, and was created to celebrate all that it has to offer. The festival has drawn more than 130,000 people to the park in its first four years.

This year, all Loessfest events will be happening over Memorial Day weekend, with a major free concert event kicking off the festival on Friday, May 26. Thank you to Loessfest’s many generous sponsors, including Loessfest presenting sponsors, the City of Council Bluffs and the Iowa West Foundation, and the individual event presenting sponsors Cox Communications, Warren Distribution, HDR, Inc., Broadmoor, Noddle Companies, Council Bluffs Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Pottawattamie County Tourism, HGM Associates and Southwest Iowa Foundation.

Loessfest will host FREE events every day May 26 through May 29. Events include:

  • Friday, May 26: KC and the Sunshine Band with special guest Bluffett, a Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band – It’s the night we wait for all year to kick off summer: get ready to Shake your Booty with KC and the Sunshine Band! KC and the Sunshine Band danced into the music scene 40 years ago and is credited with changing the sound of modern pop music. Their unique fusion of R&B and funk with a hint of a Latin percussion groove has sold more than 100 million records, earning nine Grammy nominations, three Grammy Awards and an American Music Award. KC’s songs have stood the test of time with an impressive string of hits like Get Down Tonight, That’s the Way (I Like It) and Boogie Shoes. Opening for KC is Bluffett – a troupe of musicians and dedicated fans of the beach-master himself, Jimmy Buffett. Bluffett will begin the night with your favorite hits, including Margaritaville, Son of a Sailor and Cheeseburger in Paradise. The free concert begins at 7 p.m. Thank you to presenting sponsor Cox Communications.


  • Saturday, May 27: Run Loess Half Marathon and 5K – The Run Loess Half Marathon and 5K, organized by the Council Bluffs YMCA, will begin at 8 a.m. The route starts and ends at the park, explores the trails and ends with a celebration at the park, complete with food and activities. Registration is required for the race, but there is no cost for spectators.


  • Saturday, May 27: Country Rocks the River – Get ready to rock the night away to a live concert of country hits on the riverfront featuring Trent Harmon – Season 15 American Idol winner. Harmon recently released his debut single There’s A Girl on FOX & Friends’ Summer Concert Series, and is in the studio, eager to begin recording his self-described “country-soul” album. Opening for Trent Harmon is Omaha’s own award-winning, mother-daughter country duo Belles & Whistles, and Minneapolis-based Maiden Dixie. The free concert begins at 5:30 p.m.


  • Sunday, May 28: Bike the Bluffs – Loessfest is hosting a 22-mile bicycle ride beginning at the river at Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park. The ride starts at 11 a.m. and will venture through the trails and through downtown Council Bluffs and back.


  • Sunday, May 28: Omaha Symphony Concert – Back for the fifth year by popular demand, the Omaha Symphony with Ernest Richardson, principal pops conductor, is bringing the power and beauty of live orchestral music to the riverfront with a patriotic concert to remember. The concert starts at 8 p.m.


  • Sunday, May 28: Fireworks for Freedom – Following the Omaha Symphony concert, enjoy a night of spectacular sights on the riverfront. This Memorial Day celebration promises to be unforgettable with an awe-inspiring, choreographed firework display set to music produced by J&M Displays.


  • Sunday, May 28: Movie in the Park: Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The celebration continues after the fireworks display! Travel back to a galaxy far, far away as the third highest grossing film of all time returns to the big screen at Tom Hanafan’s River’s Edge Park. Join forces with some unlikely heroes as they fight to defeat a new reign of evil in this epic space opera film.


  • Monday, May 29: Movie in the Park: Rocky Horror Picture Show – This legendary 1975 cult classic is headed back to the riverfront with all the haunted mansions and secret labs, corsets and glitter you could dream of in a horror parody. Gather your friends and family for this spooky nighttime showing of the longest-running theatrical release in film history. The free movie begins at 9 p.m. on a giant screen. Participation, props and costumes are all encouraged!


In addition to the event’s presenting sponsors, thank you to the following supporting partners and event supporters that make these events free to enjoy: Kiewit Building Group, Triple Crown Sports, Carley Construction, Harrah’s, Judd’s Brothers Construction, Mulhall’s, J&M Displays, Snyder Associates, ABC Electric, Leach Camper Sales, J Development, Olsson Associates, Sapp Brothers, Heartland Properties, Compass Utility, Eriksen Construction, Emspace, Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, GBA Architects Engineers, JEO Consulting Group, Inc., and Barbara and Greg Peterson.

The park opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Parking is available on both sides of the river for all Loessfest events, including the parking lot just north of Harrah’s Casino and in Harrah’s parking garage. Please note, due to construction, there will be limited parking on the east side of the levee in the old Playland Park area, just east of the Great Lawn. Parking, maps and directions to Loessfest are available on the website, To avoid traffic delays and to reserve your spot on the Great Lawn in the park, please consider carpooling and arriving early for Loessfest events.