New Executive Director/Events Manager Named

(Cedar Rapids, IA) – Hawkeye Downs, a prominent venue and racing attraction in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, today announced it has hired a new Executive Director and Events Manager. Jenn Draper is well-known and well-respected in the Cedar Rapids area for her extensive experience in event planning. She has successfully planned and coordinated the Downtown Farmers Markets, as well as, the extremely popular Market After Dark for the past five years.  Ms. Draper also has developed and implemented comprehensive events planning for more than 40 large and small-scale events for the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance including the organization’s popular Annual Meeting and Cedar Rapids Restaurant Week.  

Jenn Draper, new Executive Director/Events Manager


“I’m honored to be a part of an organization with such a rich history in Cedar Rapids,” said Jenn Draper. “Hawkeye Downs has a great story to tell, and I’m ready to proudly share the newest chapter with our community.”

Ms. Draper will use her events planning expertise to help Hawkeye Downs grow its event schedule, and its entertainment and racing facility offerings.

“As Hawkeye Downs enters this new chapter and historic revitalization era, we are absolutely thrilled to have Jenn Draper leading the charge for us,” said Hawkeye Downs Board President Julie Kraft. “Jenn’s events planning experience and vast community connections are exactly what we need to turn Hawkeye Downs into a top events and racing destination. She has a terrific track record of producing top notch events. We love her enthusiasm and can’t wait to see what she does for Hawkeye Downs. We expect Jenn will bring a whole new level of fun to every event that is hosted here.”

Ms. Draper will take the helm at Hawkeye Downs in mid-February: “I’m looking forward to finding creative ways to use the space at Hawkeye Downs to engage new crowds, while maintaining and elevating the racing experience fans expect at this venue,” she said.

This weekend Hawkeye Downs expects 3000 people will check out a variety of vendors at a gun show. Other events coming up include the Eastern Iowa RV show February 14th—16th and the Cedar Rapids Home Show February 21st—23rd.   Planning is already underway as Hawkeye Downs looks to celebrate 100 years of racing in 2025.