Every year the Cedar Rapids community experiences the wonders of changing seasons in our Midwestern landscape. Some may say that taking the time to appreciate everyday beauty extends life, almost like an extra season is added to every year. This fifth season affords us time to enjoy all other seasons, and to enjoy life.
History of the City of Five Seasons
In 1968, a local advertising agency, Creswell, Munsell, Fultz & Zirbel (CMF&Z), created an identity initiative to position Cedar Rapids as a distinctive destination known widely for a valuable asset. They capitalized on the fact that commuting time in Cedar Rapids is much shorter than larger cities in other areas of the country, thereby providing time for more enjoyable lifestyle.
Bill Munsell and Gary Anderson created a memorable city identifier… a slogan that defined the City’s important point of difference. Mr. Anderson designed the logo, resembling a five-point star.
The City of Five Seasons was based on a Bible verse from Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” The new logo and branding line were accompanied by this explanation:
“Life is the sum of all the seasons with which it is filled. And if we have time to enjoy the things most important to us, life is rich and full indeed.
In Cedar Rapids there is time enough….time to enjoy the seasons as they pass. Extra time. Precious time. A fifth season.”
The idea was developed for and introduced by the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. As officers and managements changed, the slogan was utilized inconsistently. By 1975, the Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the City of Cedar Rapids had adopted the Five Seasons. In 1979, the convention center built in downtown Cedar Rapids was named the Five Seasons Center and the adjacent hotel was called the Five Seasons Hotel.
In 1993, Mr. Munsell and Mr. Anderson teamed up again to raise more than $800,000 in private donations and in-kind contractors’ support to build a 60-foot tall version of the Five Seasons logo called the Tree of Five Seasons, near the Cedar River in downtown Cedar Rapids. The stainless steel monument was erected on April 3, 1996 and officially dedicated to the city on May 18, 1996.
Objectives for construction of the monument include:
- Call major attention to the City
- Build positive attitudes about Cedar Rapids worldwide
- Build pride among residents
- Perpetual recognition of the work of folks who make a difference here
- Focus increased attention downtown
Originally, the City of Five Seasons logo appeared in orange with the words “time for life”, later revised to “time to enjoy.” Currently, the City uses the logo in green with the words “City of Five Seasons.”
Current Uses of the City of Five Seasons
The City of Five Seasons symbol and slogan are registered trademarks of the City of Cedar Rapids. The Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has used it for about three decades. More than ten local businesses include Five Seasons in their name. Many others, including media, utilize the distinctive Five Seasons mark in their promotions and annual reports.
The Five Seasons logo appears on all of the City’s vehicles, street signs, uniforms, letterhead, business cards, website, etc. This distinctive identity is woven into the fabric of the entire Cedar Rapids community.