Freedom Fest features food, fun, fireworks July 3

FORT RUCKER, Ala. - The installation hosts its annual Independence Day celebration, Freedom Fest, July 3 from 4-10 p.m.

Fort Rucker has celebrated Independence Day for decades, and in 1994, the event officially became known as Freedom Fest.

"The installation wants to show that we do care about our nation and our independence," said Evy Bludsworth, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation deputy director. "They put on this event every year to give individuals a way to celebrate the nation's independence at a low cost."

Attendees can participate in a new activity this year - the Army National Guard Pit Car Challenge, which the Guard displays with the Army National Guard Dale Earnhardt, Jr. race car, according to Kent Anger with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security plans and operations specialist.

Children's activities include the Warrant Officer Candidate confidence course and the Fun Zone. This play area is hosted by Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers and includes inflatables, slides, obstacle courses and more. Tickets for the Fun Zone are $10 per armband or $8 per armband when two or more are purchased. Individual tickets cost $1. These activities are open from 4 to 8 p.m.

This year Freedom Fest has more than 48 vendors offering a variety of merchandise. Some of the favorites of the past along with new vendors will offer their wares. Craft vendors will sell hand-made works such as jewelry, children's clothes and cosmetics. A station for children to build their own Teddy bears is slated to also be available. Booths stay open from 4 to 9:30 p.m.

Funnel cakes, hot dogs, hamburgers, turkey legs, nachos, cotton candy, popcorn and boiled peanuts are among the food choices available from 4 to 9:30 p.m.

The Fort Rucker community may also view static helicopter displays from 4 to 8 p.m.

The evening's entertainment begins at 4 p.m. with the Ryan Allen Band. The 98th Army Band's rock group performs at 6 p.m. followed by its brass group at 7 p.m.

Lisa Pratt, winner of the Army Rising Star, will sing "Heaven Was Needing a Hero" in support of the post's Survivor Outreach Services.

"She's singing that piece to commemorate all of the fallen Soldiers and to honor their Families," said Emily Klein, DFMWR special events coordinator.

Following these performances, at about 9 p.m., a fireworks show commences to conclude the event.

Freedom Fest is open to the public. Klein, a Freedom Fest facilitator, encouraged everyone to participate, calling it "the quintessential event" for celebrating the nation's independence.

Page last updated Thu July 1st, 2010 at 11:41