Freedom Fest offers Family fun, fireworks, music
A group of ladies join Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band onstage during one of the band's numbers at last year's Freedom Fest. The annual Independence Day celebration returns, along with the Lt. Dan Band, to Fort Rucker's Festival Fields July 3.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 14, 2012) -- Mark your calendars -- Fort Rucker's largest annual event is just a few weeks away.

Freedom Fest, scheduled for July 3, is expected to attract more than 20,000 people and will include musical performances, fireworks, food and craft vendors, static displays, games and more, said Janice Erdlitz, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation marketing director.

"It's a great way to celebrate our nation's independence and it's a great time to recognize what Fort Rucker does for our community," Erdlitz said. "It's a great time to thank our Soldiers. There's not a better celebration than on a military installation."

One of the most anticipated events is the return of Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band. The group will perform from 7-9 p.m. at the Festival Fields and fireworks will immediately follow.

"We're really proud to have Gary Sinise back to Fort Rucker," Erdlitz said. "He did a great job last year and everyone loved him. We're really, really fortunate to get him back."

The 30-minute fireworks display is choreographed to music, so it's a spectacular show, Erdlitz said, adding that Families should bring blankets or lawn chairs to the field so they can sit back and enjoy the show.

Country music star Natalie Stovall will kick off the music entertainment portion of Freedom Fest at 4:30 p.m. and the 98th Army "Silver Wings" band will perform throughout the evening.

Erdlitz said Natalie Stovall performed at The Landing a few months ago and was "phenomenal," so they thought she would be a great fit for Freedom Fest lineup.

"Of course we're always proud when we have our own 98th Army Band," she added.

Children's activities will be open from 3:30-10 p.m. and will include vendors, games, an inflatable fun zone, pony rides and train rides. Fees for the activities vary, but tickets and wristbands will be available for purchase, according to Erdlitz.

Freedom Fest has something for the entire Family and it continues to grow every year, Erdlitz said. Families throughout the Wiregrass area make Freedom Fest their main Fourth of July celebration.

"It's is definitely one of our must-attend events of the year," she said. "If you've never been, you should put it on your calendar. It's fun and admission is free."

For full coverage of Freedom Fest 2012 see the special pull out section in the June 28 edition of the Army Flier.

Page last updated Wed June 13th, 2012 at 00:00