FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 17, 2016) -- Freedom Fest returns to the Fort Rucker's Festival Fields July 1 with food, live music, fun for all ages and one of the best fireworks displays in the Wiregrass.

Aida Stallings, Directorate of Family, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation business manager, said the annual event is the perfect opportunity for Soldiers and families to celebrate the nation's independence and experience a full day of local entertainment.

"Fort Rucker's Freedom Fest is set up for great family entertainment in an environment that celebrates our Soldiers near and far who continue to give and have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms," she said. "We try every year to encompass an event which children and adults of all ages can enjoy. It is a day of celebration, family fun and entertainment."

Event fields open to the public at 4 p.m. to provide food, vendors, activities, a kids' fun zone, rides and static displays. Official opening remarks begin at 7 p.m. followed by the invocation, presentation of historic colors, presentation of national colors, the singing of the national anthem and a tribute to fallen heroes by the 98th Army Band. After a short intermission, the band will return to the stage for a patriotic concert at 8:10 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.

Admission to the event is free and open to the public. A gate access pass is required for civilians with no military ID and must be obtained prior to the day of the event. Visitor control centers will not be open July 1.

Visitors may obtain passes from one of two VCCs -- at the Daleville and Ozark gates. The Daleville VCC is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays-Sundays. The Ozark VCC is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.

According to Stallings, visitors should not have trouble finding something they enjoy to eat at the event.

"We have a wide variety of food vendors some local, some from Georgia, northern parts of Alabama to the southern parts of Florida, who have participated in the past freedom fest celebrations or have heard of how great it is and want to be a part of it," she said. "Food options range from the traditional hamburger or hotdog to gator on a stick, barbecue sandwiches or plates, roasted corn, popcorn, boiled peanuts, fried cookies, pickles, Philly cheese steak sandwiches, ice cream, gelatos, lemonade and tea, smoothies, funnel cakes, cotton candy, ribs, sausage, turkey legs, fish and more.

"We will also have vendors selling merchandise," she added. "New activities for the kids will be available, including bounce houses, laser tag, a mobile video game truck, obstacle courses, zip lines, face painting, a 'choo choo' train ride and more."

For more information, call 255-1749.