It’s Freee­dom Fes­ti­val time!

The Times (Northeast Benton County) - - FRONT PAGE - ANNETTE BEARD

The 12th an­nual Free­dom Fest was the largest ever, ac­cord­ing to spon­sors and Ed­win Brewer, pas­tor of First As­sem­bly of God Church.

“It is a co­op­er­a­tive ef­fort — it takes many of us work­ing to­gether,” Brewer said. The owner of USA Fire­works, Brewer said he do­nated 5,000 mor­tars for the fire­works show that was set off by Pea Ridge fire­fight­ers.

“This is way big­ger than our church!” Brewer said. “There are many spon­sors and vol­un­teers who work very hard to make it hap­pen.”

The event be­gan at 6 p.m. with the serv­ing of free meals — 1,000 hot dogs and 1,200 chicken sand­wiches with chips, sweets and drinks. Sev­eral dif­fer­ent church groups per­formed gospel songs from 6 - 9 p.m. Chil­dren jumped, ran, bounced in the three bounce houses set up be­hind the church build­ing.

Pea Ridge fire­fight­ers Scott Ste­wart, Ryan Sher­man, Michael Cu­lotta, Chris Perez, Alex Blevins and Cody Law­son set up and det­o­nated the fire­works.

“We want to send a huge ‘thank you’ to ev­ery­one who helped make another Free­dom FEst a huge suc­cess,” Judy Ma­jors, one of the many vol­un­teers, said. She said spon­sors in­cluded the Pea Ridge Op­ti­mist Club, Ar­vest Bank, Kelly/Kelly, Beavers Farm; Sisco Fu­neral Home, Pea Ridge Vet Clinic, NWA Res­i­den­tial Real Es­tate PR, Tysons, Bimbo Bak­ery USA, Lit­tle Deb­bies, USA Fire­works, Coke, Neigh­bor­hood Mar­ket, Sams Club, Pea Ridge Po­lice De­part­ment, Pea Ridge Fire De­part­ment, Pea Ridge Tire Shop, Fly­ing RF Feed & Farm Sup­ply, Sonic, White Oak Sta­tion, Diego’s, Vic­to­ria’s, Head Hunters, TH Rogers, Black­hawk Auto, Cot­tage Flower Shop, O’Reilly’s, Pea Ridge Cafe, Monte Ne Inn, Sams Olde Tyme Burg­ers, House of Web­ster, Colton’s, Freddy’s, CiCi’s, Golden Cor­ral, Domino’s Pizza, Cat­fish Johns, Daisy, Pi­o­neer Flea Mar­ket, Krispy Kreme, Bob­cat, Pea Ridge Street De­part­ment, The Ridge Church, Refuge Church, Westide Bap­tist Church, River of Faith Church, Cor­ner­stone Church, Life­line Rid­ers CMP and First As­sem­bly of God.

TIMES pho­to­graph by Annette Beard

The largest one yet is how pas­tor Ed­win Brewer de­scribed the 12th an­nual Free­dom Fest Sun­day. More than 2,000 free meals were served and fire­works were dis­charged at dark. Brewer, owner of USA Fire­works, do­nates the $5,000 worth of fire­works to the com­mu­nity event that is hosted by a co­op­er­a­tive ef­fort of the area churches, vol­un­teers and busi­nesses.

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