Free­dom Fes­ti­val beefs up for June 30 cel­e­bra­tion

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page - By Josh O’Bryant

LaFayette’s tra­di­tional Fourth of July cel­e­bra­tion, the Free­dom Fes­ti­val, has grown by sev­eral activities this year, in­clud­ing wrestling, a ham­burger-eat­ing con­tests and games.

The fes­ti­val will take place Fri­day, June 30 at the city’s Re­cre­ation De­part­ment, 638 South Main Street.

Parks and Recre­ations Di­rec­tor Ja­son Shat­tuck said the fes­tiv­i­ties be­gin at 5 p.m. The event has at­tracted more than 30 ven­dors so far, with more ex­pected to com­mit.

“We are con­tin­u­ing our strate­gic plan in cre­at­ing more ro­bust com­mu­nity events for the city,” City Man­ager David Hamil­ton said.

This is the first city event to fol­low the highly successful Hon­ey­bee Fes­ti­val, which was held June 3 and at­tracted more than 10,000 peo­ple.

There will be a “free swim” at the mu­nic­i­pal pool from 5-8 p.m. Nor­mally the cost to swim per per­son is a $4 charge.

There will be an old-timers base­ball game at 7 p.m., in which 40-year-olds-and-up base­ball alumni will take on the LaFayette Mid­dle School bas­ket­ball team.

What’s new this year?

The city has beefed up the free events for the 2017 Free­dom Fes­ti­val.

“Jim Pow­ell Presents South­ern Legacy Wrestling in LaFayette” will hold a free wrestling event in­side the gym­na­sium, with a bell time of 7 p.m. This is the fourth wrestling event Pow­ell has brought to the city.

It will be an ac­tion-packed card as the AIWF World Tag Team Cham­pi­ons Ge­or­gia Heat de­fend their ti­tles against Sons of Kaos. In the main event, LaFayette’s Adam Ja­cobs will square off against former world tag team cham­pion Fran­cisco Ci­atso, as well as var­i­ous other matches. The en­tire event is free.

Krys­tal’s in LaFayette will spon­sor a ham­burger-eat­ing con­test. One win­ner will emerge out of the first 10 who reg­is­ter and will take home a tro­phy as the 2017 Free­dom Fes­ti­val Krys­tal’s eat­ing cham­pion.

In­ter­ested par­ties will need to reg­is­ter at 7 p.m. at the re­cre­ation cen­ter to take part in the two-minute con­test, which be­gins at 8 p.m.

Jim Pow­ell said one of the wrestling stars will also take part in the eat­ing con­test dur­ing the wrestling show’s in­ter­mis­sion.

There will be “Bub­ble Ball” soccer games from 7-9 p.m. Par­tic­i­pants will slip into a bub­ble ball and take on their friends — bounc­ing off one another — in short intervals. The event is free for peo­ple 15 years old and up.

There will be a free corn hole tour­na­ment for the first 20 teams who sign up from 7-8 p.m.

Mayor Andy Arnold will of­fi­cially wel­come the crowd at 7:30 p.m.

The lo­cal band Camp­bell Sta­tion will take the stage at 5:30 p.m. and the lo­cal band Aunt Betty will close out the night with a per­for­mance from 8:15 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The fes­ti­val will con­clude with the fire­works show, in­clud­ing pa­tri­otic mu­sic, at 10 p.m. (af­ter dark).

Live mu­sic and fire­works

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