Freedom Festival #3This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Fishers Freedom Festival. Mark your calendars now for the weekend of June 29 and 30, 2013, to come to Roy G. Holland Memorial Park for this free family event. The two-day festival is packed full of events for the entire community and hosts a variety of activities, arts and crafts booths, and food everyone will enjoy. Attendance is expected to top 50,000 this year with the added draw of new events and returning favorites. There are so many activities taking place over the festival weekend that I could only include some of the highlights and opportunities for involvement. Whether you come for a specific event or spend the entire weekend attending the festival, you will be glad you made it to the 25th Fishers Freedom Festival.

Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge and Kids’ Firefighter Combat Challenge New this year to the Freedom Festival is the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge hosted by the Fishers Freedom Festival, Town of Fishers Fire Department, and Indiana University Health Saxony Hospital. This traveling competition visits 25 locations throughout the country every year and culminates in the Scott World Challenge XXII in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 22–27, 2013. The event will showcase the talents, skills, and athleticism of America’s firefighter heroes through exciting competitions for all to enjoy. Watch firefighters climb a five-story tower in full gear, drag and hoist fire hoses, race around obstacles, and simulate forcible entry. This is a must-see event and is expected to attract upwards of 10,000 spectators throughout the competition.

In addition to the professional challenge, there will also be a Kids’ Firefighter Combat Challenge. This event targets children ages 4–11 and offers a miniature version of the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge. Registration for the challenge will begin on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Children will enjoy this opportunity to try on real fire gear and use a fire hose. Both events are free to spectators; however, the community is encouraged to bring donations of canned food and new toys to be donated to a charitable pantry in Fishers.

Saturday, June 29, 2013 8:00 a.m. – On-site registration opens 10:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m. – Opening Ceremonies 10:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. – Kids’ Firefighter Combat Challenge 10:30 a.m. until completion – Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge (continues until the last Individual and Team Competitions are completed)

Sunday, June 30, 2013 8:00 a.m. – On-site registration opens 9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. – Corporate Challenge (12 teams) 10:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m. – Kids’ Firefighter Combat Challenge 10:00 a.m. until completion – Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge (continues until the last Relay and Tandem Competitions are completed)

Run, Jog, or Walk 1. 5K Event – Saturday, June 29, 8:00 a.m. This is a chip-timed event. Pre-Registration cost is $12 ($15 after 6/25/13) for adults (ages 13 and up) and $10 ($12 after 6/25/13) for children (ages 12 and under).  2. 2-Mile Family Walk – Saturday, June 29, 8:05 a.m. This is a fun run with no timing. Pre-Registration cost is $5 ($8 after 6/25/13) for adults (ages 13 and up) and free for children (ages 12 and under). 3. Kiddie Run – Saturday, June 29, 8:45 a.m. This FREE fun run is for children ages 9 and under. Registration is held on site at the ball field the morning of the event. A t-shirt and commemorative prize will be given to all Kiddie Run participants. Bring your cameras for fun photo opportunities with special mascot guests including the Fishers High School Tiger, “Hink,” the Butler Bulldog, and Aaron’s mascot “Lucky Dog.”

Registration for the 5K and 2-Mile events is now open at https://secure.getmeregistered.com then search for “Fishers Freedom Festival.” Events take place at Roy G. Holland Memorial Park at the corner of Sunblest Boulevard and Ellipse Parkway. Last year, there were over 1,400 participants. The free Kiddie Run will be held on the baseball field near the Registration Tent. All proceeds benefit the Roy G. Holland Memorial Fund and the Roy G. Holland Backpacks for Kids program which supports the Hamilton Southeastern School District.

Parades Children’s Parade – This year’s parade, “A Quarter Century of Celebrating Freedom,” will be on Sunday, June 30.  Decorate your bikes, tricycles, wagons, and strollers and join the fun! The lineup and judging for the parade will begin at 9:00 a.m., and the parade will start promptly at 10:00 a.m. Motorized cycles and scooters are not permitted in the parade. Your kids will enjoy the cheering fans as they pedal their way through the parade. Find out more details about participation at http://www.fishersfreedomfestival.org/events/childrens-parade/.

Freedom Festival #4Main Parade – The main parade will be held Sunday, June 30 at 4:00 p.m.  This year, the very first queen, Lindsay Kouwe-Shaw, will be participating in the 25th Anniversary celebration. Brad McKinney, the festival’s first king, had to decline the invitation due to his own wedding celebration occurring the same weekend.

The parade route will begin at Lantern Road and 116th Street, continue west on 116th Street to Holland Drive, and north on Holland Drive to the park. Pick your spot on the parade route early, and enjoy the celebration with the entire family. Admission is free, but local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will be collecting canned food, school supplies, and new toys along the parade route to donate to local Fishers families.

Arts in the Park and Food Vendors Arts and Crafts exhibitors will set up in the wooded area of the park. Over 120 vendors will be selling jewelry, clothing, housewares, handmade toys, and unique one-of-a-kind creations. The booths are open from 9:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. on Saturday and from 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. on Sunday. Visit the Arts in the Park, and be inspired by these local and national artists.

Come enjoy the whole weekend without the worries of what to cook for lunch or dinner. Leave the picnic basket at home, because 30 food vendors are ready to delight your taste buds. There are no duplications on main menu items, so everyone will find a treat during the weekend. Family favorites from tenderloins, hot dogs, and brats to ice cream, elephant ears, and cotton candy will be available all day. Local community booths make up 12 of the vendors, so get ready for some fabulous festival food.

Music and Dancing 1. “Where the Music Is” – Teens and young adults area The music will be rockin’ for those under 21 years old. Enjoy the stage on Saturday, June 29, from 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 30, from 6:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Radio Now 100.9 will be there pumping out the music and will have great giveaways to share.

2. Reynolds Farm Equipment Street Dance – Dancers and music lovers of all ages will enjoy this event on Saturday, June 29, from 6:30 p.m.–10:00 p.m. featuring the band “My Yellow Rickshaw.” Rain won’t stop the show, so mark your calendars and go! In the event of rain, the band will play in the Entertainment Tent.

3. Bid Daddy Caddy sponsored by Saxony will perform on Sunday, June 30, from 6:30 p.m. until the fireworks begin at dusk.

Fireworks Fireworks begin at dusk on Sunday, June 30. Ooh and aah at the awesome display as the fireworks wrap up a weekend of community fun.  Light-up glow necklaces will be on sale for $3 to support the fireworks fund.

Food and School Supply Drive The Fishers Freedom Festival will continue its 25-year tradition of collecting canned foods and school supplies to benefit programs that serve Hamilton Southeastern School District families. The Freedom Festival continues to be a free community event through generous donations, sponsorships, and grants. However, in lieu of charging admission to festival activities, the community is encouraged to bring donations of canned food and/or school supplies. Over 2 tons of food were donated last year; and this year, the festival will also be accepting donations of new toys, games, puzzles, and books. The Food Drive Tent will be set up in the parking lot of Roy G. Holland Memorial Park and will accept donations during festival hours. It’s never been easier to give back to the community!

Parking Limited parking is available near Roy G. Holland Memorial Park for $2. Free shuttle service is available to and from the park and the Fishers Municipal Complex at 1 Municipal Drive and the Alhuda Foundation at Lantern Road and Sunblest Boulevard. The shuttle service runs Saturday 10:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m.–11:15 p.m. Service will be suspended on Sunday from 3:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. for the main parade and during the fireworks.

Volunteer Opportunities It takes more than 300 volunteers to help make the festival a success. Volunteer opportunities for the Fishers Freedom Festival are available from June 1, 2013, through July 1, 2013, with the bulk of the needs happening during the weekend of June 29 and 30. Youth and adult volunteer opportunities are available in the Arts and Crafts area, Business Tent, Free Game Tent, Information Tent, 5K Event, Children’s Tent, Food Drive, Children’s Parade, Main Parade, and much more. Additional volunteer opportunities are available for those over 16 years old at the Firefighter Combat Challenge. Volunteer registration is open online at https://2013fishersff.theregistrationsystem.com/en/1569 or by calling the office at 317.595.3195. Sign up as an organization, family, or individual.

More Information The Fishers Freedom Festival is a not-for-profit organization. The organization is independent of the Town of Fishers and the Chamber of Commerce and runs on a budget from donations, grants, sponsorships, and a generous donation from the Fishers Town Council. A tax-deductible donation for the 2013 Fishers Freedom Festival AND Parade can be made via the PayPal link on the website or sent to Fishers Freedom Festival, P.O. Box 930, Fishers, IN  46038.

A schedule of events, maps, and additional information can be found by visiting the festival website at www.fishersfreedomfestival.com and by following Fishers Freedom Festival on Facebook for updates and news.

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