Freedom Fest offers a bevy of activities for all

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 18, 2002

Austin Daily Herald

The excitement for Freedom Fest in the Heartland 2002 begins July 4 during the Independence Day Parade with a Military T-6 Flight Team Fly-over soaring across the skies at 11 a.m., honoring our Grand Marshals, "American Heroes".

As the parade marches on and bands play patriotic tunes, look to the sky as the "Hearts of America Balloon Release" inspires your spirit, our freedom as Americans.

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Family fun continues at Horace Austin Park with Color Guard Salute, 21-Gun Salute, stage entertainment, fishing contest, firefighters challenge, canoe sprint, Ridiculous Relays, Barta Kids Pedal Pull, roller brigade, free splishin' and splashin' at the municipal pool and food, food and more food.

Bring your blankets and lawn chairs to be a part of the Spotlight Tribute to Our American Heroes, beginning at 9:35 p.m., with Olympic Torch Run, Cohen medley as we stand and cheer for America and the fireworks extravaganza.

It doesn't stop there. July 5, the family fun is in downtown Austin from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a kiddie parade, stage entertainment, games, water wars fun and more just for the family.

Like dancin' in the streets? You don't want to miss the 7th Annual Street Dance. Gates open at 7:30 p.m., the cost is $5 (children 10 and under free with paid adult) and there will be prizes, foods, Jaycee Beer Garden. Playing on the Country Stage will be Chace Roberts and Robin Breeze and on the Rock Stage will be Fat Rudy and Radio Cats.

Run it, walk it, ride it

There will be sports events for all ages at East Side Lake:

Freedom 3-Mile Fun Walk and Freedom 5-Mile Hog Jog; Jay C. Hormel Nature Center:

Freedom Friendship Bike Ride and Freedom 25-Mile Bike Race.

An event to remember

An event of yesteryear, yes that's what "Country Comes to Town" will be about. Saturday, July 6, the Bandshell and LaFayette Park sites will be buzzin' and hummin' with games of yesteryear, stick to your ribs foods-hog roast, cotton candy, old-fashioned lemonade, popcorn, Spring Grove pop, old-fashioned ice cream cones-stage entertainment second to none-Bear Creek Band, Chmielewski Fun Band, Strictly Instrumental, 50 country crafters, fishing cabin and Freedom Forever Flag Salute.

Take a stroll to the Kaleidoscope of Country at LaFayette Park, you'll be entertained with Root River Antique Farm Display, covered wagon rides, petting zoo, Pajolo alpacas, pony rides.

Take a chance and enter the Ag Olympics and horseshoe tournament and food, glorious food at our Country Picnic Pantry.

Join the country spirit, Saturday, July 6, the Hambone Blues Jam will bring another new twist to our 17th Annual Festival.

With Blues artists the likes of Dave Ray, Revelators, Black Cat Bone Shane Henry, Ross William Perry, Renee Austin and Big John Dickerson-all begins at noon, Torge's/Holiday Inn parking lot.

SPAM merchandise will be on sale and there will be a beer garden, too.

July 7 is the final day of Freedom Fest in the Heartland, a day that Americans can once again show their pride beginning at noon with the Classic Car Show 'n Shine, Holiday Inn parking lot. At 4 p.m., there will be the Classic Car Cruise.

Line-up at the corner of Main Street and 4th Avenue NE at 4 p.m. and wear our country's colors, don Old Glory, and join together in the Americans Standing Together March, as the Freedom Fest Marching Band leads the way to the Bandshell Park for a "Taste of Austin" by the Mower County Pork Producers, Free Ice Cream Social by the Mower County Dairy Association, awe-inspiring tribute by National Guard and Scout Troops as a drum roll sounds the regal march of American flags and flags of the countries that lost loved ones during 9/11. American Legion Post #91 and VFW Post #126 will post colors, Pledge of Allegiance, 21-Gun Salute -- the evening's patriotic theme will have you, family and friends feeling your passion as an American.

The Austin Community Band will fill the air with the strains of patriotic melodies. A Grand Marshal drawing for "American Heroes Trip for Two", compliments of Four Seasons Travel and the Festival Lucky Button Drawing for a Holland Portable Gas Grill compliments of Bissen TV & Appliance are just two of the highlights planned for this evening.

A very special salute will be a "Candlelight Moment", bring your candle and join Austin patriots for a moment of silence in honor of those lost during the turbulent times of our history. National Guard and Scouts will surround the audience with candles lit. A musical favorite, Stars and Stripes Forever, will be synchronized with a dazzling Fireworks show, to bid farewell to Festival, 2002.

For event and registration information, call: 437-3448, or e-mail