Freedom Fest schedule set for eventful weekend

Published 10:17 am Friday, July 1, 2011


A giant flag is carried down Main Street during the annual Freedom Fest parade in Austin. -- Herald file photo

Austin is the place to be over the long Fourth of July weekend, as people from near and far join together for Freedom Fest, July 1-4.

The 26th annual celebration of community and country features a wide variety of family entertainment for people of all ages.

Email newsletter signup

This year’s four-day schedule of events includes more than 24 hours of music, a 100-unit grand parade, two nights of fireworks, arts and crafts, races, contests, great food and more.

Several new events have been added to the schedule, including a salute to The Hormel Institute and “Walk for a Cancer Free World,” a Moose Club Car Show, a musical tribute to the “Legends of Country and Rock,” a “Little Miss Sparkler” and “Mr. Firecracker Pageant,” and a beanbag tournament.

Bandshell Community Park is the center of activities for family events July 2, 3 and 4. Twenty hours of free stage entertainment is scheduled, along with an arts and crafts show, carnival games and rides, and 13 food concessions. Fireworks will be displayed over the park on the evenings of July 3 and 4.

Freedom Fest schedule of events

Friday, July 1
•Jaycees Street Dance; 8 p.m. Friday – 12:30 a.m. Saturday; at Torge’s Live, featuring Poisoned and Amish Playboys; $5 cover charge.

Saturday, July 2
•Hog Jog 5-Mile Run; 8 a.m.; at East Side Lake; pre-registration at the YMCA, race-day registration 6:45-7:30 a.m. at the race site. For a race form, go to
•Kids’ Fishing Contest; 8-10 a.m.; at East Side Lake; $2 entry fee, $50 first-place prize, prizes for all 15 and under; registration on site beginning at 7:30 a.m.
•25 Mile Dan Ulwelling Bike Race; Noon; at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center; registration at 11 a.m.
•The Hormel Institute’s “Walk for a Cancer-Free World”; 3 p.m.; starting at The Hormel Institute; registration 1:30-2:30 p.m.; open house 2-3 p.m.; $8 entry fee, includes a T-shirt on first-come basis.
•Bandshell Community Park entertainment; 2-7 p.m.; slides, rides and carnival games, arts and crafts, 13 food concessions, and a Jaycee’s beer garden.
•D.C. Music Productions’ Legends of Country and Rock; 4-7 p.m.; at Bandshell Park; The “Great Girl Groups” 4-4:30 p.m., The Hormel Institute 4:30-4:45 p.m., country classics 4:45-5:15 p.m., The Hormel Institute 5:15-5:30 p.m., Johnny Cash by Bill Dewey 5:30-6 p.m., The Hormel Institute 6-6:15 p.m., and tribute to “Buddy and the Bopper” 6:15-7 p.m.

Sunday, July 3
•Morning Lions Fly-in Breakfast; 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.; at the Austin Airport.
•Moose Club Car Show; Noon; registration at 11 a.m.; 50s and 60s music, food and prizes.
•Family Day in the Park; 2-10 p.m.; at Bandshell Community Park; slides, rides and carnival games, arts and crafts; bags tournament west of the Bandshell at 1 p.m., registration at noon (507-440-0961); jugglers, magicians and clowns; 13 food concessions; and a Jaycee’s beer garden.
•Bandshell Community Park stage entertainment; 2-10 p.m.; Jane Taylor Dancers, 2-3 p.m.; Bridget’s Dance Conservatory, 2:45-3:15 p.m.; Little Miss Sparkler/Mr. Firecracker, 3:30-4:30 p.m.; CW Von Arx, 4:30-5 p.m.; The Sisseez, 5:15-6:15 p.m.; 3 Lane Band, 6:30-8 p.m.; announcements, 8-8:30 p.m.; Austin Community Band, 8:30-10 p.m.; fireworks display at dusk.

Monday, July 4
•28th annual Mini Piggy Fun Run; 10:45 a.m.
•Independence Day Parade; 11 a.m.; Main Street.
•Bandshell Community Park stage entertainment; 1-10 p.m.; Rochester Caledonian Pipe Band, 1-1:30 p.m.; opening ceremony/flag raising, 1:30-2 p.m.; The Austin Big Band, 2-3 p.m.; The Irish Minstrels, 3:30-5 p.m.; 2nd Edition, 5:15-6:15 p.m.; Bissen Brothers (and Sisters) Band, 6:30-8 p.m.; announcements, fireworks raffle drawings and AAAC presentation, 8-8:30 p.m.; Austin Symphony Orchestra, 8:30-10 p.m.; giant fireworks display at dusk.
•Other entertainment;1-8 p.m.; Bubbles the Clown, Jim Jaye’s Puppet Show, slides, rides and carnival games; 13 food concessions, and a Jaycee’s Beer Garden.
•Kid Power “Pedal Tractor Pulls”; 3 p.m.
•Free ice cream social; 2-4 p.m.; Westminster Presbyterian Church.