Support your community festival

Published 9:40 am Monday, April 20, 2015

Austin’s 30th annual celebration of community and country, Freedom Fest, is now just three months away. Committee members are lining up the entertainment that will be enjoyed by thousands of people, residents and visitors alike, July 3-5.

Community festivals, such as Freedom Fest, are about family, friends and neighbors. They are the direct result of people working together and pooling their resources together for the common good. They build community pride, strengthen relationships, showcase the community and enhance our quality of life. And, yes, they’re good for business, too, as thousands of people stay home and invite others to join them for the celebration.

The vast majority of events — including two nights of spectacular fireworks displays — are provided free of charge to all who gather to watch. Obviously, however, those fireworks and all the entertainment that are part of the three-day celebration are not without cost.

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The Chamber, with the generous support of its members, has been organizing our community festival since 1986. The lion’s share of expenses are paid by our business and organizational sponsors. But there are other ways for everyone to join in supporting our community festival.

One such opportunity is coming up next week.

Chamber Ambassadors will host a fireworks fundraiser for Freedom Fest at Austin’s Pizza Ranch, 4:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 22. All tips and a percentage of meals purchased that night will be donated directly toward July 3 and 4 fireworks displays. We thank Pizza Ranch for the opportunity, and hope everyone will come out for a great meal and a good cause, fireworks over Bandshell Community Park!

Freedom Fest is a celebration of “community and country,” providing all of us the opportunity to thank the men and women who have sacrificed much over the years to preserve our freedom. This year’s Festival Committee has decided to continue that tradition by providing special recognition to Vietnam veterans as our 2015 Grand Parade grand marshals. A special ceremony on the bandshell stage, following the parade, will pay further tribute to them and all who have served this country. Officers at VFW Post 1216, American Legion Post 91 and the DAV are helping to organize these events. If you are a Vietnam veteran or know a Vietnam veteran, we encourage you to contact one of these service organizations for more information on how you can help or participate.