By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Yukon’s Freedom Fest will return in July although the annual celebration is being scaled back due to this year’s pandemic.
The patriotic festival is set Friday and Saturday, July 3-4 at Chisholm Trail Park, 500 W. Vandament; and Yukon City Park, 2200 S Holly. All events are free to the public.
“Yukon has become accustomed to an awesome celebration for many years,” Ward 3 City Council Member Donna Yanda said. “After all the life changes and adjustments that we have endured over the past few months, having Freedom Fest this year gives our community something to look forward to.
“Even though this year’s event will be different and scaled back, we can still celebrate
Freedom Fest in a special way with our family and friends.”
Yukon has a long-standing tradition of celebrating Independence Day with a blast. While things will look different this year, City of Yukon officials were pleased this week to announce that Freedom Fest will still carry on.
Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby first shared the good news during Tuesday night’s Yukon City Council meeting, saying plans were moving ahead for July 3 and 4 festivities.
The City of Yukon event will feature live music and 10 p.m. fireworks displays both days. An annual car show and veterans’ tribute will return as well.
Ward 1 City Council Member Rick Cacini said it’s important for Yukon to celebrate this holiday.
“July 4th is the day of our Independence Day,” said Cacini, founder and curator of the Yukon Veterans Museum. “That’s what it’s all about. Being free and being an American.
“We need to thank our forefathers for what they did to allow us to live safe and sound in a democratic society.”
Cacini wants all Yukon residents – including local military veterans – to come out and enjoy Freedom Fest activities.
“It will be great,” he said. “It’s time to get out of the house and smell the fresh air. People are tired of being inside all day.”
City Manager Jim Crosby and his department directors will be tasked with ensuring Freedom Fest 2020 is safe for all participants and attendees.
“They are all working toward that goal,” Cacini said.
“We want to make sure we take care of our people, especially those who are most vulnerable.”
Here’s what’s happening:
• July 3rd events will be at Chisholm Trail Park. A live outdoor music show by the Hi-Fi Hillbillies takes place from 5:30-8 p.m. Irv Wagner’s Concert Band will follow with an 8:30 p.m. patriotic tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces.
An awe-inspiring fireworks’ show at 10 p.m. concludes the evening, which will also pay tribute to U.S. veterans.
• On July 4, the Freedom Fest Car Show will be 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Yukon City Park. Awards are presented at 2:30 p.m.
July 4th evening events will be at Chisholm Trail Park. A live Super Freak concert is set from 5:30 -8 p.m. at the Chisholm Trail Park Gazebo stage. A sparkling fireworks’ show begins at 10 p.m.
More entertainment for July 4 will be revealed as the event gets closer, city officials said.
Yukon Parks & Recreation director Jan Scott said Yukon residents want to get out and enjoy their local parks after the COVID-induced lockdown.
“We’re looking forward to Freedom Fest again this year,” Scott said. “I think it will bring the community together and show that we’re overcoming this (health crisis).
“Everybody knows to stay six feet away from other people. No one in the world doesn’t realize what we’re going through. People know what they’re supposed to do.”
Nobody wants to be sick, Scott added, so anyone who is apprehensive will naturally not come out to the parks and can watch the fireworks from their vehicles or homes.
For more information about Freedom Fest 2020, visit the City of Yukon’s website at http://www.yukonok.gov/freedom-fest or contact Jan Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 350-8937, or the Yukon Community Center at 354-8442.
Freedom Fest is hosted by the City of Yukon. Sponsors include The Kirkpatrick Family Fund and Wesco Insurance Services.