By Mackenzie Klahr
One of the biggest events in the Indianapolis area will likely draw an estimated 50,000 people this year, making Fishers Freedom Festival one of the most iconic festivals in the region.
“Coming to our events, almost everything is free, and we work very hard to keep it that way,” said Jennifer Kehl, executive director of the festival.
Embracing the community of Fishers and maintaining equal opportunities to all who arrive are two goals the festival works hard to achieve she says and keeping it free of charge is a job Kehl does not take lightly.
“That is one of our main goals, that no matter what your income level everyone can come out and have the exact same experience,” she said.
Two of the most memorable portions of the festival are its parade, which corrals roughly five thousand people onto the streets of Fishers and its fireworks show, which people view from all over town. There will be road closings because of the parade starting at about 3 p.m. Roads that will be closed are:
- 116th Street
- Lantern Road
- Holland Drive
- Sunblest: Between Ellipse Boulevard and Lantern Road
All streets will be reopened once viewers have left the area and police officials have given the all clear.
“It’s relatively a short period of time during one day,” said Don Dragoo, president of the festival’s board. “The inconvenience I hope will be offset by the benefits of serving the community and bringing a family atmosphere.”
The fireworks, which are made specifically for the Freedom Festival, are its second highest expense. The 20-minute show includes a personalized Fishers firework at the very end followed by an American Flag design.
The festival encourages everyone who attends to bring a canned food item for local food pantries or articles for its school supply drive. Donation stations will be open both days.
With the popularity of the festival as great as ever and over a third of attendees coming from outside of Hamilton County, Kehl holds tight to the small town feeling the festival brings to Fishers.
“We want to give them something they will remember for the rest of their lives,” she said. “It brings families together as well as friends neighbors to celebrate our independence and the Town of Fishers with community spirit.”
Changing the lives of children is what Kehl personally feels the festival is all about. She recalls, in particular, a boy who started volunteering in junior high and today, years later, has completed graduate school and lives in California.
“Every year his mother finds me and makes a point to thank me for what the committee does for the community, it really means a lot that she comes and does that,” Kehl said.
In addition to its entertainment selections, the festival is excited to add two new attractions this year, a 240-foot zip line along with a photo booth from Viral Booth Indianapolis.
The event, commemorating the Beauty of Fishers and American Independence will take place June 28and 29 at Roy G. Holland Memorial Park.
For more information on the festival and what time each event takes place, visit www.FishersFreedomFestival.com.
Fishers Freedom Festival: June 28 & 29 2014
Roy G. Holland Memorial Park
- 5k and 2-mile family walk (Saturday)
- Indiana Disc Dog Classic
- The Kiddie run
- Silent auction
- Business Vendors Tent
- Arts and Craft booths
- Firefighter Combat Challenge
- Children’s Tent- contains many crafts such as sand art, face painting, button making handprint poems, puppet shows and other items
- Kid’s sport zone
- Kid’s and Adult Firefighter Combat Challenge
- Water balloon launch and dunk tank
- Beer and Wine Garden
- Climbing Wall
- Zip Line
- Tethered Hot Air Balloon Rides
- Teen Area – includes DJ and Dancing
- Entertainment Tent
- Stella Luna and the Satellites (Saturday) Big Cat Daddy (Sunday)
- Children’s Parade (Sunday)
- Fireworks (Sunday)
- Nondenominational Church Service (Sunday)