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Roanoke celebrates Independence Day with Freedom First Festival

Roanoke-Lynchburg WDBJ-TV logo Roanoke-Lynchburg WDBJ-TV 7/3/2022 Makayla Shelton
Freedom First Festival in Roanoke © Provided by Roanoke-Lynchburg WDBJ-TV Freedom First Festival in Roanoke

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A festival to celebrate Independence Day took place for the first time at Elmwood Park in Roanoke.

The Freedom First Festival at Elmwood Park started off at 11 a.m. Sunday with live music from local bands. There was also an area for kids to explore.

“We’re really excited to have an area open to families to just enjoy some free bounce houses and inflatables. We’re going to have a rock wall open as well today,” said Kelly Brammer, special events coordinator for Play Roanoke.

Admission was free, but food stands had popcorn and fresh juice available for purchase.

“I think it’s really important for families to be able to spend time together with little to no cost for them. It’ll be something fun and really different for them to do today,” said Brammer.

“We wanted to do something on a Sunday, and I saw on Facebook that they have this festival today and activities for kids,” said a participant of the event.

“We came out here to enjoy the festivities and let the kids play and have a good time. It’s definitely fun; we enjoy it,” said another participant of the festival.

The event also highlights a unique part of the city of Roanoke.

“It’s a really great way for people to really see our park system,” said Brammer. ”Elmwood Park is really awesome and not many people have a giant amphitheater in the center of their city.”

Directors for the event hope to make this an annual festival.

“This is the first year we did something in Elmwood Park to celebrate Independence Day, but we’re hoping this will be a yearly thing,” said Brammer. “We’re just really excited and hope the weather stays great throughout the day and have a lot of fun.”

The band Sugar Ray performed on stage at 6:30 p.m. and there were fireworks at River’s Edge Park at 9:30 p.m. as a continuation of Roanoke’s Independence Day events..

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