Packing in the patriotism

Greenwood Freedom Festival draws its largest crowd to date

Streets were full with parade watchers on the parade route. *Photos by Nicole Davis
Kyler DeBoor, from Southside Thunder Soccer.

As the parade made its way around downtown Greenwood, viewers filled up nearly every open space along the sidewalks and greenways – kicking off the city’s largest Freedom Festival to date.

“It’s partially attributable to perfect weather,” said Molly Laut, marketing coordinator for Greenwood. “It’s the first festival I can remember that it wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t raining. I also think that part of it was our lineup of entertainment through the afternoon and the popularity of the parade. People are learning that at the end of the parade, the festival begins so people are moving

The Sikh community carries a banner and passed out water and educational brochures.

from one venue to the next, seamlessly.”

The first regional band to perform was Tastes Like Chicken, which Laut says drew a large crowd at the amphitheater. The annual Freedom Festival comprised of more than 200 booths at the festival, more than previous years, a band competition to compete for a spot in the main stage performance next year, an Honoring Our Heroes ceremony and concluded with a fireworks show in the evening. Youth volunteers from Grace Assembly of God came at 11 p.m. to clean up the park.

“I love that day,” Laut said. “It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s something Greenwood can be proud of. It defines us in a way. We’re a welcoming, open, small town community who just likes to celebrate patriotism.”

Mahota Williams and Dave Reddick, Greater Greenwood Toastmasters Club 4081.