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Jefferson's Freedom Festival celebrates nation’s birthday early

POSTED: June 21, 2009 11:50 p.m.

The 4th of July is coming a little early in Jefferson.

As per city tradition, officials have planned the annual Freedom Festival for the weekend before the actual holiday.

The event will run from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday in downtown Jefferson.

"With more than 40 vendors, we’re sure to have something for everyone," said Beth Laughinghouse, who helped coordinate the event. "This is the widest variety of vendors that we’ve had in recent years."

Outside of vendors offering food like barbecue, ice cream and snow cones, there will also be craft vendors and those with offerings for animal lovers.

And since no Independence Day celebration would be complete without fireworks, Jefferson officials have arranged for a special show to wrap up the event.

"The fireworks will start around 9:30," said Laughinghouse. "The Jefferson Fire Department works out all the details and they put on a really fabulous show."

The fireworks display will be staged behind the Regions Bank building on Lee Street, so eventgoers should be sure to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on while they enjoy the show, Laughinghouse said.

This year, there will also be a special kids area and performances by two bands. The Freedom Festival will also include a dunking booth, where attendees will have the opportunity to try and dunk area officials.

Laughinghouse says the annual family fun day usually draws between 5,000 and 6,000 people.

Saturday also marks the opening day of the Jefferson Farmers Market, also located in downtown.

"Everything is usually set up by 7 a.m., but you should get here early, because the products usually sell out quickly," Laughinghouse said.



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