FORT LORAMIE — Heading into 54 years of celebrating the Fourth of July, Fort Loramie Liberty Days is staying true to its roots and offering plenty for friends and family to enjoy.
“We’re just proud that our community still gets together like this and we love our picnic because, not only is it a great community event, but really there’s just so many things for the family do. We really pride our festival especially in the fact that we offer many free activities for kids. When we keep the kids entertained, the parents can visit and mingle and have those conversations with community members,” Liberty Days Committee Chairperson Gina Boerger said.
Free activities and events for the kids include the National Kiddie Tractor Pull, the Kids Scavenger Hunt, the Little Miss Independence Contest, the Junior Trivia Challenge, the Kids Tent — featuring many kids games and activities, free balloon animals, free face painting, Hole in the Bucket Water Relay, sack races, three-legged races, water balloon toss, and money hunt, to name a few. There are also some activities that have small registration fees, with Boerger adding that they try to offer plenty to do for the family.
Additionally, carnival rides will be provided by Chicketti Family Amusement for the second year in a row.
“We’re excited to have them back this year. We had them last year for the first time and they were absolutely wonderful. They are bringing more rides this year in addition to what they brought last year. They’re excited to come back and we’re excited to have Chicketti at our festival,” Boerger said.
This is the second year in a row Liberty Days has been able to return to the community after being unexpectedly canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic that hit in 2020. Boerger said that in 2021, it was more than evident that people had missed being together and that Liberty Days celebration was a party. They’re striving to bring the same sense of community and togetherness in the 2022 Liberty Days.
“It’s amazing how much we took for granted our ability to gather, and now that we’re able to do that again, I know that I personally feel so grateful that we can live in a small town and pull off a wonderful event like this, and people come to it,” Boerger said.
Boerger, who has attended the Liberty Days festival since her youth when it was originally called the Old Time Fort Loramie Fourth of July, has always looked forward to the BBQ Chicken Dinners provided by the Fort Loramie Service Club, finding them nostalgic now that she has a family of her own that she takes to the festival each year. Going from attending the festival since childhood to helping organize the festival, for Boerger, has been a unique experience.
“Just getting to see my kids experience some of the same things, like being in a sack race, is super cool and I love that it’s been a long-standing tradition,” Boerger said.
Boerger added that, while there will be no parade this year, the committee made the decision after bringing the parade back in the 50th year of Liberty Days to have parades every five years, and the local community has a Liberty Days Parade to look forward to in 2023.
“Our goal and plan, as long as our parade committee is willing and able to pull it off, is to hopefully do a parade every five years. We did it for year 50 and we’re in the works of planning for year 55 next year. We’re looking forward to it,” Boerger said.
With Liberty Days returning and growing, Boerger added that the Liberty Days Committee is always looking for new members to join the organization.
“We have a lot of committee members who have a lot of longevity on the committee and we have gained a few new members, but we’re a pretty small group to pull off this festival,” Boerger said. “We only meet six times a year — we’re a very efficient committee. It’s not a huge time commitment.”
Anyone interested in joining the Liberty Days Committee can contact Boerger through the Liberty Days Facebook page.