FORT LORAMIE — The village of Fort Loramie is preparing for the 49th annual Liberty Days, which will be June 30- July 2.
“The Liberty Days festival originates back to 1968 when the Fort Loramie Kiwanis Club organized the community’s first Fort Loramie Fourth of July celebration. Next year, in 2018, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the start of this community festival. The picnic was held at the former Bender’s Park. The festival has now moved to the Fort Loramie Youth Park. It is now is called the Fort Loramie Liberty Days and is held the weekend on or before the Fourth of July,” said Gina Boerger, of the Liberty Days committee.
The festival boasts activities for all ages.
Each night a different band will be featured. Bands featured include Saw Creek, playing Top 40 country music, Empty Tank, playing rock music from the 1960s to the present, and Kevin and the Others, playing rock classics combined with more current rock.
“Entertainment this year includes the band, Saw Creek on Friday night. We are so happy to have Saw Creek back at the Fort Loramie Liberty Days. They bring a great show and have a huge following. We know they will start off our festival in the best of ways! On Saturday night, Empty Tank will be entertaining the crowd to music from all genres and ages. You name it, they can play it. Our hometown boys of Kevin and the Others will take the stage Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. to close out our festival weekend,” said Boerger.
Children will be able to play a variety of games for different ages. There is the National Kiddie Tractor Pull, a lip synch contest, dodgeball, and three hours of games in Kid’s Fun Zone. A turtle race, petting zoo and carnival rides will be available.
“If you asked me personally what my favorite part of the Fort Loramie Liberty Days is, it would definitely be all of the free and inexpensive events for the kids to do. I have five kids and this festival is the highlight of their summer. There are so many kids’ activities, it’s hard to get bored. My kids have always loved the Kids Fun Zone every year. It is three hours of games, prizes, face painting and balloon art. Amy Berning and our local youth volunteers do a great job of organizing this every year. Now that my kids are getting older, they are really getting into the dodgeball and beanbag tournaments, as well as the lip sync contest, bingo and Junior Trivia Challenge,” said Boerger.
For adults there will be blackjack, Chuck-A-Luck and Hi-Lo games of chance, and adult dodgeball, beanbag and volleyball tournaments. Another new feature is the Moeller Brew Barn.
“Their beer trailer will be offering a variety of ice cold, locally-brewed draft beers. Proceeds from all beer sales will go to the Fort Loramie GYM Committee and Fort Loramie Liberty Days. We are excited to partner with Moeller Brew Barn to offer more choices for festival-goers this year,” said Boerger.
The Miss Independence pageant will be Friday at 6:30 p.m.; Little Miss Independence, at noon, Saturday; and the Cutest Baby contest, Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
Fireworks, by High-Tech Special Effects of Tennessee, will be Friday at 10 p.m. These fireworks will only viewable at Fort Loramie Youth Park.
“They are very well-known locally for putting on the heart-thumping, up-close fireworks shows at Eldora Speedway. The biggest change to this show is that they will only be able to be seen and experienced at the park. You won’t want to miss it. They will be bringing fireworks, other pyrotechnic spectaculars and their famous “fireballs,” which are unique to only them,” said Boerger.
The community comes together to put on the festival each year.
“Of course, this whole community festival would not even be possible without the generous donations from our local businesses and clubs. We greatly appreciate their support and efforts in helping make this weekend a success. We hope everyone will come out to the Fort Loramie Liberty Days festival and enjoy some fun!” said Boerger.
Additional information can be found on the Liberty Days Facebook page.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.