The annual Riverwalk Freedom Festival will be held in downtown Milford this weekend, beginning on Thursday, September 8. Running through Saturday, September 10, the festival will mark the 10-year anniversary of the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001. The Freedom Festival will remember those who lost their lives on 9/11 and celebrate the first responders who rescued countless victims without thought for their own lives.
The Smile for Freedom 5k on Thursday, September 8 will begin at 6:00pm and kick off the three- day event. The race will begin at Extreme Total Fitness and end with a celebration at Abbott’s Grill. The following evening, Friday, September 9, live entertainment will begin on the Bicentennial Park stage. The Jones Boys will perform first to the sounds of country music and be followed by The Mari Hill Bank as they close out the evening with some rock and roll.
On the main day of the festival, Saturday, September 10, Cavalry United Methodist Church will be hosting a breakfast from 7am to 9am to start the day. At 8:30am the festival ceremonies will begin with a patriotic remembrance honoring the first responders of September 11, 2001. Over 340 local firefighters will be present to march from the Cavalry United Methodist Church, across the Bicentennial Bridge and into the park where a formal observance will honor the heroic actions of the 433 first responders that lost their lives at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
After the opening ceremonies, Downtown Milford Inc. will open their weekly Farmer’s Market at 9am. The location of the market is 7 South Walnut Street, next to Bikes Etc., and will include vendors selling fresh vegetables, baked goods, homemade jewelry, arts and flowers. Business, crafts and food vendors will open at 10am and will cover the downtown area from Walnut Street to Bicentennial Park. Also at 10am the first responders display, kids korner, a custom car show, Bayhealth Patriotic Baby Contest and the paddle boats on the Mispillion River will all be available for patrons to participate.
The traditional Firefighter Tug of War will be held at 10:30am and include local firefighters from Carlisle, Houston, Slaughter Beach and Ellendale fire companies. At noon the Duck Dash will take place on the Mispillion River where sponsored rubber ducks will be placed into the river and floated downstream. The sponsors of the first three ducks to pass the finish line will win a cash reward (1st place $200, 2nd place $100, 3rd place $50). Ducks can still be sponsored for $5 by calling Donna Stalvey at 302-233-1520 or at Abbot’s Grill.
Live entertainment will be featured in Bicentennial Park throughout the day on Saturday: At noon Smooth Sound Dance Band will perform jazz music, at 2:00pm the 501 Band will play rock and roll, at 4:30pm The Glass Onion will perform music from the Beatle’s and at 6:30pm Still Surfin’ will play music from the Beach Boys.
At dusk, fireworks will light up the Milford sky to the sounds of patriotic music to complete the Riverwalk Freedom Festival weekend. Following the fireworks a name will be drawn for the “No Dirty Dishes for a Week “contest. The winner of this contest will receive over $300 in gift certificates to local restaurants including Abbot’s Grill, Georgia House, Mama Maria’s, Pizza Palace, Capriotti’s and Nick and Charlie’s. Tickets are still available by calling the Greater Milford Chamber of Commerce at 422-3344.
The Riverwalk Freedom Festival has grown over the past several years and is expected to bring thousands of people to the downtown Milford area this weekend. There will be entertainment, food and vendors for everyone in the family. For more information about the Riverwalk Freedom Festival contact the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford at 302-422-3344 or visit www.milfordchamber.com.