By CCGM Executive Director Jo Schmeiser
July may be the biggest vacation month in many places, however for the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford; it’s the month when things really start to take off for the Riverwalk “Freedom” Festival planning, so vacation is not part of our vocabulary. The 2013 RWFF Committee, along with Milford Parks and Recreation, is planning the largest Riverwalk “Freedom” Festival ever set for Thursday September 5, Friday September 6 and Saturday September 7, and say you should mark your calendar now to plan on a long, fun-filled weekend.
The event kicks-off Thursday with the 4th Annual Smile for Freedom 5K Run and 3K Walk, and an opportunity all day to help raise money for the American Cancer Society at Abbott’s Grill. If you dine at Abbott’s anytime September 5th, they will donate10% of the proceeds to the race.
If you are interested in participating in the run or walk, you can register now, making sure you’re guaranteed to get an event t-shirt as there is a limited supply. The race starts and ends in the shopping center where Abbott’s Grill and Extreme Total Fitness are located.
Friday September 6 is the 2nd Annual Operation Giveback. Last year the program was dedicated to Veterans, and this year both Veterans and Current Military will be honored. There will be an opening ceremonies parade at 5:00 pm, and many other activities from 5:00-9:00 pm, including a Military Relaxation Station, a Patriotic Boat Parade, music in the park and live music performed by Reunion from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Food vendors will be offering a variety of good eats and beverages. Last year changing the fireworks to Friday night went so well, you can expect to see them again on Friday at dusk.
Saturday the festival runs from 9:00 am until 1:00 am There will be over 100 vendors, including Inflatable Zone, Kids Korner with a dunk tank, petting zoo, pony rides, shows and games, a First Responders Tug of War at 11:00 am, a first ever Burgers-N-Beans Burger Eating Contest at noon in Bicentennial Park, free paddleboat rides, Southern Delaware Street Rods Car Show and so much more.
One of the festival’s biggest draw is the Duck Dash, which will be held on the Mispillion River at 2:00 pm this year. Duck Dash Chairpersons Barbara Steele and Alicia Hollis are actively seeking businesses and individuals to sell ducks. The individual who sells the most ducks will win a $25.00 gift card from the chamber member of their choice, and the business that sells the most ducks will win a $50.00 gift card from the chamber member of their choice. You can also purchase a duck for $5.00, and could win $200.00, $100.00 or $50.00. For more information contact Barbara at 740.2149 or Alicia at 422.4014 ext. 3015.
This year a Cheers to Hero’s Scavenger Hunt will be the final event of the festival, running Saturday night from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am. Several businesses downtown will be participating, and participants have an opportunity to get free stuff, and win wonderful prizes. For more information concerning the scavenger hunt call Terry Rogers at 270-3878.
As you can imagine, the Riverwalk “Freedom” Festival being the largest annual outdoor event in Milford, takes a lot of planning and a lot of support. The Chamber of Commerce and Milford Parks and Recreation Department could not host this event without the financial support of our members, and the support of the community. As you are probably aware, the Riverwalk “Freedom” Festival is the only event in Milford where you can enjoy a wonderful fireworks display. The Chamber is currently seeking donations and sponsorships to help with the cost of the fireworks. Donations can be anything from one dollar up, as every bit helps. If you and your family enjoy the fireworks, please help us reach our goal. For more information concerning the fireworks, call Ruth Abbate at 674-2600.
If you are interested in sponsoring the Smile for Freedom 5K/3K Run Walk, Operation Giveback, any of the events during the day Saturday or the Cheers to Hero’s Scavenger Hunt, please contact Sponsorship Chairperson Ruth Abbate. Sponsorships include marketing and plenty of exposure for your business or organization. If you are interested in volunteering Thursday, Friday or Saturday contact RWFF Chairperson Angela Dorey at 424-8459. There are many volunteer opportunities available, and it’s not only a great way to meet people, but a great way to have fun too. For additional information visit firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the Riverwalk “Freedom” Festival on Facebook.