By Terry Rogers
Plans are underway for the 17th Annual Riverwalk “Freedom” Festival scheduled for Saturday, September 9, 2017. This year, the event will be held entirely on one day, starting at 9 AM and culminating with fireworks at dark.
“I am very proud to be part of Milford’s largest outdoor festival,” Angela Dorey, Chairman of the festival said. “Through feedback from visitors, vendors and committee members, we found that combining all events into one day was more feasible. We are not eliminating any events or activities, just condensing things into one day.”
From 9 AM until 6 PM, local company, Let’s Do Entertainment will be providing music as the DJ as well as condensed versions of their famous “Let’s Do Trivia” and “Survey Sez games.” The entertainment is designed as family friendly entertainment and people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and enjoy the festivities which will be located in Bicentennial park and broadcast to Kids Korner as well as along the Riverwalk. Vendors will again be placed throughout town, along Walnut Street, Washington Street and throughout Bicentennial Park, Memorial Park and along the Riverwalk.
“We are moving the food vendors around town to better accommodate the entire festival and make it easier for the public to access.” Ms. Dorey explained. “Food trucks will be placed in various spots including Bicentennial park, Park Ave, Walnut Street and the kids area. That will also allow us to keep most of the parking lot in front of Fur Baby and Arena’s open.”
The Pet Park will return this year, but is being moved to the grass area across from the Milford Library. Starting at 12 noon Paula Sangeleer with local radio station Cool 101.3 will be the emcee of the Petriotic Pet parade that begins at 12:30 pm. There will be pet related vendors and demonstrations throughout the day. All four-legged attendees will be able to splash in cooling pools and get a sip of water. The Milford School District will be also making a splash in the kids corner at the dunk tank with many other children’s activities and performances. Keep your eye out for many other community organizations that will be performing in the Library Amphitheater throughout the day. More water fun can be found as the famous Duck Dash in the Mispillion River begins at 2pm behind Park Place and the Patriotic Boat Parade is returning again in the evening before the grand finale fireworks show at dark.
One addition to this year’s festival is the Red, White and Brew Garden. A section of Bicentennial Park will be closed off from 4 PM until the start of the fireworks where attendees who are 21 and older can purchase beer and wine while they enjoy live music and the festivities. Keep your eye out for soon to be revealed T-shirts that will be sold in honor of the Red, White and Brew Beer Garden and anyone who purchases a t-shirt will receive $1 off beer and wine. You must be wearing the shirt or have it in your possession for the discount.
“We are planning to have guest bartenders throughout the evening who will compete to raise tip money for a specific charity that is soon to be announced.” Ms. Dorey said. “Children and families are welcome in the area, but anyone purchasing beer or wine will need to present their id and to get their hand stamped to purchase and consume alcohol. The area will be closely monitored to assure everyone a safe and enjoyable evening.”
Operation Giveback will begin at 5 PM in Bicentennial Park with relaxation station sponsored by Aaron’s rentals, and designated seating for retired or current military members, law enforcement officers, fire personnel, paramedics and EMTs are eligible to receive a free meal donated by Mr. Barbecue. Proof of their service credentials are required. Immediate family members of the Operation Giveback recipients can get wristband to receive discount on meals purchased at some of the food vendors/trucks. In addition, Milford Live will be sponsoring two Hometown Heroes that will be recognized again this year during Operation Giveback.
From 6 PM until the fireworks begin, Federal Street Band will perform in Bicentennial Park. Based in Milton, Federal Street Band is Southern Delaware’s up-and-coming country-rock band, playing a combination of cover songs and originals with a playlist sure to please everyone. More details and timeline of events will be announced on the event Facebook page in the upcoming weeks at https://www.facebook.com/RiverwalkFreedomFestival/
“Vendor spaces are still available as are food vendor/truck positions,” Ms. Dorey said. “We are also looking for volunteers who are willing to help us throughout the day and with planning. If you are interested in putting a boat in the parade, purchasing a t-shirt for the or being a guest bartender in the Red, White and Brew Garden or want to purchase a duck to race in the Duck Dash contact the Chamber Office at 422-3344 or by email at email@example.com.”
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