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Independence Day fun moves to Liberty

By STAFF REPORTS

LIBERTY — Independence Day celebrations continue this weekend as the Liberty 4th of July Festival brings family fun, food and crafts to the Union County Courthouse square.

The annual festival includes a firemen’s waterball fight Friday and a salute to military service and a parade Saturday. Admission is free.

A few new activities have been added, including kiddie rides, festival games and laser tag, said Melissa Browning, executive director of the Union County Development Corp., which organizes the activities. 

But many of the activities are past favorites, including the waterball contest which pits firefighters against each other to see who can push a ball across an overhead cable – with high-pressure water. That will be at 6 p.m. Friday.

Other activities that evening include live music until 11 p.m., featuring Jr. Davis and the Funkyard Dogs. A beer garden will be offered by the Sons of the American Legion.

Saturday’s the festival’s big day, starting with a pancake breakfast at the firehouse. The 40th annual Freedom Run will begin with registration at 7:15 a.m. Walkers start at 8:05 a.m. and runners at 8:30.

As vendors and exhibits continue on the courthouse lawn, there will be a book sale from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Union County Public Library and a pie sale at 10 a.m. at the Templeton Cabin. Pie contest entries will be taken from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Paper Street Baking Shop, with judging at 3 p.m.

The beer garden re-opens at 11 a.m. An afternoon of live music includes Third Wheel from 11 a.m.-noon; Olga Berezhnaya on violin and vocals until 2 p.m.; and Sweetwater from 3:30-5 p.m.

The Depot Museum will be open from noon to 4 p.m. and an exhibit for parents and caretakers called Hidden in Plain Sight will be open noon until 7 p.m.

There will be a hula hoop contest at 1 p.m. and a freckles contest at 2:30 p.m. A patriotic baby contest starts at 4 p.m. 

Past and present service members will be honored in a special ceremony, the Line of Freedom, from 5-6:30 p.m. It will include a gun salute, the national anthem and a balloon release. Service members or veterans can register at 4:30 p.m.

Following, at 7 p.m., will be the Fourth of July Parade along Union Street starting at the Liberty Middle School. Line-up starts at 6.

Live music by Sean Lamb finishes Saturday’s activities at 11 p.m.

The fun winds down Sunday, with a patriotic sidewalk chalk art contest from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and a pie sale at 11 a.m.

Along with UCDC, festival sponsors include the Union County Foundation and local merchants. Events are held rain or shine.