Celebrate freedom with family fest for all ages

Expanded parking will help visitors at this year’s FreedomFest in Alcoa.

Expanded parking will help visitors at this year’s FreedomFest in Alcoa.

From Press releases

Come early, play, eat and stay late. On Saturday, June 28, the City of Alcoa and new event sponsor Alcoa Heating and Cooling will present FreedomFest 2008. It will be the 32nd year for the family festival and will offer event goers a new, larger parking area and improved post event traffic plan.

One of this year’s enhancements will offer more free parking. Thanks to Alcoa, Inc., parking will be greatly improved. The Alcoa, Inc., field located at the corner of Springbrook Road and East Edison Street is being prepared as a FreedomFest parking site. A new entrance/exit gate has been installed along both roadways. This should provide parking for 200 to 300 vehicles. The area of the field closest to the Springbrook Road and East Edison Street intersection will be set aside for spectators viewing the fireworks show.

Alcoa, Inc., has also agreed to allow the city to direct traffic exiting the event via Faraday Street through the former West Plant property to Hall Road where officers will be directing traffic southbound via Hall Road and northbound to Alcoa Highway. Officers will also be directing traffic out of the Alcoa, Inc., field eastbound onto Springbrook Road and westbound onto East Edison Street.

“We are very grateful to our friends at the aluminum company for working with us to improve the parking and traffic flow for the community,” said Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson. “We appreciate their community involvement by allowing us to use their property. This should help tremendously with the ever-present parking crunch and post-event traffic while providing an additional viewing area for the crowd.”

For teens

The teen area will again be located in the park between Springbrook Pool and the Alcoa Duck Pond. This area will feature Party Train’s mobile laser tag center that features the music from video game Halo 2 with the capacity of four people playing at each game. Water Wars, a highly popular event started last year, will be returning with their water balloon launching activity along with a mechanical bull and baseball speed pitch from Awesome Party Rentals. Bringing the monster truck, Gunslinger, to display will be new participant, Mountain Raceway. The U.S. Army Recruiting Station from Alcoa will hold an activity area featuring a rock climbing wall, football toss and simulated shooting activity.

Children’s fun

Children’s activities, located in Springbrook Park across from First United Methodist Church of Alcoa, will include Knox Rocks, a 32-foot tall, four-sided climbing wall for children of all ages. Activities from Awesome Party Rentals will include a Moonwalk, Bungee Run, Super Turbo Slide, Obstacle Course, Jousting, Water Slip ‘n Slide, Alley Ball, Putt-Putt, Tub of Fun and a new train ride through the site.

A play area, giant sand box, and face painters Kelly Mules and Scott Axley will all be located in the park. New to the children’s area will be the Butterflies of Windbell Cottage booth with live butterflies on display and for sale along with supplies. Returning to the children’s area this year will be the Knoxville Zoo’s ZooMobile program, “Animal Adaptations” which teaches how animal adapt using an assortment of biofacts such as a rhino horn, elephant tusk, tiger skull and more. The presentation will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Expanded Cruise-In

The parking lot of First United Methodist Church of Alcoa will be the site of FreedomFest’s third annual cruise-in. The cruise-in, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., is expanded to include not only cars, but 4-wheelers, antique tractors and motorcycles.

Participants bringing vehicles on trailers are asked to meet at the new City of Alcoa Service Center at the intersection of East Edison Street and Wright Road at 3 p.m. Trailers may be stored and off-loaded there for a 3:30 p.m. parade to the church. A parade returning to the Service Center will be at the conclusion of the Cruise-In at 7 p.m. Non-trailered vehicles may also parade or go directly to the church parking lot. No trailers are allowed in the event area. Space for participants is on a first come, first serve basis.

FreedomFest’s third annual arts and crafts area will also be located in Springbrook Park near the corner of Springbrook Road and Faraday Street. Crafters include:

• Trissie Foister -- hair bows, handbags, key chains, tag blankets, burp clothes, shoe accessories;

• Busy Beavers Crafts - carved animal wood crafts;

• Busy “B” Creations - hooded baby towels and mitts, hand-quilted baby quilts, dog scarves and vests, cool neck wraps, bingo bugs, marshmallow guns;

• Roclane - lighthouse, historic sites, and wild life photography and Swarovski crystal creations

• SandyDdesigns - Beaded jewelry, embellished purses, pet accessories;

• Shirley Tallent - hand crafted and painted ceramics;

• Sew & Zip - zipper purses, hooded towels, dog bandanas, aprons, purse organizers;

• Simple Creations - handmade beaded jewelry;

• Madison’s Avenue - handmade grosgrain hair bows;

• Dancin Sky Gallery - mountain photography, hand-turned pottery, handcrafted soaps;

• Ta-Dye 4 Ink! - tie-dyed textiles and clothing;

• Recycled Art - recycled plastic art

• Elleni’s Studio - Stained glass, decorative sandblasting on glass, stovepipe birdhouses, slumped bottles.

• Old Hags Bags - Kool ties, finger puppets, purses/bags

On Duckie’s pond

The Alcoa Duck Pond parking lot will be the location of the live performing stage. Crista Lynn, “The Queen of Country Soul” from Atlanta, will open the performances at 4 p.m. followed at 5:30 p.m. by local favorites, Pistol Creek Catch of the Day. At 6:30 p.m. returning entertainers, Pair of Jacks, will play until 7:15 p.m.

Featured entertainers, Smooth Groove, will play from 7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. This dynamic group of musicians and entertainers got together almost three years ago, but their combined musical experience far exceeds three years. Each member has played, sung and performed with different groups since the late sixties. Their repertoire of musical selections reflects the great sounds from the past forty years. The smooth music of the Temptations, Earth, Wind, and Fire, the cool of Hall & Oats and the funk of Sly Stone are just a few of the artists you will enjoy remembering.

A wide variety of food will be available with 24 food vendors present. Food vendors and a sampling of their menus include:

• B & D Concessions - homemade ice cream made in a 1939 Maytag ringer washer

• Mother Shuckers - char-burgers, hand-dipped corn dogs, French fries, Italian sausage

• Gus’s Restaurant - steak and garden burgers, nachos, smoothies

• Original Hawaiian Shaved Ice - shaved ice

• Penny’s Candy Wagon - cotton candy, carmel and candied apples

• Bob’s Best Italian Burgers - Italian hamburgers

• TJ’s Restaurant - kettle korn, cotton candy

• Bahama Mama Frozen Smoothies - frozen smoothies and novelties

• Tennessee Subs and More - chicken subs; chicken strip, Monto Cristo and catfish baskets

• Gelato Jo’s - Italian ice

• An Awesome Party Rental - barbecue, hamburgers, nachos

• Repieci’s Italian Ice - Italian ice and pretzels

• Dino’s Concessions - Cotton candy, candy and caramel apples, popcorn, nachos, funnel cakes

• Alcoa Rotary Club - Mayfield ice cream sandwiches

• Donald Parrott - cotton candy, soft drinks, popcorn, nachos, novelty items

• Burton’s Hot Corn on Wheels - roasted corn and Idaho potatoes, fried green tomatoes

• Bread of Heaven - pulled pork sandwiches and plates, half rack ribs, rib sandwiches

• Sammie Jo Armstrong - fried twinkies, funnel cakes, fried chocolate, nacho chili pie

• Valley Farms Concessions - stick pork chop, taters, corn & hot dogs, nachos, strawberry delight

• OldeTyme Concessions - funnel cakes, nachos grande

• Pizza Xtreme - pizza, jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks, wings, breadsticks, cheese cake

• Fatstuffs Grills - cheese steak, chicken cheese steak, ribbon fries, gyros, chicken pita, Greek chicken ka-bob, Greek salad, Greek platter

• Cheesecakes by Rick - cheesecake on a stick, Italian sausage, meatball subs, cheese-filled breadsticks

• Fin and Feathers - fried catfish dinners, catfish sandwich, hush puppies

• Michelle Morton - hotdog, nachos, Polish sausage, pork barbecue sandwich, funnel cakes

• Chicago Style Beef Hot Dog - hot dogs, smoked sausage, pop corn

• Rainbo Ice & Funnel Cakes - funnel cakes, deep-fried Twinkies or Oreos, shaved ice

• Smoky Mountain Kettle Korn - kettle korn, funnel cakes, fresh squeezed lemonade

• Debbie’s Lemon Factory & Catering - lemonade, fruit teas, bloomin onions, fried strawberry shortcake

• Gilliland Farms Homemade Ice Cream - homemade ice cream in a variety of flavors

Exhibition and merchandise vendors will include event sponsor Alcoa Heating and Cooling, Bath Fitter, Orange Barrel Gifts, Blue Ribbon Foods and Dixie Homecrafters.

Journal Broadcasting stations 93.1 The Point, Star 102.1 and Hot 104.5 will be also present. Hot 104.5 will add music to the Springbrook Pool activities that begin at 11 a.m. and end when the pool closes at 4 p.m. Admission to the pool will be the regular price. Events will include a “Big Splash” contest, T-shirt relays, jump or dive games and watermelon eating contests. All vehicles must be removed from the pool parking lot at 4 p.m.

Fireworks at dark

The fireworks will be another spectacular display presented by the City of Alcoa Fire Department and Pyro Shows. The fireworks program will include over 7,000 shells. This will be the seventh year that the fireworks show has been specially choreographed.

To enhance their beauty and drama, individual fireworks are synchronized to specific elements in the music creating dramatic scenes that defy the imagination. This year’s theme will be patriotic. The music will be broadcast by 93.1 the Point, so everyone should bring a radio to fully enjoy the show.

The City of Alcoa will set up an information booth at the intersection of Springbrook Road and Faraday Street between the event venues. The booth will also serve those with lost and found items and anyone needing emergency medical assistance.

The Alcoa Little League facility, behind the Alcoa Elementary School, used by some in the past for viewing the fireworks display, will be closed. The safety fallout zone has been expanded and will now include the little league park, thus preventing the fields from being used as a viewing area. The Little League parking lot will remain open for parking and viewing. All entrances to Alcoa Elementary School will be barricaded and closed at 7 a.m., Thursday morning, June 27, for event preparation. These areas will be closed to all traffic both motorized and pedestrian. Anyone traveling in or around the Little League Park and elementary school are asked to remain on the greenway trail outside the safety zones.

Beginning at 8 a.m., Saturday, June 28, Faraday Street between Vose Road and Springbrook Road will be closed along with the Alcoa Duck Pond parking lot; Springbrook Road between Faraday and Edison Streets; Lodge Street between Faraday and Springbrook Road and the entrances to Alcoa Middle and High Schools. They will remain closed until no later than 8 a.m., Sunday, June 29.

Limited handicapped parking to view the event will be located at the end of the Alcoa Middle School parking lot and may be reached by entering the Faraday Street entrance to Alcoa High School then on to the middle school lot. Access to this handicapped area is on a first come basis. Bicycles, skateboards and skates are prohibited in the event area as well as pets and animals. Attendees should not bring any pet or animal onto the event site other than animals used for the vision impaired. Dogs and other animals can be sensitive to the noise of fireworks and can disturb other event attendees. Event goers are reminded that any type of fireworks are banned from the event area with the exception of those handled by the Alcoa Fire Department for the show.

The Alcoa Fire and Police Departments will utilize the 16-county, Region 2 mobile command unit. This command unit will serve as an incident command post for emergencies and overall event management. The unit includes cameras, a 911 dispatcher, command staff, site mapping technology and communications systems to oversee the event and help direct key personnel to needed areas. Serving all of East Tennessee, the mobile command unit is categorized as a homeland security vehicle. This will help manage operations and communications for a fun and safe event.

Mayor Don Mull said, “Expanding the hours and moving into the park a couple of years ago has allowed us to offer so much more for everyone to enjoy. The City is looking forward to hosting the 32nd annual FreedomFest, a still free event. I encourage everyone to come early to take part in all the activities.”

The rain date will be Sunday, June 29. Should rain delay the event, the pool party and fireworks will be the only activities taking place on this date. All other activities, including food vending, will be cancelled.

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