Freedom Blast turns 10!

What's New in 2018

Seth Stokes
June 11, 2018 - 1:51 pm
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GREER, S.C. – As the City of Greer prepares to celebrate the 10th anniversaty of its Freedom Blast festival, officials have one suggestion for guests: Keep an eye on the sky.

The June 30 event to honor the military and veterans at Greer City Park will open at 6 p.m. with a flag ceremony featuring the Team Fastrax professional parachute demonstration team and close at 10 p.m. with a spectacular anniversary fireworks show.

In between, guests will enjoy live music by The Erica Berg Collective, military displays and vehicles, crafts, activities and inflatables for children, a wide selection of food vendors, the Texas Roadhouse Rib Eating Contest, a military tribute featuring the Preston Johnson Veterans Walk to recognize all who have served, and a Fallen Heroes ceremony to honor those who gave their lives in service.

“We’re often asked why the City of Greer holds its Fourth of July festival in late June,” Greer City Administrator Ed Driggers said. “The simple answer is that Freedom Blast isn’t a traditional Independence Day celebration. It certainly has many of the fun elements of those events, but our primary goal is to recognize the men and women who have made and continue to make possible the freedoms we enjoy today. I can’t think of a better way to usher in upstate Indepedence Day celebrations the following week. We’re very pleased that Freedom Blast has become an annual tradition for many families from actoss the Carolinas and Georgia.”

Team Fastrax, fresh from its May 27 performance at the 102nd Indianapolis 500, will leap from high over Greer and display a large U.S. flag and colorful smoke streams before landing in Greer City Park. The team, which includes numerous military veterans, is the only parachute demo team to have performed over New York City’s Ground Zero on the 9/11 anniversary, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.

The skydiving show will be immediately followed by the annual military tribute. All veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are invited to participate in the Preston Johnson Veterans Walk and are asked to meet at the Amphitheater Stage no later than 6:30 to line up by branch of service.

Competitors will vie for speed eating glory in the Texas Roadhouse Rib Eating Contest at 7:15 on the Main Stage. The competition will crown champions in both youth and adult divisions.

The Erica Berg Collective kicks off an evening of soul, blues, funk and rock music at 7:30 on the Main Stage. With a bluesy voice that’s uniquely her own, Erica has been a fixture on the Greenville music scene for nearly a decade., The Greenville native promises cover versions of Top 40 hits from the 1960s to today.

The 10th Anniversary Freedom Blast fireworks show accompanied by music in City Park will begin promptly at 10 p.m.

“One thing we’ve learned is that fireworks are the perfect way to end the evening,” said Ann Cunningham, director of the City of Greer Parks and Recreation Department. “Guests often tell us that they leave Greer City Park in awe after our fireworks shows and we’re turning up the dial to celebrate our 10-year anniversary. We’ve worked with Zambelli to include special shells and displays in this year’s show.”

In addition to the Army helicopter, military displays in Greer City Park will feature an assortment of vehicles on display on E. Poinsett St, courtesy of the S.C. Army National Guard and vintage military vehicles provided by the Military History Center of the Carolinas. The Greer Chapter of Disabled American Veterans, American Legion Post 115, AMVETS Post 75, Service Dogs for Veterans, the American Red Cross and Foothills Chapter 301 of the Korean War Veterans Association will be on hand to provide support information for veterans.

Free crafts and activities are the attraction at the Kids Zone, while unlimited fun on inflatable attractions and the rock climbing wall will be offered for $5 per child. A new attraction this year is the Tumblebus, a full-sized school bus that has been converted into a safe and fun mobile fitness gym for children 18 months to 6 years old. Adults who purchase wristbands at the same price may climb a rock wall and challenge the spinning arms of the Meltdown attraction.

Visitors are encouraged to come hungry and purchase dinner and dessert from vendors lining the Greer City Park promenade. Pepsi and Budweiser will be available at beverage carts throughout the park and mister stations will provide a cool respite. Guests will have an opportunity to give the gift of life from 6-10 p.m. as the Blood Connection seeks to keep pace with local hospitals’ summertime demand for blood.

More information is available at www.freedomblast.org.

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