Freedom Fest set for return Friday
Annual fireworks show back for 2021 at Tilden Rodgers Park
By THE TIMES NEWS STAFF
The mid-summer night’s ritual in West Memphis, Freedom Fest, has been set for return to Tilden Rodgers Park on Friday night. After a year of precautionary pandemic health guidelines forced cancellation of the party in the park, the festival returns with some new twists according to the West Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jim Jackson.
“This will be one of the nicer fireworks displays in the entire region,” said Jackson.
Blast off was scheduled for 9:15 p.m. The display launches from a new location in the park. An all new and highly acclaimed pyrotechnics group was slated to produce the fire in the sky, after the traditional producers for the city retired. The city couldn’t have reached much higher for a new production.
“I’ve seen their video,” said Jackson. “They have great references doing the fireworks over the state capital.”
The city park returns to life with patriotic decorations and new accouterments. Two bands play the city stage during the festival eveining hours. The police and fire departments represent the red and blue responders at the festival. A handful of new food truck vendors debut at the city’s celebration of the nation’s Independence along with charity vendors.
The Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has usually backed events bringing outof- towners into the city, but Freedom Fest is and event set to bring in-towners out to the park. Jackson invited one and all to the event that has drawn 3,000 to 4,000 people to the park for 28 years. The festival marked a return to near normal as the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.
“It’ll be a crowd, because of the number, people should use good sense and consider social distancing or masks,” said Jackson. “Mayor Marco McClendon will be here to provide the countdown to the fireworks show.”