What is the Fenton Freedom Festival all about?
The 29th annual Fenton Freedom Festival is a community-wide celebration on the most patriotic day of the year — Thursday, the Fourth of July. It has been a Fenton area tradition for almost three decades, growing from its earliest roots of the Fenton Rotary Club’s Rubber Duck Regatta and the Fenton Lions Club’s Chicken Barbecue.
It’s just like an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration with family and friends, said Pat Lockwood, event chairperson.
Where are the events taking place?
The action will take place in downtown Fenton, from the Fenton Community & Cultural Center to the gazebo/mill pond area.
What should we bring?
Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes, grab your
sunscreen and sunglasses and put a couple of fold-up chairs in your vehicle for comfortable seating during the 10 a.m. Grand Parade. Bring “pocket money” for food and treats, too.
Where should we park?
Plan to park at any of the Fenton city parking lots, but know that they will fill up early.
What is the parade route this year?
The parade route is 1.9 miles long, and steps out at the intersection of Industrial Way and Owen Road, continuing east along W. Shiawassee Ave. to LeRoy Street, north on LeRoy to Caroline, then west on Caroline to West Street.
This year, there is a dedicated parade route for special needs/family zone, said Pat Lockwood, Fenton Freedom Festival chairperson. No sirens are allowed at the beginning of the parade on Industrial Way and Fenway Drive.
Who is the Grand Marshal of the parade?
It’s the entire Fenton Lions Club. They will be recognized at the Grand Marshal Reception on Tuesday, July 2 at 7 p.m. at the Fenton Community & Cultural Center. Read more about the lion’s Club on page 3A of this edition.
What will we eat during the festival?
There will be lots of “good eats” in Fenton all day, from the traditional 7 a.m. American Legion Pancake Breakfast to the new Pig Roast, hosted by Fenton Boy Scout Troop #2212.
This event replaces the traditional Chicken Barbecue hosted by the Fenton Lions Club for almost three decades. Serving time will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fenton Community & Cultural Center.
What is there for kids to do?
The entire festival is family oriented, from parade and fireworks fun, to arts and crafts, and children’s games hosted by the Fenton Kiwanis Club. There will be inflatables, a petting zoo, and a special visit from Adopt-A-Pet in Fenton.
What about runners and walkers? The Fenton Firecracker 5K and 2.5K Run/Walk is a popular event that kicks off at 9:45 a.m. from the corner of Mill and Adelaide streets, heading north. Parking will be at the Ellen Street Campus, where race packets can be picked up beginning at 7 a.m. on race day.
Where are the best fireworks views?
The Festival Fireworks get started at dusk, and there is no parking during this time at the Silver Lake Beach, the site of the fireworks show by Zambelli Fireworks. Many people enjoy the view from nearby retail parking lots, from Silver Parkway to Owen Road.
How are funds raised for the fireworks?
Businesses and individuals are welcome to make donations by calling the Fenton Regional Chamber of Commerce at 810-629-5447. Volunteers from the Fenton Freedom Festival Committee also collected funds in person at VG’s Grocery on Silver Parkway on June 28 and 29. “It’s a big part of our fundraising efforts,” Lockwood said.
Who are this year’s Festival King and Queen?
Fenton Freedom Festival King Jacob Novak, 17, and Queen Kaitlin Gruber, 18, will officially be crowned Wednesday, July 3 at the Silver Lake Ski Show event at 6:30 p.m.
Both of these young people will be incoming seniors at Fenton High School and will be representing the Fenton community and the Fenton Area Regional Chamber of Commerce at various parades and events throughout the year.
Each will earn $1,000 in scholarships, received next year after crowning the royalty. Read more about Gruber and Novak on page 15A of this edition.