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JBLM Freedom Fest

Car show, carnival and music among activities

Stilt walkers will once again roam Freedom Fest. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Red, white, blue and camouflage will be the thematic colors at Joint Base Lewis-McChord for its Freedom Fest celebration, which begins at noon on Independence Day. Civilians will get the chance to celebrate the holiday with members of the Armed Forces. The free event, now in its 20th year, will have more than 20 acts and entertainers, a carnival with plenty of rides and midway games, carnival food, a car show and of course, fireworks. The event starts at noon and culminates with the fireworks show at 10 p.m. The event is at Cowan and Memorial Stadiums, at the Corner of 12th and Liggett.

This year's music headliner is country music artist Frankie Ballard, whose hits include "Helluva Life," "Young & Crazy" and "Sunshine & Whiskey." In 2008, Ballard won Kenny Chesney's Next Big Star Competition in 2008 and has since released two albums. Opening for Ballard is the Seattle-based classic rock band Spike and The Impalers on the USO Main Stage at 4 p.m. Ballard takes the stage at 6:30 p.m.

The festival offers something for car aficionados. Several classic cars will be on display and festival goers will have the chance to vote for their favorites. Trophies will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners as well as those voted "best in show" and "the people's choice."

Roving entertainers include "Plasterman," the Human Statue, three separate juggling acts, a one-man band, hula-hoopers Emerald City Hoop Troupe, a unicyclist, clowns, belly dancers and stilt walkers. There will be lots of entertainment for the kiddos at the Kids World Stage including a "reptile isle" with snakes, lizards and alligators, games and a magic show.

HOW TO GET THERE: Guests without a DoD ID card holder in their vehicle should enter JBLM via the DuPont Gate off exit 119 on I-5. A shuttle bus will transport visitors to and from the event site from the designated parking area. DoD ID card holders can use any open gate, other than DuPont, and proceed to Cowan & Memorial Stadiums' event site. All vehicle occupants over the age of 16 are required to present state or government-issued photo ID.

For more information about Freedom Fest, visit

USO Main Stage
4-5:30 p.m. Spike and the Impalers
6:30-8 p.m. Frankie Ballard
8-9 p.m. DJ Houdini Boini

Roving Entertainers
Noon-3 p.m. Plasterman, human statue
Noon-2 p.m. Bill Robison, prop comic
Noon-2 p.m. Alex Zarbe, one-man band
1-3 p.m. Matt Henry Trained Human, stunt juggler
1-3 p.m. Duck Rogers, giant duck
2-4 p.m. Sarah Liane Foster, stilt princess
2-4 p.m. Alex Zarbe, juggler
3-5 p.m. The Islanders Steel Drum Band
3-5 p.m. Eric Haines, unicyclist
4-6 p.m. Bubble Man, giant bubble show
5-7 p.m. Tall Characters stilt walkers
5-7 p.m. Charlie, juggling clown
5-7 p.m. Bella Jovan, belly dancer
5-7 p.m. Emerald City Hoop Troupe
6-8 p.m. Professor Sparks "The Nutty Professor"
7-9 p.m. Two of Clubs, jugglers
7-9 p.m. Restless, a capella group
7-9 p.m. Janet Raynor, stilts walker

Kids World Stage

noon-12:45 p.m. Rowdy Refs game show
1-1:45 p.m. Reptile Isle
2-2:45 p.m. Kevin Wolfe magic show
3-3:45 p.m. Rowdy Refs game show
4-4:45 p.m. Reptile Isle
5-5:45 p.m. Kevin Wolfe magic show
6-6:45 p.m. Rowdy Refs game show
7-7:45 p.m. Reptile Isle
8-8:45 p.m. Kevin Wolfe magic show

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