The 60th Annual Freedom Fest in Willard saw a return of normalcy after a version in 2021 featured remote viewing,

“It’s great to be able to be back and have this be our biggest year ever in terms of vendors.” Willard Parks Director Jason Knight said. “It’s great for the community. We’ve got a lot of local support and we’re just we’re just happy to put it back in the park and get people back out with us celebrating.” Knight added.

Many people braved near triple-digit temperatures at one of the many early Fourth of July festivals.

Events workers were out and about as early as 6 a.m. to prep for the day’s activities including a parade, a dog show, vendors, live music and fireworks.

We talked to a couple of people attending and they say they came for many reasons whether it’s activities or a chance to cool off.

“We really we have a lot of kids, so we really like the fact that they have the inflatables and the bounce houses for the kids to do and to keep them occupied” Jessica Cobb said. “We like the food it’s easy access and all the vendors that are out. It’s really cool to see the different things that we have to offer here in Willard.” Cobb added.

“Why did we come out?” Christopher Roush asks his daughter Willa.

Willa looks at him and says, “To have fun.”

Roush adds, “The pool is a big draw, these summer festivals get hot, so knowing we could jump in the pool and cool off a little bit, which is what we just got done doing was very reassuring.”