Freedom event moves forward

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The county-wide Freedom Celebration, scheduled for July 3, has received approval from both the Regional Health Department and county officials to proceed as planned.

“We are excited to be able to have a gathering and offer an outlet for celebration,” Steve Qualls, pastor at Christpoint Church and one of the event’s organizers, said. “A month ago, we weren’t sure if we would be able to do this.”

Organizers said they contacted the Regional Health Department and were told there were no restrictions that would prohibit them from having the event. Literature with information educating vendors about how to safely prepare their food and other goods to protect themselves and their customers was provided and will be distributed to all vendors.

“We would encourage those who have health conditions that would make them more vulnerable to any illness or those who have specific concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus to continue the use of masks and/or gloves,” Qualls said. “Of course, we understand that there will be some individuals who are not comfortable joining a crowd yet for a variety of reasons. We would encourage them to come later in the evening and enjoy the fireworks show from the safety of their vehicle.”

This year’s event, the second annual, will once again take place at the White County Sports Complex, on Highway 70, and will include live music provided by local band Shattered as well as craft vendors, local business vendors, bounce houses, games for all ages, and a cruise-in.

“We have over 30 vendors already registered and will have everything from woodworking to jewelry to food trucks,” Sara Guy, another of the event’s organizers said, adding that they still had room for at least 20 more vendors and encouraged anyone wishing to set up at the event to contact her via email at info@christpoint.church

“We are not charging a vendor fee this year,” Guy added. “We wanted to be able to provide a way to help our local businesses as we are coming out of a really tough economic situation. This is one way that we feel we can help – give them the opportunity to showcase their business, sell their goods, and not have to worry about additional overhead in the line of booth rental fees.”

The event will have plenty of parking with White County Boy Scouts serving as parking attendants as well as a police presence courtesy of White County Sheriff’s Office to help with security and safety measures.

The event will conclude around 9 p.m., with a fireworks show sponsored by White County.

“Our county executive, Denny Wayne Robinson, has been phenomenal in helping us organize this event,” Qualls said. “From the moment we told him the health department approved of us hosting the event, he was on board and helping in any way that he can.

“This is one of the great advantages to living in a small town. This wouldn’t be possible in a bigger city right now. So, bring a chair, grab some food, enjoy some music and maybe a little shopping, visit with friends, and celebrate with us.”

Gates open at 4 p.m., July 3, and admission is free.

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