Celebrate Fourth of July at the NIM's Freedom Fest

Photo source: National Infantry Museum.
Photo source: National Infantry Museum.
Freedom Fest activities map.
Freedom Fest activities map.

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The National Infantry Museum will host its second annual community-wide Independence Day celebration on Friday, July 4. Freedom Fest will be filled with music, kids' activities, historical reenactments, food and fun.

*The fun starts at 11 a.m. with the Maneuver Center of Excellence's popular musicians.

*Three groups playing different types of music will continue entertaining until 2 p.m.

*The Oneeders will take the stage at 3 p.m. for some rock music, and Cedar Creek will finish up the musical entertainment with Country and Southern Rock at 4:45 p.m.

Kids will enjoy bounce houses, face painting and balloon animals all day. New this year is an old fashioned patriotic parade, where youngsters are invited to dress up their bicycles, tricycles and wagons – or themselves! – and parade down Heritage Walk. Judges will award prizes for the most creative displays of patriotism.

At the end of Heritage Walk is the parade field, where the Silver Wings Command Exhibition Parachute Team will drop in. Also on the parade field will be a military dog demonstration.

Local authors Kathy Maggart and Kathie Eidson will be debuting their All-American, patriotic children's book called The 1947 Freedom Train. They will be in the museum lobby signing the first copies throughout the day.

In front of the museum, re-enactors will fire two large Civil War era cannons twice each hour and pose for pictures with visitors.

World War II Company Street and the Memorial Walk of Honor will be open for self-guided tours. The IMAX Theatre will be the perfect place to cool off, with alternating screenings of D-Day 3D: Normandy 1944 and We the People.

Visitors can purchase ice cream, barbecue plates, chicken sandwiches, funnel cakes, hot dogs, hamburgers, pretzels, beer and soft drinks from our vendors. The Fife & Drum restaurant and the IMAX concessions stand will be open for diners who'd rather stay indoors.

The National Infantry Foundation's Premier Partners – Aflac, Amos-Cheves Foundation, Global Payments, Rivertown Auto Mall, TSYS, Navy Federal Credit Union, Columbus Marriott and Doubletree Hotels, National Security Associates, Pezold Management/McDonalds, W.C. Bradley Co., Hughston Clinic and St. Francis Hospital – are the event's sponsors. WTVM and the Clear Channel family of radio stations are the event's Media Sponsors.

The museum's activities will end at 6 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to head to Phenix City for a concert in the amphitheater and fireworks following at dark.