The Tacoma Freedom Fair and Air Show, the South Sound’s 4th of July extravaganza, is back to thrill the masses again this year, located on the Ruston Way waterfront on July 4th from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
The event features seven stages of entertainment, a vast array of food, arts and crafts booths, a car show, pole vault event, a kids’ fun zone, non-profit booths, an air show, fireworks display and military exhibits at Camp Patriot (next to the Lobster Shop), all staged along the Ruston Way waterfront. The Tacoma Freedom Fair is recognized as one of the nation’s leading fireworks shows and has been named one of the 10 “World’s Best” fireworks events by the Travel Channel.
Military jets will return to the skies over Commencement Bay this 4th of July as part of the Tacoma Freedom Fair & Air Show. All three military aviation community outreach single ship demonstration teams have identified Tacoma as the place to be this July. The armed forces have not appeared in Tacoma since the United States Budget Sequestration took effect in 2013. This is the first year they are back, and all three services that operate demonstration teams are sending representatives. Air demonstrations provide an opportunity for people to see U.S. military air capabilities in action and meet the service members who fly and maintain the equipment.
This year the Les Davis Pier on Ruston Way offers spectacular viewing area for the Air Show and Fireworks finale. To purchase tickets, see “Fan Club” on the website, www.freedomfair.com. You can sign up, join the fan club and check out the complete entertainment schedule.
If you’re looking forward to enjoying everything Freedom Fair has to offer, but don’t want to spend time in traffic, Durham Bus Service is available for a ride to McCarver or the Point Ruston end of the festival. Catch a Freedom Fair Express Bus from Tacoma Community College at 19thand Mildred, or at Tacoma Dome Station at 610 Puyallup Ave., for only $5 round trip. Parking is free at both locations. Service runs every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., then resumes after the fireworks to return festival-goers to their vehicles at both off site locations. Durham delivers to Point Ruston and 30th and McCarver. To head home after the fireworks, go to the location where you were dropped off and the buses will take you back to either TCC or the Tacoma Dome Station at no extra charge. Buses offer handicap accessible service. Visit www.FreedomFair.com for more information.
The Freedom Fair is presented by a community-based, volunteer-driven, non-profit 501 C (3) organization called the Tacoma Events Commission. It is independent of the City of Tacoma. Commission members volunteer and work all year to prepare for the annual event. With more than 80,000 annual attendees, the Tacoma Freedom Fair is part of a rich fabric of the Tacoma community that contributes to its legacy, draws positive national and state wide recognition to the city, fuels tourism and instills a sense of pride in the residence.
“The Freedom Fair is a decades-old tradition for thousands of people to stroll along the Ruston Way Waterfront, offering up two miles of smiles on Independence Day,” says Tacoma Events Commission Executive Director Gary W. Grape, who has been an organizer of this event for more than 18 years. “We rely on the generosity of the community to help meet the financial and staffing needs required to produce one of the largest 4th of July celebrations in the United States. This year is no different; in fact, the need has increased. Sponsors and donors are in short supply. We are asking business people and private citizens to step forward. We are taking a leap of faith in our commitment to present the Freedom Fair this year. The bills will be paid from the support received right up to the day of the event, along with donations dropped in barrels at the gate.”
Visit www.FreedomFair.com for details, an entertainment schedule and information on how to donate, or call (253) 507-9357.