Freedom Festival kicks off this week.

June 28, 2021

Freedom Festival kicks off this week.

LUDINGTON — The 2021 Ludington Area Jaycees Freedom Festival kicks off this week with the theme “Making History Together!”

Highlights of the festival include the grand parade on Sunday, July 4 at 1 p.m. and the fireworks over Lake Michigan later that evening. 

Though the parade and fireworks were cancelled in 2020, a home decorating contest was held. That contest, Our Patriotic Space, will take place again this year throughout Mason County. 

In order to participate the following rules will apply:

  1. Decorating must occur at a residence in Mason County, Michigan,
  2. All local ordinances apply to the decorations for the contest,
  3. Contestants will only be allowed one registration per residence,
  4. Contestants may only submit one file which could contain one photo, or a collage of up to 3 photos,
  5. The winners will be decided by popular vote via an online voting platform,
  6. Pictures must be of current year decorations which will be verified by the committee. Pictures of decorations form previous years will be disqualified.
  7. Deadlines: 

June 30 at noon: Registration and photo submissions due
July 1: Voting begins
July 5 at noon: Voting ends
July 6: Winners announced

  1. Prizes will be awarded within 2 weeks to the three contestants with the most votes. Prizes will be as follows:

Third place: $200 and five free mini golf passes
Second place: $400 and five free mini golf passes
First Place: $600 and five ree mini golf passes

  1. Contestants must only create displays of positive patriotism. The Jaycee committee, at its sole discretion, may disqualify entrants for offensive or hateful displays.

Link to Facebook Event: My Patriotic Space: Decorating Contest | Facebook

1 Mile Dash

An estimated over 30,000 people line Ludington Avenue on July 4th to watch the Freedom Festival Parade. Prior to the parade, runners will race past the crowd, down Ludington Avenue from Washington Avenue to Lakeshore Drive.

Water and frozen treats will be waiting for them at the end of their one mile sprint.

Entry is $25 prior to June 30. Late entry online and on race day is $30. Entry includes a t-shirt and a finisher’s medal.

Prizes will be awarded to top male and female runners. Shirts are only guaranteed to those who register prior to June 24. Remaining shirts will be available first come/first serve at packet pickup/registration on race day.

Packet pickup and race day registration will take place at Leveaux Park from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m..

Please make checks out to Ludington Area Jaycees.

All of the race proceeds will go to the Freedom Festival Fireworks fundraiser. The annual fireworks display is funded 100% by donations.

Race route: https://www.mapmyfitness.com/routes/view/4427355832

Facebook Event: Annual Freedom Festival 1 Mile Dash | Facebook

Registration Link (Eventbrite): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/annual-freedom-festival-1-mile-dash-tickets-158211676383 

Grand Parade. The Grand Parade will kick off at 1 p.m. on July 4 starting at the corner of Ludington Avenue and Madison Street, and end at Ludington Avenue and Lakeshore. Every year the Grand Parade boasts over 50 entries from our local community. Thousands will line the avenue waiting to see what will stroll down the street for 2021. Rest assured many of our favorites will still be there, including the Famous Scottville Clown Band bringing up the rear of the parade yet again.

Parade Entry Registration (Eventbrite): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/freedom-festival-grand-parade-entry-registration-tickets-157195336483

Facebook Event: Freedom Festival Grand Parade | Facebook

Grand Marshal: The Grand Marshal is the highest Honor the Jaycees give at the Freedom Festival. This person(s) help to officially kick of the parade and will be highlighted by the Jaycees and other news outlets to recognize their efforts. In the Grand Parade line up, they are immediately following the police, fire, and veterans organizations. For 2021, the Jaycees will celebrate those who went above and beyond during the pandemic in the community and helped shape history.

Fireworks: The fireworks are set off at dusk from the base of the pier at the north breakwater. Onlookers can view the fireworks from many vantage points throughout the city, although the most popular are Stearns Beach, Copeyon Park, Waterfront Park, and other lakeside locations. 

This year’s budget for fireworks is $25,000 all raised through fundraisers, donations, and sponsorships from the community of Mason County. Although it has been a difficult year coming out of the Pandemic, many businesses and organizations have stepped up to make sure that the Freedom Festival is a success. The Jaycees will be selling glow items on the beach. All proceeds from those sales will go directly back to the fireworks fund for the next year. We will also be taking donations. 

Link to Facebook Event: Fireworks Spectacular! | Facebook

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