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Roanoke's Freedom Festival carries on despite rain delays

The party may not have started on time, but people weren’t afraid to get a little wet during Roanoke’s Freedom Festival.

The event was supposed to kick off at 5 p.m. but got delayed until around 6:45 p.m. However, when the gates were open, hundreds of people made their way with lawn chairs to River’s Edge Park to celebrate the 4th of July week.

The festival attracts regulars and people who come for the first time.

“Every year since my kids were babies and my youngest one just turned 23,” Angela Baker said.

“First time…first time. My friends and my family. Mainly my friends are just coming here so I thought I’d come over and watch fireworks,” Braxton Miller said.

Tim Pohlad-Thomas is the events coordinator with Roanoke Parks and Recreation. At first, you saw him pacing back and forth looking up at the sky. However, once the gates opened, he could breathe a sigh of relief.

“It’s awesome to see. These people are really excited about getting out here and enjoying the event as a community. Everybody’s been stuck inside and been in the heat constantly, so everybody’s like let’s get out and enjoy the rain,” Pohlad-Thomas said.

Mitchell Doss made the trek down to Roanoke for the Grateful Dead tribute band, Dead Reckoning, who played two sets ahead of the fireworks.

“It means everything. It’s a way to celebrate our country and what better way to do that than with the Grateful Dead, one of the greatest American rock bands,” Doss said.

When the sun went down, the fireworks lit up Roanoke’s sky.

Source: WSLS News 10

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