Blast from the past

Morgan Hill gears up for its 141st annual Freedom Fest

Singers in Morgan Hill Freedom Fest on Parade Float CHORALE KIDS Patriotic Sing performers will be centerstage in the annual Morgan Hill Freedom Fest on July 3-4, 2017. Photo: Jeff Bentz
Small town tradition comes alive as Morgan Hill celebrates Independence Day with its annual Freedom Fest. Celebrated in Morgan Hill since 1876, this year’s theme is America’s National Parks, 100 Years and Counting and events will include a time-honored Patriotic Sing, Family Music Fest, Freedom Run, Car Cruise n’ Show and an explosively fun Fireworks and entertainment show.

Vice president of events, Diana Wood says, “My mind is being blown about how this all is morphing into the amazing series of events we know and love, right in front of my eyes.”

Hailed as the official Santa Clara County Independence Day Parade, this year the historic procession celebrates its 141st trip down the streets of Morgan Hill.

The two-day celebration kicks off on Monday night, July 3, at 6pm as children from the community gather to sing the songs of America at the Downtown Amphitheater—a tradition that began around the turn of the century and was rekindled in 1989. Now, in its 29th year, the Patriotic Sing boasts the participation of second generation chorus members performing for the community.

Festivities continue Monday night with the Family Music Fest, featuring Bay Area band The Recurrents playing a versatile lineup of dance-inducing tunes.

Tuesday, July fourth’s events open with the Freedom Run, a 5K run and walk and Kid’s 1-mile run. This year the run is part of the official grand prix circuit for the Pacific Association for USA Track and Field which ensures some of the fastest runners in Northern California taking the downtown track.

The 12th Annual Cruise ‘n Car Show will showcase more than 100 locally owned classic cars cruising the parade route before heading to the Community Center parking lot for the car show.

The Freedom Fest finishes with a bang Tuesday night with Fireworks on the Green at the Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic or purchase food and beverages from onsite vendors. Entertainment will begin at 6pm with Bay Area local band One Country. In addition to old fashioned fun and an encore performance of the Patriotic Sing, The Hackjammers will also perform. The Fireworks on the Green entertainment and fireworks display beginning around 9:30pm are a no cost event and donations will be accepted during the show.

Wood says the community seems to come together more for July fourth events than any of the others held around in the South Valley.

“Despite the fact that our nation seems to be focused only on our differences lately, we all share the unique freedoms the United States provides,” she says. “July fourth gives us an opportunity to set aside our differences and celebrate those freedoms.”

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Tia Sundberg
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Tia Sundberg is a crafting diva, knitter, Halloween fanatic and freelance writer for South Valley magazine.