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Military Freedom Fest this Saturday

The fourteenth annual Military Freedom Fest will take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. this Thursday, June 17 at the Kimberly Square parking lot located at 967 S. Main Street. Those who stop in to enjoy the free event will be in for an entire day of entertainment and ceremonial recognition for those who have served their country.

Doug Day and wife Valerie founded the annual Military Freedom Fest fundraiser fourteen years ago. Doug said that they founded the event out of their belief that more could be done to honor military veterans. The Days’ methods of honoring those veterans began with sending calling cards overseas, which expanded to honoring vets at local churches. Their first such event, held at the Edgewood Baptist Church, honored 110 former servicemen and women. After their upcoming event honoring vets on August 10, 2017, they will have honored 6,000 veterans.

As a way to show their thanks to those around the community who have helped them with their mission, they throw the annual Freedom Fest event.

“At the Freedom Fest event, we will raise a little money and have donations that help us, too,” Day explained. “We do this once a year, and this is our way to give back to the public—the people of Nicholasville—and anybody that wants to come watch.”

Raffles will take place throughout the event, and live music will be featured. Day said that the artists scheduled to perform are all volunteering their time for the cause. The scheduled headliners are the Tony Moore Good Timers Band, and other acts will include Dillon Carmichael, Porter Love, the Great Shoes Band, Copper Creek Band, Alex Miler from Renfro Valley, Wes Soard and the Red Naked Band, Scott Collins and Dave Hilen and Randy Kaplan of Parkette Drive-In. Each act will perform for roughly one hour.

Nicholasville native and American Idol contestant Kelly Casey will sing the national anthem.

Food will be cooked on site and available all day. In addition, numerous vendors will have tents set up on the premises. Among the special guest vendors will be the Honor Flight of Kentucky. In addition, the Nicholasville Fire Department will be on hand with a special flag that was purchased by veterans from Parkette Drive-In to honor Purple Heart recipients from the Vietnam War

“The flag that we will be flying this time is a 20 [foot] by 30 [foot] nylon flag that was bought for us,” Day said. “They asked me and my wife if we would fly that this year in honor of all of our Vietnam and World War II Vets and everybody in the military. I said we’d be honored to.” Day said that the Purple Hearts who purchased the flag will be on hand to witness the large flag being raised.

In addition to the live music and food options, pageants will be held at 3 p.m. for children ages 2-8 to crown the Little Miss and Mister Military Freedom Fest.

The opening ceremony will be attended by numerous dignitaries, Day said. There will be a French Legion of Honor presentation to a World War ll Purple Heart Veteran. In addition, the President of Kentucky Bank in Nicholasville, Alexander Lyttle, will be honored, as well as General Donald Storm. The Presentation of Colors will be conducted by the Nicholasville Police Department.