This weekend, Monument’s Limbach Park will play host to the second annual Family Freedom Festival.
Sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxiliary 7829, the Family Freedom Festival is meant to showcase “all the programs we do to help veterans and promote patriotism,” said Kathy Carlson, the event’s organizer.
The festival will feature a number of support structures aimed at veterans, active service members and their families, including Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center, Freedom Hunters, Victory Service Dogs Inc., and El Paso County Clerk and Recorder, who will have a table set up to register voters. There will also be information available about scholarship opportunities, and Rep. Terri Carver, R-Colorado Springs, an Air Force veteran herself, “will be there to talk with anyone who wants to visit with her about legislative bills that she is putting forward for veterans and active service members and their families,” said Carlson.
“We are really thrilled with all the support we’ve had from the community to put this on. It’s just a great event to celebrate our freedom and honor our veterans.”
Two young people working on their Girl and Boy Scouts final service awards will set up shop at the festival to further their projects, one who collects new toys to donate to deployed families, and the other who seeks to set up a memorial in the Monument cemetery honoring veterans.
There will also be a bounce house, games for children, and food trucks set up at the park.
A centerpiece of the festivities will be the Wild Blue Country United States Air Force Academy Band, a group composed of active duty airmen musicians who have been featured on both ABC’s “Good Morning America” and Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends.”
Also present will be cadets from the Air Force Academy. They will perform a “13-Fold” flag ceremony. At last year’s festival, this moment was particularly meaningful: A woman attended the festival with her children and grandchildren, who was a veteran and whose husband, who had passed away, had also served, Carlson said.
“Her house was one of those that burned in the Black Forest Fire,” Carlson said. “She lost her husband’s flag in the fire.”
The festival has a spare flag on hand and the cadets folded and presented it to the woman while Carlson’s son played “Taps” on his trumpet.
“It was very moving,” Carlson said. “That’s what we love about this festival, and having the community join us in celebrating our veterans and patriotism”
The Family Freedom Festival will run Saturday, Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Limbach Park.