By Colleen Flaherty
Killeen Daily Herald
FORT HOOD — Some 90,000 people are expected to attend Freedom Fest Monday at Sadowski Field.
The free event runs from 1 to 10 p.m. and features a performance by high-energy swing band Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. Anchored and Ordain will perform throughout the day.
The day also includes a free carnival, 50-gun salute, miniature stock car racing, fishing pond, climbing wall, inflatables and other entertainment options.
Arts and crafts, carnival games and food and beverages will be available for purchase.
An official, hour-long July 4 ceremony happens at 7 p.m.
The evening will end with a fireworks display. A 30-minute show choreographed to patriotic music begins at 9:25 p.m.
Freedom Fest is popular every year, organizer Angela Oakley said, but it’s guaranteed to be bigger than ever Monday due to Fort Hood’s fireworks show “being the only game in town.”
Burn bans throughout the state have forced most surrounding cities to cancel their pyrotechnics.
Fort Hood is preparing for an influx of visitors by doubling its firework arsenal and increasing its number of food vendors, Oakley said.
“We’ve gone above and beyond,” she said.
Daddies band leader Steve Perry said this week by email that the band was honored to perform for the troops for the first time at Fort Hood.
The band, best known for its song “Zoot Suit Riot,” will perform swing songs, in addition to ska and rock.
“Overall, folks should expect a high-energy, fun, swanky, sweaty and danceable evening,” he said.
The event is free and open to the public, though everyone must show valid government IDs, including driver’s licenses.
Fort Hood officials have encouraged the use of public shuttles, starting from Shoemaker and Ellison high schools in Killeen at 3 p.m. Shuttles run continuously through 11 p.m.
The fireworks display will be shown on the local PBS affiliate and aired on KNCT-FM 91.3.
For more information, go to www.hoodmwr.com/freedomfest.htm.