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O’Fallon Freedom Fest entries sought

O’Fallon’s 2015 Heritage & Freedom Fest Parade, a centerpiece of the city’s annual Independence Day celebration, is seeking parade entries.

The theme of the parade is, “Celebrate National Parks and Monuments.” The annual event will get underway at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 4, in downtown O’Fallon.

“This year’s theme offers some terrific opportunities for creativity and patriotic expression,” said Marsha Seymour, O’Fallon’s tourism and festivals manager.

Seymour is encouraging clubs, churches, businesses, Scout troops, civic organizations and families to submit an application as soon as possible and get started on planning a great entry or float. She added that volunteer assistance also is needed.

Prizes will be awarded. Parade entries will be judged on how well the parade theme is expressed, with extra points awarded for incorporating creativity, music and mechanical movement.

The prestigious “Mayor’s Choice Award” will be presented by Mayor Bill Hennessy. In the “Best Overall” category, first-, second- and third-place winners will receive prizes of $500, $400 and $300, respectively. Prizes of $200 for first place and $100 for second place will be awarded to the “Best Musical Float” and the “Most Patriotic Float,” and first and second place plaques will go to the “Best Color Guard.”

Information on building a parade float and applications can be found online at heritageandfreedomfest.com/parade. Entry forms also can be picked up at the Renaud Spirit Center, city hall or the parks and recreation administrative office. Applications must be submitted or postmarked no later than noon on Friday, May 22.

Questions may be directed to Seymour by emailing mseymour@ofallon.mo.us or calling 379-5502. Those wanting to volunteer can contact O’Fallon’s volunteer services department by calling 379-5417 or emailing volunteer@ofallon.mo.us.

The festival features a wide range of free entertainment and activities including country and rock ‘n roll headliners and national recording artists, family-oriented activities, crafts and carnival rides at the Ozzie Smith Sports Complex.

Country artists LoCash and Gloriana will take the main stage on Friday, July 3 with a fireworks display at 10: 15 p.m. On Saturday, July 4, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Tonic and Smash Mouth will be on the main stage. The fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.

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