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Freedom Fest experienced its first ever rain delay when Mother Nature paid a visit to the area for Independence Day, causing some activities to be cancelled for the evening.

While early afternoon activities scheduled for the July 4 event at Nishan Park in Reedsburg went on as planned, when heavy rain and winds approached at about 6 p.m. the Reedsburg Freedom Fest Committee decided to cancel the rest of the live bands scheduled to play for the evening for safety reasons and issue an hour and a half rain delay.

The plan was to continue with music through a stereo system and set the bouncy houses back up once the delay was over. However, with continued rainfall, the Freedom Fest Committee made the decision to cancel the rest of the evening’s activities.

“We were going to reopen them, but, due to the weather conditions, we also had to not reactivate the bouncy houses,” said Chris Anderson, Freedom Fest Committee vice president.

Anderson said the program to pay tribute to veterans before the fireworks and the “coin dig,” where children dig through saw dust to search for tokens to redeem prizes, had to be cancelled.

Anderson estimates onsite attendance had about a 60 percent decrease due to the weather. However, attendance increased once the fireworks display began at about 9:30 p.m.

While some activities were cancelled, Anderson said “Eat Street,” the midway aligned with vendors and organizations selling food, shut down for about 10 minutes after the rain delay was issued and continued to remain open for the remainder of the evening. Large board and lawn games were available in the ballpark for attendees to play until the start of the fireworks display. Miss Reedsburg Anna Jo Lubasi made an appearance and Anderson said the bags tournament was able to finish by the conclusion of the night.

“It is amazing how Reedsburg truly comes together to have all of these amazing festivals in such a small town,” Anderson said.

“We do strive to produce a family, friendly, fun environment and next year is going to be bigger and better.”

Additional pictures from Freedom Fest can be found on our website at reedsburgtimespress.com.

Contact Erica Dynes at 608-393-5346 or on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews.