The 33rd Annual Spirit of Freedom Celebration, an annual Shoals tradition featuring live music, food, drinks and fireworks, is set for Friday, July 4 in McFarland Park in Florence.
“On behalf of the City of Florence, I am happy that the Shoals Radio Group produces this annual regional family favorite, our Spirit of Freedom Celebration,” said Florence Mayor Mickey Haddock. “This patriotic event celebrates our nation’s birth. I invite everyone to join us for a day of relaxation and fun.”
“The 2014 Spirit of Freedom Celebration will offer a great line-up of entertainment and a beautiful setting on the banks of the Tennessee River,” said Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Executive Director Debbie Wilson. “Watching the fireworks on the banks of the river is a time honored tradition in the Shoals.”
Local and regional acts will perform on the event stage, starting at 1 pm. Alabama native Dale Watson is this year’s headliner, performing immediately after the fireworks display.
Watson is best known as “Austin’s King of Country Music.” He was born in Birmingham, AL, but has made his home in Austin, TX. He is the quintessential country baritone that calls his musical style “Ameripolitan”. According to promoters, Watson’s sound is “smooth honky-tonk, the twang of Buck Owens, overlaid with Merle Haggard’s velvety delivery, and Elvis’ range and power. “ He has over 20 albums, with his latest being “El Rancho Azul,” which debuted on Billboard’s Current Country Albums Chart. Old and new country fans will appreciate the classic roots country sound.
New to the event this year is the Budweiser Beer Garden presented by Tennessee Street Billiards and Grill. Although entry into the entire event is free, food and drinks will be available for purchase. Outside food and drink are prohibited. Coolers will be checked upon entry into the park.
Souvenir vendors will be found all around the park. Another new addition to this year’s event is rides on “Big Jake”, a mechanical bull.
Sponsors include The City of Florence, Florence/Lauderdale Tourism, The Shoals Radio Group, TNT Fireworks, Lewey’s Sports & Apparel, NuWay Vape, Octapharma Plasma, Natchez Trace Harley Davidson, Regina K’s Restaurant and Catering, Grand Rental Station, Bankston Motor Home, Budweiser, Tennessee Street Billiards and Grill and E.A. Nelson Company.