Jul. 1—LIMA — The Fourth of July is all about celebrating the idea of American freedom. This year, those freedoms will feel extra special, especially for those who choose to attend the Freedom Fest at the Lima Mall.
Before things get started, the mall will hold a car cruise-in, sponsored by Chiles-Laman Funeral Homes. The main event, sponsored by Tyler Sutton State Farm, will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, leading up to a 10 p.m. fireworks show at the mall, put on by the Star-Spangled Spectacular Committee.
Freedom Fest will open with a military salute, followed by local artist Kevin Ashba performing live music at 4:30. SaMaX will keep the party going with a performance at 6:30 p.m. Active military and veterans are encouraged to come out, as the first 100 to check in at the registration tent can receive a free favor and VIP seating for the music.
"We look around the world and we see all the changes, especially in the last year and a half, how things have changed," said Lima Mall general manager Chris Garlock. "Now we're getting back to what our normal lives are like and appreciating our military, appreciating the soldiers who have died for our freedoms, and allowing us to exercise those freedoms."
There will also be food trucks from Mexican Grill and N&H Concessions, cornhole and giant Jenga, along with bounce houses and other kids' activities, provided by Hero Day Kids Zone.
Garlock said that he is excited to see the Fourth of July fireworks return to the mall for the first time in more than 30 years.
"It's really cool that we're able to bring fireworks back onto the property," he said. "I remember as a high schooler, kids were coming here to the mall and watching the fireworks and enjoying them immensely."