The 17th annual Freedom Fest took place under unprecedented circumstances Saturday. Despite some changes due to coronavirus, organizers were more than satisfied with the results.
Close to 170 people participated, whether through the traditional Lyon County State Bank Freedom Run/Walk, Gavel City Freedom Rides and Dynamic Discs Freedom Fest Open or through virtual events — some locally, some in other states. Longtime organizer and Kansas National Guard Command Sergeant Major Steve Harmon says this is one of his favorite events of the year.
Coronavirus caused some changes, forcing the cancellation of the Spur Challenge and prompting organizers to decide against onsite registration. However, Main Street Director Casey Woods says the event demonstrated the community’s resilience.
Treva Worrell of Unbound Gravel says it was a great way to enjoy a ride, support worthy causes and celebrate freedom all in one setting.
Dynamic Discs Event Coordinator Doug Bjerkaas says Freedom Fest combines several things Emporia is known for while raising funds for the All Veterans Memorial and scholarships for families of veterans.
At least $3,000 was raised for scholarships benefiting veteran families as well as the All Veterans Memorial.
All Veterans Tribute continues Monday with the Veterans Roundtable at the Memorial Union Webb Hall at 7:30 pm Monday. On Veterans Day, Presbyterian Manor will host a drive-thru veterans breakfast at 7 am. The annual parade and memorial service both have the OK from Lyon County Public Health to move forward, so both will take place — the parade at 9:30 am and the service at 11. Both will be on KVOE-TV at KVOE.com.