This year’s 5th annual Colorado Freedom Festival was an extravaganza like never before! The event’s goal is to gather people to honor military veterans and to thank them for their service. Every year, proceeds go to benefit veteran’s charities. This year, in addition to benefiting The American Soldier Network, this year Freedom Fest also included Colorado Fallen Heroes Foundation, a charity that serves the families of fallen police officers.
Without question, the venue change to Jefferson County Fairgrounds was a great move by Dean Gary, event organizer. JeffCo offered space enough for the crowd and vendors alike to spread out and get comfortable. Thousands of attendees brought lawn chairs or blankets and kicked back across wide swaths of green grass to enjoy the show.
The bands that performed this year were just over the top:
- Great White
- Steel Heart
With local bands:
- Straight Six
- Lotus Gait
Time between sets was just long enough to make runs to one of the dozens of beer and food vendors. We heard over and over again how great the craft brews tasted!
In fact, so much was better this year because of the additional space that it makes it hard to even compare to past years. Access to food and beverage seemed much more steam-lined and lines so much shorter! The whiskey tasting at the entrance was a treat for all connoisseurs and a sign that the event is growing in sophistication.
At our Rider Justice tent, we collected registrations to give away another customized Yeti cooler. With the heat of summer kicking in the cooler was a hit! We had lots of activity and had a wonderful time meeting new people and spreading the word about our services to the biker community. We handed out buckets of sunscreen to protect the crowd from the blazing sun and even more koozies to help keep their drinks cold!
Next to our booth was BikerDown! Always our favorite non-profit, we were proud to share our space. Wide Open Saloon ran the show by sharing the good work BikerDown does for the community as well as selling raffle tickets for a pristine 2017 Harley-Davidson Road Glide. Wide Open Saloon is giving 100% of the raffle sales to BikerDown. If you missed grabbing raffle tickets at Freedom Fest, don’t worry! Raffle tickets can be purchased online here.
A big “thank you” to Dennis Tye, Lauren Preston, and Russ Young for their generous help at our booth. They have such big hearts and already do so much philanthropic work in our rider community, that we know how lucky we are to receive a bit of their time.
And a big, warm “thank-you” to Dean Gary. It takes heart to put in so much time and energy, year after year, to create an event of this magnitude.
“The biggest impact – the real reason I do this—is to let soldiers know they’re loved,” he says. “When soldiers can stand in a crowd of thousands, where people are hugging them and telling them they are loved… that can save lives. Love can save lives. That’s why we don’t quit after the years I lose money. When someone tells you that they didn’t take their life, nothing can replace that.”