America certainly knows how to make the most of an occasion, especially our very own Independence Day. The fanfare and the fireworks serve as a reminder of how much we have to celebrate. Still, it takes more than big speakers and pyrotechnics to do justice to our nation’s birthday and when it comes to an unforgettable community event, nobody does it quite like Laramie.

Freedom Has A Birthday begins at 9:30 Monday morning with the Children’s Parade. The theme this year is ‘superheroes,’ and children of all ages are invited to get things started by making their way from the theatre parking lot, down Rainbow to the band shell at Washington Park. By this time vendors and performers will be ready to bring their very best to the Laramie community.

This event, founded 22 years ago by a group of moms looking for more family friendly Fourth of July activities, has so much to offer it is nearly impossible to describe everything. With three stages featuring every kind of live music from Rock and Roll to Bluegrass to Big Band there is no shortage of entertainment. The groups performing include Basmati, Dano, Crystal Clear, the High Country Band and many more.

Over 95 community organizations and businesses will be present and most have free activities for kids. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it will give an idea of what you can enjoy at Freedom Has A Birthday.

  • Free Food, including watermelon, ice cream, cookies and snow cones
  • Face painting
  • Bouncy Castle and Giant Slide
  • Pie Eating Contest
  • Christian Classic Cruisers Car Show
  • Mechanical Bull Riding
  • Safety City – an opportunity for kids to learn about traffic safety through hands on experience in a protected environment

To make your Fourth of July at Freedom Has A Birthday as much fun as possible, there are a couple of things you won’t want to forget.

  • Mosquito repellant
  • Water – some vendors may have water, but it is always more fun to be prepared
  • Sunscreen and Hats
  • Picnic Table (No, you don’t need to bring one, but you can reserve a picnic table for lunch through the Rec Center 721-5269)
  • Lunch – vendors at the park will be selling lunch, or you are welcome to bring your own. Keep in mind that Freedom Has A Birthday is an alcohol free event.

Another service offered for Monday’s big event is shuttle parking. There will be plenty of space in the University lot at 15th and Spring Creek, so you don’t have to worry about searching for a good place to park. Buses run all day in a 15-minute loop and stop at the East, center, and West ends of Washington Park.

Though it is not listed as an activity, one of the greatest things about this celebration is family and community interaction. Freedom Has A Birthday is such a meaningful event because it is a Laramie tradition that gives everyone a chance to celebrate the Fourth of July and have a great time with family and friends.