FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – For 32-years the Spirit of Freedom Celebration in the Shoals has entertained hundreds of thousands of people on the Fourth of July holiday.
This year things are changing a bit in McFarland Park.
The city of Florence passed an ordinance allowing the distribution of alcohol in city parks and this will be the first major test of the new law.
A few things are a given for the Spirit of Freedom Celebration each year: it’s going to be hot, it will likely rain at some point during the day, and thousands of people will show up to listen to the music and watch the fireworks.
But for the 33rd annual event, coordinator Derrick Robinson with Shoals Radio Group has done extra planning this year to keep it a family friendly atmosphere.
“And that it doesn’t turn into something we don’t want it to turn into,” stated Robinson. “So we have been very diligent in our planning and in our efforts to make sure that we keep that.”
An area of the celebration lawn at McFarland Park will be fenced off to separate what they are calling a “beer garden”.
Robinson said that will allow organizers to control the distribution of beer by checking id`s and controlling access.
“It’s more like going into an area, having a cool beverage and then you can go back out and participate with the family and enjoy the festival,” Robinson explained.
Robinson believes all the planning for this year’s celebration will pay off with a smooth event.
Organizers said coolers brought in by the public will be checked by Florence police to keep alcohol from being brought into the park.
This year’s event kicks off at 1pm in McFarland Park with fireworks starting around 9.