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Goreville’s Jim Cato to headline Freedom Fest

Posted June 19, 2013 by Joe Rehana in News

Goreville’s Freedom Fest Fourth of July celebration is only weeks away with the schedule of events and acts announced as it heads into the final stages of planning.

The Freedom Fest committee said they are “proud” to welcome Goreville native and recently acclaimed Nashville recording artist Jim Cato to the stage to headline the evening’s concert.

Cato said he is looking forward to singing hits he’s recorded as well as “old favorites” that invoke patriotic and festive feelings.  This year’s Freedom Fest theme is “Let Freedom Ring” and both Cato and the opening act, South of 70, will entertain with a Fourth of July spirit, according to organizers.

Most of the previous activities celebrated with Freedom Fest are to continue this year with the exception of the car show, which was canceled for this year.

The day is set to start out with the annual 5K run/walk with a Kids Fun Run to follow.  The 5K is now in its third year and will host a pre-registration on July 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Goreville High School parking lot.  Race-day registration is set to begin at 6:30 a.m. with the race set to begin at 7:30 a.m. taking off from Ferne Clyffe State Park and finishing at the Goreville High School.

The 2012 Freedom Fest parade heads out from Goreville High School on its way to Broadway.  The 2013 Freedom Fest parade is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. on July 4 with a concert and fireworks to follow.  ~ photo by Lonnie Hinton

The 2012 Freedom Fest parade heads out from Goreville High School on its way to Broadway. The 2013 Freedom Fest parade is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. on July 4 with a concert and fireworks to follow. ~ photo by Lonnie Hinton

The Freedom Fest parade is set to start at 4 p.m. this year with a gospel concert on Broadway to start an hour before the parade.  Organizers said The Phelps Brothers and Johnson County Cloggers would entertain as the parade participants prepare to hit the route.  The entertainment stage is to be located at the intersection of Broadway and E. Collins Street (between Napa and The Church of Christ).

Goreville’s Dixie Terry was recently named as the 2013 Freedom Fest parade grand marshal, for her continued dedication to promoting Goreville and her overall great charm.  Organizers said Terry promotes Goreville through her writing and her participation throughout each year in such a way it is difficult to enumerate.

The concert in the park is scheduled to begin shortly after the parade with a 5:30 p.m. start time with fireworks to follow.  Labeled as “one of the biggest, small-town” fireworks show in Southern Illinois, this year’s weather and moisture is at a “comfortable level” to allow for the display to take place July 4.  Last year’s severe drought resulted in the postponement of the fireworks display, which was later held at the Goreville Schools’ October Fest celebration.

Freedom Fest organizer Jason Beckmann said the festival will host, “family entertainment, food vendors all day (BBQ, smoked tilapia, corn dogs, funnel cakes, and much more) with family tailgating welcomed.”  Beckmann added that family tailgating does not allow for alcohol.

For more information or to make a donation, Beckmann said he could be reached at 618-751-0785 or through the contact form on the event’s website found at GorevilleFreedomFest.com.