Freedom rings at ML Freedom Fest

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  • Courtesy photo American Legion members hold up Old Glory as part of the salute to veterans Saturday at the Freedom Festival in Moses Lake.

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    Joel Martin/Columbia Basin Herald Vehicles of all vintages cruised onto the playing field at Frontier Middle School Saturday for the Freedom Fest car show.

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    Courtesy photo Jake Gill thrills the crowd at the Moses Lake Freedom Festival Saturday night.

  • Courtesy photo American Legion members hold up Old Glory as part of the salute to veterans Saturday at the Freedom Festival in Moses Lake.

  • 1

    Joel Martin/Columbia Basin Herald Vehicles of all vintages cruised onto the playing field at Frontier Middle School Saturday for the Freedom Fest car show.

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    Courtesy photo Jake Gill thrills the crowd at the Moses Lake Freedom Festival Saturday night.

MOSES LAKE — It’s almost a capsule description of America: a whole bunch of very different people, all doing their own thing, coming together to make something great. On a much smaller scale, that’s exactly what happened over the weekend in Moses Lake as a collection of clubs and organizations teamed up to create the Moses Lake Freedom Festival.

“We got together with the Moses Lake Business Association and the Farmers Market and the classic car clubs here in the area and tried to put something together where we could incorporate all of the different entities in one event where everybody kind of stepped up and did their own thing,” said organizer Tera Redwine. “The business association handled the beer and wine garden. The classic car clubs helped put on the car show with sponsorship money from Les Schwab. Everybody kind of did their part and worked together on it.”

The two-day festival in McCosh Park included the seven bands, a food truck rodeo, a military salute to veterans and a fireworks display, among other attractions. The pyrotechnics, which were paid for mostly through a grant from the City of Moses Lake, drew a crowd of over 5,000 oohers-and-aahers Saturday night, Redwine said.

Music during the day Saturday was kicked off by Lake City Blues from Moses Lake, followed by a Native American band, Vision Seekerz, from Grand Coulee, who played hard-hitting rock and roll underlaid with traditional sounds. Rounding out the home-grown entertainment was oldies cover band Cruise Control from Pasco.

The headlining act Saturday was Jake Gill, who flew in from Nashville with his band. Gill thrilled the crowd with his edgy country sound, occasionally leaving the stage to sing among the audience.

Sunday’s lineup included norteño music from Moses Lake’s Los Kompas del Sur and Paso Firme from Royal City, and wrapped up with a show by Los Rebeldes de la Sierra from Pasco.

Hearing good music can be hungry work, and up the hill from the Centennial Amphitheater the Food Truck Rodeo gathered vendors of yumminess both local and from out of town to meet that need.

Sue Jungers, who sells gourmet hot dogs at Sue’s Dog House at the Farmers Market on Saturdays, coordinated the food vendors last year and this year.

“We were pretty slammed,” she said. “I had over 1,000 sales on Saturday. That’s probably quadruple what I make on a Saturday at the market.”

Her friend Bruce Bailey, who was soaking up the shade in the Dog House Sunday, said the rodeo sort of fills the gap left by the Pig Out in the Park event that went defunct a few years ago. In the absence of a commercial event, he said, community members need to step up to the plate (so to speak).

“It’ll be a couple more years before we’ve got it all figured out,” he said, “We’re all volunteers. We’re making it happen.”

Across from the food trucks, a cruise-in car show glittered in the sun. A group of local car clubs banded together to put their wheels on display. Last year’s show had something like 12 cars, Redwine said, but this year the count had grown to about 40.

Besides Bud Clary Toyota, who sponsored the stage, and the other major sponsor, Samaritan Healthcare, a small army of organizations and businesses pitched in to make the Freedom Festival happen. Redwine ran through just a small list of them.

“Michael’s gave us dinner for the bands and Ramada gave us rooms for the bands and BIE (Business Interiors and Equipment) did posters for us. There were a lot of people who stepped up, not just in money, but in-kind donations to make it happen, because, you know, it costs a lot of money. It all starts adding up really quickly. We really thank the community and the sponsors.”

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