Located only 10 miles south of Downtown Indianapolis, Greenwood’s community events, a variety of cuisine, and ample shopping opportunities make it an ideal launching point when planning an Indiana getaway. Travelers in search of a diverse selection of cuisine are in the right spot. Here people will find everything from southern inspired barbecue to fresh sushi, and a few locations to check out include Revery, Stone Creek Dining Company, and Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza. If your ideal getaway includes shopping ‘til you drop, then Greenwood Park Mall is for you. Here visitors will find more than 150 shops specializing in apparel, accessories, and more.
The Freedom Festival has been a staple in the Greenwood Community for more than three decades, and it will take place June 30 in Craig Park. Patrons will find an exciting all ages experience complete with a vibrant parade, a vast collection of vendors, live entertainment, kid’s activities, and more. This year’s festivities kick off with a massive parade, which will have more than 75 participants including vibrant floats, military personnel, nonprofits, and more. There is ample room to line up on the downtown streets and collect a variety of candy and trinkets handed out by the participants. After all the parade excitement winds down, attendees should make their way to the vendor marketplace. Here people can purchase a spectrum of art pieces, handmade goods, artisan foods, and more from 200 vendors ranging from local businesses to independent artists. At the Kids Zone, kids and families can partake in a variety of fun activities including bounce houses, face painting, and a DJ dance party. Hungry attendees of all tastes can purchase meals and refreshments from more than 30 vendors. Music lovers shouldn’t miss the Freedom Jam which is a competition featuring eight local up and coming bands. Resortsandlodges.com interviewed the Director of Tourism for Festival Country Indiana, Kenneth Kosky, to learn more about this festive celebration.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
KK: Greenwood Freedom Festival brings 33 years of tradition and fun to residents and visitors just south of Indianapolis. The day kicks off with a parade that winds through downtown, and then visitors can stroll through Craig Park for live music and entertainment on three stages. They can also browse more than 200 vendors with food, crafts, offerings from local businesses and more. This marquee event draws more than 50,000 attendees from Central Indiana and beyond.
RAL: What makes the event unique?
KK: A few of the things that make this festival unique are the Freedom Jam band competition, fantastic music entertainment including Haley Jonay, Blue River, Carl Storie Band, The WHY Store and Tastes Like Chicken. In the evening there is a moving Honor our Heroes Ceremony. The day is capped off with the best fireworks display in Central Indiana. Find more information online here or visit this website for all the fun events in the area.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?
KK: There is something for everyone at the Greenwood Freedom Festival. The parade takes place at noon with over 75 entries including local military, bands, businesses, churches, and nonprofits that walk the streets of downtown handing out candy and trinkets. The new parade route will turn on Main Street and South onto Market Plaza. The full route is online here.
The Kid’s Zone is jam-packed with magic shows, face painting, bounce houses and our very own DJ dance party. At the south end of Craig Park, KORN Country Radio plays host to Freedom Jam – our band competition that gives excellent exposure to eight different acts competing to be the opening band on the main stage the following year.
RAL: What dining options will attendees find?
KK: When it comes to food, there are a lot of options. More than 30 food booths offer a variety of festival favorites like elephant ears, roasted corn, ice cream, burgers, pizza and, of course, the pork tenderloins that Indiana is famous for.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
KK: The area just south of Indianapolis is home to a variety of great lodging options, like the charming bed & breakfasts in nearby Franklin including Ashley-Drake Historic Inn and The Flying Frog Bed and Breakfast. There are also a variety of hotels with all the amenities, and camping and cabin options. Follow the link for all the great choices.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
KK: Similar to other community events, the Freedom Festival is a chance to share Hoosier hospitality and a great time with people who come from all over to attend. There are numerous stories of generations who attend every year as a part of their family’s tradition. It engages the business community. There are close to 50 organizations that partner with the city to make this event happen every year. Most of them repeat, so the value is there for local business. The festival also helps fund the city’s parks department so that the amphitheater and Craig Park can be even better for future celebrations.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
KK: The best thing about Freedom Festival is that it’s in a part of the Indiana that’s not only within a day’s drive of half the U.S. population, it’s also known for being a little more festive than other places. Freedom Festival is one of more than 500 festivals and events that take place just south of Indianapolis, from a concert series at the local winery to goat yoga (yes, yoga is more fun when goats join in), to craft brew festivals. Add to those great attractions like Freedom Springs Aquatic Center, Greenwood Park Mall, legendary golf courses and craft breweries, The Historic Artcraft Theatre and more.
For more information about the Freedom Festival, please visit the event website.