Fireworks of Freedom: Celebrating 25 years of Freedom Fest

The 2017 version of Freedom Fest featured a 25-minute show with over 4,600 fireworks. (Photo by Ron Sundquist)

July 4, 2023- It was that time of the year again, for everyone to gather together to celebrate Independence Day the Clovis Kiwanis way.

In its 25th year, Freedom fest had the gates at Lamonica Stadium open at 5 p.m. Tickets were purchased outside Clovis High School by plenty of local families and friends choosing to spend the fourth of July watching fireworks and supporting a community cause.

The Clovis Kiwanis Club works to raise money every year for local organizations in need, such as Valley Children’s hospital and The Clovis Senior Center.

According to Eddie De Leon, Co-Chair for the Clovis Kiwanis Club, approximately 7,200 ticket holders attended the festivities. De Leon said due to the amount of sponsors and vendors that collaborated, this year was their biggest celebration yet.

“We want to make it a family friendly neighborhood event,” said De Leon. “That’s why we raise money with sponsorships and all of our corporate sponsors.”

De Leon said he is thankful for Freedom Fest sponsors, but also the community support that shows their appreciation for events like this.

“We want them to know, thank you. We appreciate your support, we appreciate the support of the businesses, support of the families that have donated, and the support of the school district that has given us the facilities.”

A number of different food trucks and booths were set up for customers. Everything from shaved ice to hot dogs on a stick was sold to party-goers. Music, Bounce Houses, and family friendly games were held for entertainment before the main event. Fireworks.

Once dusk approached, everyone got ready in the stands or laid down on the grassy area for a view of a colorfully-lit night of fireworks.

Shannon Cornell was one of the many attendees who brought her family to enjoy everything Freedom Fest had to offer.

“I’m excited to see how my two year old is going to respond to the fireworks because he’s never seen fireworks,” said Cornell. “I think he will react positively, he kinda likes chaos!”

“I definitely feel like I am going to come back next year, it is not chaotic or overwhelming.”

Jett Touchstone brought his girlfriend for the first time at Freedom Fest to watch fireworks and celebrate what he believes is the best country on earth.

“I just like patriotism, and celebrating the country that I’m very grateful to live in and be born in,” said Touchstone.

“There’s a lot of worser countries to be born in. America is not perfect, but it is a beautiful place and anybody is considered fortunate to have been born here. It’s a lot easier to succeed here than it is in other countries.”

De Leon said the Clovis Kiwanis Club was able to hit their sponsorship targets to cover the event. The estimated amount of money that was raised was $12,000 dollars and will be able to help support community organizations throughout the rest of the year.

Nikki is a Fresno resident and a graduate of Fresno State University, with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Media Communications and Journalism. Nikki spent some time as a staff reporter at the Fresno State Collegian Newspaper, and now currently works part time at the KFSN-TV station in Fresno. She enjoys local community events, arts and entertainment, and crime news.