My 2 Cents: LibertyFest Cancellation Shocking

Thursday, April 30th 2020, 11:28 pm
By: Kelly Ogle

I was shocked to see a notice that a summer ritual for my family has been canceled.

Edmond's 4th of July celebration, known since the 80's as "LibertyFest", has been canceled for this year.

Yep, the parade.

Yep, the fireworks.

The festival in the park, the road rally, the big Taste of Edmond party downtown... canceled, canceled, canceled.

It's a week-long celebration of the Red, White and Blue so star spangled that CNN and USA Today once named it one of the Top Ten spots in America to spend the 4th of July.

All day I've been grousing about the premature cancellation, but tonight I talked to the LibertyFest PR director, June Cartwright, who told me it broke their heart and they put it off as long as they could.

And when she explained the decision, the argument I'd prepared fizzled out like a cheap bottle rocket.

First, the UCO campus is closed for the summer because of COVID-19 and that's where the parade entries are staged.

Fireworks, they were worried because of social distancing.

Next, the Taste of Edmond block party, their biggest fundraiser, is generously supported by Edmond restaurants and those businesses aren't in any position to lay out a lot of freebies right now.

One other big considerations, many of the 500 volunteers it takes to put on LibertyFest are senior citizens and in that so-called most vulnerable group.

Not to mention the event insurance they're required to buy has skyrocketed.

Sadly, it all adds up to a Liberty-FAST for Edmond this year.

I'm Kelly Ogle and that's My 2 Cents.