Laramie’s premier Fourth of July celebration is back again this year. The 24th annual Freedom Has A Birthday celebration will be held in Washington Park on Friday July 4, and it offers a variety of activities for people of all ages.

According to event co-chair Laura Tangeman, the event kicks off with opening ceremonies at 9:45 a.m. and will have between 80 and 100 booths open to the public between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This year, booths offering free ice cream, snow cones, watermelon, cookies, lemonade and other goodies will all be present, as will a variety of booths representing groups around the community. Most booths at the park will offer activities for people to try, many of which are geared towards children.

This year there will be three stage areas for music and other entertainment. There will also be large inflatables on the east end of the park for kids to play on for free. This includes a slide, obstacle course and bounce houses. A street magician will also be walking around performing magic for people at the park.

In addition to the usual booths, this year offers an opportunity for people to meet with many political candidates from the area and learn about their platforms.

A children’s parade will take place on Rainbow Avenue just before opening ceremonies. The parade is open to all children who would like to participate. Children are encouraged to dress up for the holiday and show off their American pride for the parade. Anyone wishing to walk in it can meet at the Fox Theater parking lot at 9:15 a.m.

Tangeman asks the public to be aware of the children’s parade between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. that day, and to use caution when near Rainbow Avenue during that time. The route will be blocked from traffic, and she asks everyone to pay special attention to the signs and blockades.

It is estimated that about 12,000 people come to the celebration every year, says Tangeman. She adds that many of those attending each year are from surrounding areas, and are not necessarily from the town of Laramie.

Although a shuttle has been available in previous years, Tangeman would like to note that this year the event was unable to get a shuttle service. This year there will be no shuttle or shuttle parking to the park, so people are encouraged to find other parking and travel options.

To learn more about the event, visit the Freedom Has A Birthday website.