ARKANSAS, USA — Independence Day celebrations are some of the biggest in Arkansas, but last year Arkansans missed out on many community events. Fast forward to now and you can likely expect bigger and better celebrations.
"We expect thousands of people out here,” Ty Ledbetter, Captain at Conway Fire Department, said.
Though COVID-19 hasn’t disappeared, Conway feels it’s now safe to return to its largest single-day event of the year.
"I think getting out in your community. Community involvement, getting out to know your neighbors is really what a community is built off of,” Ledbetter said.
Conway will celebrate the Fourth of July at Beaver Fork Lake.
The annual Freedom Fest hosted by City Church was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, but this year you can expect more with food trucks, family games, live music, and a firework display from the lake.
"We expect it to be even bigger this year because people have been locked in their homes for the past 12-15 months,” he said.
In Saline County, Benton will celebrate its Independence Day Bash on July 2nd, and it'll look a lot more normal and fun than 2020.
"We did have a drive through last year so we had the fireworks, but not the festivals,” Lea Canady, marketing coordinator for Benton, said.
The city is looking forward to the return of live music, food trucks, and a kid's zone, along with the fireworks.
"We've reached out to different groups. The car club coming out, different activities. Just different activities just to grow it, make it a little bit bigger,” Canady said.
With more people expected at these community events, city leaders ask for your patience.
"Understand lots of people are wanting to come out and enjoy this event, so just be patient with everybody," Ledbetter said. "Some people are still really uncomfortable being close to each other, so mind people's spaces.”
You can find more details about these free Independence Day celebrations on each city's website.
There are likely more events happening in other parts of Central Arkansas. Just visit with your local city hall to see what celebrations are planned for your community.