The 40th annual LibertyFest kept Edmond hopping over the weekend as people set out to celebrate the Fourth of July. Named by CNN and USA Today as one of the “Top 10 July 4th Festivals in the United States,” the festival kept to its traditions and celebrated its theme of “40 Years of Fun Family Festivals” with some of its hallmark attractions.
More Independence Day fun continues Wednesday, but here is an overview of what happened June 30 and July 1.
Hot Rods, cool customs and vintage classics converged on Hafer Park for the 11th annual LibertyFest Car Show. Show chairman Robert Meinders, who also chairs the fireworks show on the Fourth of July, said the crowd was better than expected.
“It was a great event this year,” he said.
Meinders estimates that the show averages between 100 and 130 cars annually, but not this year.
“I had to end up cutting it off at 184,” he said.
Nearly every era was featured, Meinders said. He said there were several cars from the turn of the century, Model T Fords and others from typical car show eras such as the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s.
Ford Thunderbirds and Chevy Corvettes were in abundance, he added.
“We were really pleased we had a good turnout,” said Terry Officer, LibertyFest president.
Cars were categorized in one of 22 groups ranging from 1900 to current day with subgroups of pickups, street rods, convertibles, foreign cars and other unique groups.
Prizes and trophies were awarded to class winners, along with two 4-foot-tall trophies awarded to the vehicles voted “Best of Show” pre-1980 and post-1980.
In addition to running the whole festival, Officer was also chairman of this year’s KiteFest, which he has been a part of for 18 years. The show runs for two days and has been a staple at LibertyFest for 22 years.
Kites flew all day Saturday and Sunday, and Officer said they were able to do the lighted night flight.
“I’ve heard compliments that people could see the kites from some distance,” he said. “That’s a big compliment.”
Officer estimated that as many as 600 people came to the west side of Mitch Park in the two-day kite flying jamboree.
People came from as far as Wichita, Kan., and Wichita Falls and Temple, Texas, to fly kites, he said.