Annual ‘Freedom Fest’ Put on Hold in the Poconos

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- After 17 years, an annual event in East Stroudsburg has been put on hold.

Freedom Fest, a free two-day Fourth of July celebration, is canceled this year.

"I think it's sad because this is something that we look forward to every year for the kids. It's family fun and the fireworks! I feel sad that it's not going to happen this year," said Rosalind Mays, Albrightsville.

Freedom Fest brought quite the crowd to Dansbury Park in its heyday.

Members of the Eastburg Community Alliance tell Newswatch 16 it's become too expensive and finding volunteers and donors for the holiday weekend became increasingly difficult.

"For the ECA itself, the business community puts together the money to fund that and being at the location it was, I don't know that the businesses were really getting any ancillary income from it," said Marc Jackett, Eastburg Community Alliance.

Even though Freedom Fest is canceled for this year, the ultimate goal is to bring it back but in a different capacity. Instead of having it at the park, board members are hoping to move it to Crystal Street.

Marc Jackett is on the Eastburg Community Alliance board.  He also runs a new restaurant called Derailed Taphouse on Crystal Street. He says future events are being planned, including some this fall.

"I think all in all for the community, there are going to be a lot more outreach programs and things that are going to be great for East Stroudsburg in general," said Jackett.

Jordan Reid from Delaware Water Gap went to Freedom Fest for the first time last year. He's sad to see it go but is looking forward to future events.

"I think it's going to be a great idea knowing that there are a lot of people on Crystal Street in general," said Reid.

One event already planned for the fall is called Pickle Me Poconos Festival.  There will be music, vendors, and more on Crystal Street. That event is planned for October.

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