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Budget cuts won’t crimp fireworks or annual Freedom Fest at JBLM

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on July 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm with No Comments »
July 1, 2013 4:20 pm
Joint Base Lewis-McChord expects 30,000 people to attend its annual Freedom Fest on Thursday. This News Tribune photo is from its 2010 Independence Day celebration.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord expects 30,000 people to attend its annual Freedom Fest on Thursday. This News Tribune photo is from its 2010 Independence Day celebration.

Forced federal budget cuts won’t hurt the show at Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Independence Day.

Other Army posts all over the country are cancelling annual fireworks displays because of Pentagon belt-tightening driven by the compulsory spending cuts known as sequestration. It’s hard to justify a fireworks show when your scaling back on training and handing furlough notices to your civilian employees.

Lewis-McChord is not among the military installations cutting fireworks this week because it does not rely exclusively on federal funding for its annual Independence Day celebration.  It will host a fireworks display like any other year at its Freedom Fest, base spokesman Joe Kubistek said.

The event is free and open to the public. The base expects about 30,000 people to attend. Activities begin at noon, including carnival rides and a mix of a music groups. Blues legend Taj Mahal is the day’s headliner.
Fireworks are scheduled to start at 10:30 p.m. Civilians who want to attend should enter the base through the DuPont Gate at exit 119. They’ll be directed to a parking lot with a shuttle carrying them to the fireworks.
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