Stoney Larue to headline annual Independence Day Spectacular
By Rachel Madison
Thanks to a new location for this year’s Independence Day Spectacular, the City of Liberty Hill is planning on going even bigger for its annual festival with headliner Stoney Larue.
The festival, which was started in 2016 by The Liberty Hill Independent, has been a popular event across Liberty Hill since it began. Formerly held at Liberty Hill City Park, this year it’s going to be held at Liberty Hill Junior High School’s grounds on July 3 from 6 to 10 p.m., which means more room to spread out, better parking options and a bigger fireworks show, said Katie Amsler, communications manager for the City of Liberty Hill.
“We were running out of space at the old location, and it was getting harder to shuttle in that many people and get everyone out safely,” she said. “At the school there is enough room for parking, and that will make a lot of people really happy. There is more room for everything to be spread out and more room for fireworks, so they will go higher this year because we have a bigger fallout zone.”
While the fireworks are the grand finale of the Spectacular, the festival will begin several hours earlier with plenty for families to do. There will be 16 food trucks on site, including trucks from Torchy’s Tacos, The Food Dood and Wagyu on Wheels, as well as a refillable water station for attendees to refill their water bottles for free.
For the kids, there will be several attractions in The Kids Zone, like an inflatable 96-foot obstacle course, a trackless train, a rocking pirate ship, an interactive challenge game, and the always popular beach ball drop.
“This year we will have two,” Amsler said. “One is for ages 7 and under, and one is for ages 8 to 12. They will both happen at the same time. For the older kids, Liberty Hill Orthodontics is giving away a free pair of braces. Several of the balls will also come with food truck coupons attached.”
The opening band for the evening is West Texas-based Caleb Young Band, and they will play from 6 to 7 p.m. The headliner is Texas red dirt musician Stoney Larue, who will play from 8 to 9:40 p.m.
“I was able to get a lot of sponsors this year,” Amsler said. “I made that a priority so we could go bigger. Thanks to our local businesses, we were able to increase our budget this year and get him.”
The annual hot dog eating and watermelon spitting contests will take place during the festival as well. In addition, winners of the homemade ice cream and homemade apple pie contests, which were judged earlier in June, will be announced.
“We had the apple pie and ice cream contests already because it’s really hard on people to make ice cream and pie and transport it to the festival without it melting,” Amsler said. “It was also hard on the judges because it’s a mess. This year we did it ahead of time and it worked out really well. We had eight ice creams entered and 14 apple pies entered.”
A new contest, called Ms. Liberty, will invite women ages 16 and older to step on the stage and show off their most patriotic gear. The woman with the best get-up will win the title of Ms. Liberty as well as a crown and sash.
“As the women walk across the stage, the audience will clap and we have an app that will measure the decibels and choose the winner,” Amsler said. “Ms. Liberty will be crowned for the year, and we’re hoping whoever wins can crown next year’s winner.”
Parking for the event is available at Liberty Hill Junior High, Liberty Hill Intermediate School and Lions Foundation Park. General admission for parking is $5, and premium parking is $20. Parking fees collected will benefit the Liberty Hill Education Foundation and the Liberty Hill Development Foundation. Because the intermediate school and Foundation Park are farther away, pedicabs will be on site to transport people to the festival, Amsler said.
The parking lots will open at 5 p.m., and the festival gates will open at 5:45 p.m. No coolers or alcohol are permitted on school grounds, but attendees can bring lawn chairs, blankets and strollers.
All activities and contests are free.
For more information on the festival and to keep up to date, visit www.experiencelhtx.com.