Organizers gear up for Freedom Fest 2015 - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Organizers gear up for Freedom Fest 2015

Source: Phillip Guyton Source: Phillip Guyton

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - This year, one local community is using a free Independence Day celebration to draw attention to local businesses.

An estimated 14,000 thousand people are expected to pack Darlington Raceway for Freedom Fest, On Saturday night.

“We are the biggest event in the Pee Dee, really the only event in the Pee Dee,” said Hannah Stanley, Executive Director of Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce. “We’re looking forward to see what the attendance will be this year.”

This is the second year Freedom Fest is happening at the Darlington Raceway.

The event includes four bands, a car show, food, and a huge 20-minute fireworks show.

“The draw of the track extends way beyond Darlington and really South Carolina. There are NASCAR fans all over the United States that know about Darlington Raceway,” Stanley said.

Organizers said Freedom Fest is a good time for family fun and an Independence Day Celebration, but the chamber said this event also helps promote local businesses.

“Our sponsors, we have given them a lot of opportunity to be visible at this event. [We want] to let people know that it’s because of them that we are able to have this event," said Stanley. “As well as bringing people into Darlington to shop in their stores and eat in their restaurants.”

Last year, the chamber only expected 3,000 people to attend.

Leaders said they were stunned when 14,000 people from throughout the region flocked to the track’s infield to celebrate Independence Day.

The Chamber said it’s expecting that many people to come out on Saturday.

People from out of town have already been inquiring about the event.

The Chamber hopes that all the traffic and draw Freedom Fest is expected to bring this year turns into dollar and cents for local businesses.

“We’re really excited to bring that traffic into Darlington. It’s the original reason we wanted to have it here it here in the first place.”

Freedom Fest is from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday.

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