Games, food, music and more: 12 – 3 p.m. on July 31
By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (July 5, 2021) – Since Freedom Church moved into the old Illiana Christian School building in early 2020, it just started inviting the community indoors for Sunday worship in the spring. On July 31, it will invite the larger community to Freedom Fest, a free outdoor event featuring games, food, music, a school supply giveaway, and more.
A tradition continued
Freedom Fest is a new manifestation of Arrow Fest, an event that Arrow Church organized annually. When Arrow Church merged with Freedom Church, Pastor Eric Hampton wanted to continue the tradition of setting up a large community event for local families.
“When we did talk about merging [Arrow Church with Freedom Church], we said we could just combine some events with what I also do here: preach a few times a month as well,” Hampton said.
Games, food, school supplies, and more
Freedom Fest will be a free festival fit into the hours of 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 31. The event will have yard games such as beanbag toss, as well as a video game truck where kids can play for free. There will also be inflatables for kids, as well as pony rides and a petting zoo.
Event organizers will grill burgers for attendees, who can listen to live music while they enjoy the festivities. A kids group will perform live during the afternoon, and a DJ will lead dancers in line dances. Gift cards will also be given away for free haircuts.
The festival is also a back-to-school event, and binders, notebooks, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, and notepads will be given away to students.
In addition to the outdoor festivities, tours will be given of some parts of Freedom Church as well.
Freedom Church is asking attendees to bring their own lawn chairs to the event.
A church and a community center
“In my opinion, we really want to be a church on Sunday and community center Monday through Saturday,” said Hampton, who explained that Freedom Fest is purely a community event, and not a recruitment strategy for Freedom Church.
“I would rather be known for what we give than what we do on Sunday. We have great preaching, great praise and worship, very, very loving people. But I’d rather be known as, ‘That’s the church that gives out Christmas gifts. That’s the church that has that big back-to-school party and it’s all free,'” he said.
Registration for Freedom Fest is required, and is available here.
Freedom Church is located at 2261 Indiana Avenue, Lansing, IL. The main entrance and parking is now on the south side of the building, accessible from Ridge Road.
- From caddying to college: Freedom Church partners with Olympia Fields Country Club to help local youth (April 16, 2021)
- Photos: Freedom Church holds first Sunday service in redeemed Illiana building (March 21, 2021)