GOSHEN — Welcoming more than 25,000 attendees last year, America’s Freedom Fest is one of the largest family-oriented gatherings in Elkhart County.

Organized by roughly 40 volunteers, the day-long event will begin at 1 p.m., July 6, at the Goshen Municipal Airport.

America’s Freedom Fest will feature vintage aircraft, modern warplanes, the Shockwave Jet Truck, multiple aerial demonstrations, vendors and a fireworks finale, among other activities and attractions.

A U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor demonstration team will perform a 20-minute show over the airport. The Raptor team typically conducts a few annual shows, mostly in larger metropolitan areas. According to Julie Dacy, a military coordinator, attendees will witness what is known as a full tactical demonstration, showcasing the full, unique capabilities of the F-22 Raptor. The crowd will get to see various maneuvers, including flips, barrel rolls, verticals, slow-speed passes and high-speed passes among others.

As of July 2019, there are only 187 Raptors in existence, each one costing approximately $143 million to produce. The F-22 Raptor is capable of traveling twice the speed of sound and nine times the force of gravity. Two Raptors will be coming to Goshen in case the primary jet fails.

Speaking of the limited quantity of F-22 Raptor jets, Lt. Sam Eckholm, public affairs officer, said, “The fact that we’ll be flying two jets out to Goshen is a pretty big deal.”

Goshen Municipal Airport Manager Randy Sharkey, the air show’s coordinator, is particularly excited about this year’s show.

“If we can get the right ingredients, this will be an unbelievable show,” Sharkey said.

The right ingredients, he believes, are “perfect weather, a great air show lineup and the biggest fireworks display in Michiana.”

What makes the fireworks display so exciting, according Sharkey, are the 16-inch shells not typically used in regional firework shows.

There will also be a variety of vendors and kid-friendly activities. Proceeds will go toward maintaining the event and educational initiatives, including an essay contest and a free trip to Washington D.C. for five local students.

Tickets will be sold at the door, a cash-only option.

Advance tickets can be purchased at the following locations:

• First State Bank

111 S. Main St., Middlebury

Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m.-noon

• First State Bank

201 N. Main St., Goshen

Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m.-noon

• First State Bank

1820 Greencroft Blvd., Goshen

Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

• First State Bank

1515 Cobblestone Blvd., Elkhart

Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m.-noon (drive-thru only)

• First State Bank

200 NIBCO Pkwy., Elkhart

Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

• First State Bank

4101 Cleveland Road, South Bend

Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

• Goshen City Hall

202 S. Fifth St., Goshen

Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

• 5 & 20 Country Restaurant

7995 U.S. 20, Shipshewana

Hours: Monday-Saturday 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

• Double R Grocery

65730 Ind. 13, Millersburg

Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday 6 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Gardners Outdoor Power Equipment

2804 S. Main St., Goshen

Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-noon

Camden Chaffee can be reached at camden.chaffee@goshnnews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 314.


WHAT: America’s Freedom Fest

WHEN: Gates open at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 6

WHERE: Goshen Municipal Airport, 17229 C.R. 42, Goshen

TICKETS: Advance tickets cost $12 for ages 13 and older, $4 for children ages 6-12. Day-of, cash-only tickets cost $15 for ages 13 and older, $5 for ages 6-12. Children ages 5 and younger and veterans with valid military ID admitted free of charge.

For more information, visit americasfreedomfest.net.

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