Fishers Freedom Festival on its way to 25th anniversary


This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Fishers Freedom Festival, and Executive Director Jennifer Kehl and her board of directors are already planning for the event in June.

A 501(c)3 not-for-profit, the Fishers Parade and Festival, Inc. typically has 300 volunteers throughout the festival weekend, and this year will have a budget of $309,000.

The budget includes the actual festival activities, as well as the Oktoberfest and Christmas in October fundraising events.

In addition, the Fishers Freedom Festival uses the money for a Backpack for Kids event in the fall, four scholarships for high school students and one scholarship for an employee or an employee’s spouse or child for continued education.

Volunteers are needed to help with the children’s tent, silent auction, 5K event and arts and crafts, and volunteer opportunities also are available for children, as well, Kehl said.

She said updated information for scholarships, as well as for volunteering opportunities, for the 2013 festival will be posted online at within approximately one week.

“I think one of the major accomplishments (in the festival’s history) would be that we’ve been able to get larger and larger and keep that small town feeling and keep the event virtually free,” Kehl said. “That’s our main goal – is that anyone can come out and enjoy the weekend. Unless you want to buy food or arts and crafts you can really come out and participate all weekend long and not really spend a lot of money.”

For the festival’s 25th year, Kehl said she was looking into a BMX biking show, additional fireworks, adding to the parade and dock-diving dogs.

Nothing is set in stone and depends on whether additional funding comes through from the Fishers Town Council or other sponsors, according to Kehl, who also welcomes suggestions about what types of events to add.

According to Maura Leon-Barber, Town of Fishers public relations director, the council was set to review what additional funding would go towards at the Jan. 7 work session.