LINTON FREEDOM FESTIVAL
The city of Linton hosted its first Freedom Festival Parade in 1905. The parade was originated to celebrate Independence Day. Linton has held the image of a small town American community close to its heart throughout the years, which is often reflected in the Fourth of July Parade. This spirit, along with community pride and dedication, has been the guiding force that has enable Fourth of July Parade in Linton to become the largest in the state. Approximately 200 entries participate in this annual event and attract over 25,000 to Linton. The parade has been telecast live for several years and was shown on Channel 38 of Terre Haute as a taped special during the 1997 holiday.
The day of the parade starts with a breakfast being served by the Linton Civitan Club. This event has become well known for the ham that is served. Edgar Greene prepares the meat by baking the hams wrapped in burlap in underground pits. The breakfast is held at 6 a.m. at the parking lot across the street from the fire station on Northwest A Street.
Traditionally the parade starts at 10 a.m. at the Linton-Stockton High School. The entries line up on Northeast H Street and other adjacent streets. Then the parade proceeds down North Main Street to Northeast A Street (also known as State Highway 54). The parade travels east until reaching Northwest Tenth Street. After turning on to Tenth Street, the participates disband.
The parade features the traditional marching bands, clowns, and elaborate floats as well as horses and antique cars. Prizes are given for a variety of categories. The remainder of the day is spent enjoying backyard barbecues at family gatherings. In the evening the fireworks display at Humphreys Park brings the day to a breath-taking conclusion.
The parade, sponsored by the Linton-Chamber of Commerce has grown over the years and became part of the Freedom Festival Celebration. Now, the activities begin the last week of June and continue throughout the week of the Fourth of July. The carnival at Humphreys Park is held the last week of June. The band concession stand served the famous Band Boosters fish sandwiches during the week of the carnival. The following week the city park hosts a craft show along with local talent being featured.
Freedom Festival: It is Much More Than Just a Parade," Visitors and Newcomers Guide. Linton: Linton Daily Citizen, June 28, 1996, p. 8.
Personal interview with Les Newman on Wednesday, January 7, 1998, in Linton, Indiana.
French, Dale. "Positive Publicity," PBA Community Profile. Linton: Linton-Stockton High School, 1998.