Thanks to the generous support of Bristol County Savings Bank, the annual Freedom Festival is back!  Celebrate America's Independence Day at  the 20th Annual UMass Dartmouth Freedom Festival on Friday, July 3rd.

Join thousands of Southcoast residents for this family-friendly event at the Tripp Athletic Center Fields of Umass Dartmouth.  "The Freedom Festival is always a special evening which celebrates the area's community and national spirit and the Bank is honored to do its part." said Patrick J. Murray, President and CEO, Bristol County Savings Bank.

With four live bands, great food, a giant lawn and a one of the most anticipated fireworks displays on the Southcoast- why wouldn't you want to be here?  If you're thinking about heading down to Freedom Festival this year, here are some things to know before you go:

1. Freedom Festival is being held at the Athletic fields this year.
Unlike the 19 years before it, when the festival was held on the quad, the event has moved to the fields behind the Tripp Athletic Center.

2. You can park on campus for $5 per car.
Its a lot of work to park the car a mile or more away from any event, let alone an event that ends in the dark.  Parking on campus is convenient and safe for your family to get to and from. Plus- if you're bringing chairs and blankets, you'll agree that the closer you can park, the better!  The $5 per car fee helps to support the Freedom Festival's continuation and is much appreciated.

 3. Music, Music, MUSIC!
The fun kicks off at 5:30p with music from Santa Mamba from Warwick- an original world-beat Latin, jazz, middle-eastern, funk and jazz band!  They'll be followed by the student/faculty comprised El Caribe steel band at 6:30 and local favorites Entrain at 7:10pm.  Finally, the Dartmouth Community Band will take you on a trip down patriotic lane with all of the best, class American Songs to get you in the mood for the fireworks display.

4. Food, Beverage and Novelties
There will be a variety of food and beverage available for purchase on campus along with novelty items. Bring some extra money and make it a burger and hot dogs kind of picnic!

5. Fireworks
The fireworks are slated to start at 9:15pm- when it is finally dark enough for the lights to be the brightest!

6. Safety Precautions
The UMass Dartmouth Police along with local and state police have worked to create the safest event possible for all involved.  Vehicular access to campus will be closed when parking is no longer available. Parking along Old Westport Road is banned and cars are subject to being towed.  Together, they will work get you on and off campus as quickly and safely as possible. Additionally, there will be thorough security measures in place; please limit what you bring onto campus with you.