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Price of Freedom Music Fest rocks on into the night

The Seventh District sure knows how to throw a party. The storied St. Mary’s County community gave birth in 1967 to the Seventh District Optimist Club which early in their existence founded the annual Blessing of the Fleet. After 45 years it still remains one of the area’s biggest annual parties and festivals.

The Blessing of the Fleet was intended to draw attention to St. Clement’s Island, which at the time was rapidly eroding away. Through their work the island was stabilized and is now a state park. Proceeds from the Blessing of the Fleet go to the club’s youth activities.

Doing things for young people had always been a mission of the Seventh District Optimist Club. Four years ago the club decided to actually put on an event geared to young people. But that event has morphed into a festival with something for everyone, young and the young at heart and spirit.

So the Price of Freedom Music Fest was born to be held just before the 4th of July and as a celebration of the many volunteers who make the community work.

This year the organizers assembled four of the most popular local music groups and they rocked on into the night with eight hours of non-stop music. Fest goers could enjoy the music from an area in front of the stage or under tents offered by various event sponsors. This being an election year several of those tents were from candidates.

Bands, in order of appearance, were: R&R Train, Franklin Square Band, No Green Jelly Beenz and the Sam Grow Band.

Firefighter/bagpipers performed with Franklin Square, which is composed of volunteer firefighters who also happen to work for the DC Fire Department. They will also be playing July 5th at the Hollywood VFD carnival and fireworks display.

Just before the No Green Jelly Beenz performed, the Star Spangled Banner was sung as an American flag flew overhead.

This was indeed a family affair, with kids taking advantage of the Seventh District Optimist Park’s playground or joining their parents in dancing to the music in front of the crowd.

There also were a number of food vendors and the obligatory (for the Seventh District) Beer Garden.

The Price of Freedom Music Fest benefits the Southern Maryland Volunteer Firemen’s Association and A Community That Shares (ACTS). They are a community service organization made up of about 14 organizations including the Optimist Club, an American Legion Post, several churches and others. ACTS provides in-home medical equipment, at no charge, to residents of St. Mary's County. Anyone needing equipment (e.g. hospital beds, wheel chairs, walkers, crutches, canes, etc.) is eligible to borrow. They can be contacted at 301-769-4199. 

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