Roanoke families welcome 4th of July at Freedom First Festival in Elmwood Park

Roanoke residents celebrate the Fourth of July at Elmwood Park

ROANOKE, Va. – Freedom First Festival at Elmwood Park welcomed Independence Day with a family-fun weekend.

Dressed in red, white and blue, hundreds of people celebrated the 4th of July with some family time.

While children tired themselves out on bouncy houses, cornhole attracted family competition.

LaMonteah Oliver,15, said a little taunting keeps her family on their toes.

“Talk a lot of trash talk,” she said. “Make them lose.”

Ebony Oliver, LaMonteah’s mother, said she is just thrilled to prioritize quality time this weekend.

“I just came to bring the children so they can come have fun,” Oliver said. “Get out the house and just have fun.”

As musicians serenaded a crowd, a line gathered for body art by April Yopp.

Yopp, the owner of April Rose Art gallery, discovered her passion for painting years ago but enjoys showing children her artistic flare.

“It’s always so nice to work with the kids,” she said. “My favorite part is showing them at the end and letting them look in the mirror and seeing their little smiles. Even though the line is really long. It’s always worth it.”

Food and drinks cooled families down as they braced themselves for a climb up the rock wall.

Nine-year-old Brady Higgins faced his fear of heights head-on.

“It got kind of hard because there started to be less rocks to climb on,” he said. “But it was fun. It’s better than playing video games at home.”

A free 15-minute firework show will wrap up the fun at River’s Edge Park South at 9:30 p.m.

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Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.