Thanks for joining us at the first ever Freedom First Festival!
Information below is for 2022, check back for 2023 details next summer.

Celebrate Independence Day with PLAY Roanoke events throughout the day on Sunday, July 3.


Freedom First FestivalFreedom First Festival

Elmwood Park
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Bring the whole family to celebrate during Independence weekend at our Freedom First Festival from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. in Elmwood Park. This FREE Festival will have inflatables, a rock wall, cornhole, lawn games and more!  Hang out in the beer garden or at the Elmwood Amphitheater and enjoy FREE Music until 3:30 p.m. with beer for sale and a variety of food truck options all day.  Sign up to volunteer and get free Sugar Ray tickets!



Sugar Ray FFFSugar Ray Concert

Elmwood Park
5 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Join us for a concert with gates opening at 5 p.m featuring DJ Flex. The headliner, 90’s rock band Sugar Ray will go on at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets start at $25, kids 12 & under are FREE! Tickets available through the Berglund Center.



Events Instagram PostsFree Fireworks Display

River’s Edge Park
Starting at 9:30 p.m.

Look to the sky above River’s Edge North for a 15-minute firework show starting at 9:30 p.m.

Spectators may gather at River’s Edge South for easy viewing but be sure you read the FAQs below for information on road and park closures that day to help you navigate to the show.

Festival and Concert Information

Location: Elmwood Park

Where can I park?
  • Elmwood Park Garage, located at 402 Williamson Road 
  • Elmwood Lot, located at 197 Bullitt Avenue 
  • Market Lot, located at 120 Church Ave SE

*And MANY more places to park downtown!

For more information regarding parking in downtown, please visit PARK Roanoke

What can I bring to the concert?
  • Chairs are NOT allowed to any of our ticketed concerts. However, blankets, seat cushions, and stadium seats are permitted.
  • This event is rain or shine (no refunds and no exchanges). No umbrellas or tents are allowed inside the park.
  • No outside food or coolers are permitted. 
Misc Concert/Festival Information
  • Entrances to the festival and concert will be located on Williamson Rd. or Franklin Rd. Entry will not be permitted from Bullitt Avenue.
  • Food and beverages including beer will be available for sale inside the park. Everyone wanting to purchase beer must be 21+ and will be ID’d so please bring your ID.
  • Beer Ticket sales – Cash and card accepted!
  • ADA accessibility: Please see security at the gate for seating options for handicapped individuals at the ticketed concert.
  • Pets are allowed during the festival between 11am-5pm but once the ticketed concert begins around 6pm, pets will not be permitted in the amphitheater.

Fireworks Details

Location: River’s Edge Park

Viewing Spots

The show will be approximately 150′ above River’s Edge Park North. 

Please select your viewing spot at River’s Edge Park South off Wiley Drive early to avoid traffic closer to the show. We recommend getting set up by about 8:30 for the best experience.

Prevent hazards and unsafe situations. You may not pull-over on major roads or park in non-designated areas during the show. River’s Edge North will be closed to visitors for the day to ensure safety while the fireworks are being loaded. 

*Please note: there will be NO shuttles this year.

Road & Parking Closures

The following locations will be closed to parking:

  • Reserve Ave (all day)
  • Wiley Dr. (after 5pm)
  • River’s Edge North Park parking lot 

The following roads will be closed:

At 5 p.m.: 

  • Reserve Ave
  • Wiley Dr.

At 8:30 p.m.:

  • Jefferson right lane south-bound from Williamson to Reserve (Access to Riverside Circle will remain open)
  • Jefferson from Reserve Ave to the Hospital will be closed

9:45 p.m.: All Roads will re-open after an all clear from the fire marshal

What if it rains?

If it is safe to have the show, it will happen. 

In the event of severe weather, the show may be cancelled or postponed to later in the evening. Follow Play Roanoke on Facebook for to-the-minute updates. 

Can I set up my food truck?

Not this year, sorry. There will be no centralized event, meaning no vendors, no shuttles, no amusements of any kind… just a good ol’ stunning firework display!