This year’s Liberty Festival features 10 acts at three different venues clustered on either side of the Great Falls.

“It’s all about the falls for us,” said Liberty Festival President Dick Martin. “There is no better place in town to celebrate, and the falls are a magnificent spot for the fireworks.”

An opening ceremony saluting vets is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Veterans Park, followed by a performance by the band Gypsy.

Meanwhile, local MC Nick Knowlton will play hits and popular music in Great Falls Plaza – between Peoples Bank and the Hilton Garden Inn – beginning at 4 p.m.

Other acts at Veterans Park include local dancers Barry Dean and Katie Baker at 7:30 p.m. and the Mike Willette Swing Band at 8:15 p.m.

Blues on Main Street

Again this year, the Fourth of July festival is timed to coincide with the L/A Riverfront Blues Fest. Auburn will close off Main Street between Festival Plaza and Court Street beginning at noon Sunday to make room for a stage.

Organizer Paul Morency, owner of Midnight Blues and the Cellar Door, said the three-year-old music festival continues to grow.

“I can imagine it as a stand-alone years from now, drawing national acts,” Morency said. “Right now, though, it works really well with the captured audience from the Liberty Festival.”

This year, the blues fest features four acts on the Main Street stage. The show kicks off with the Roy Hudson Band at noon, Kevin Kimball and the Steel Drivers at 2 p.m., local singer Pam Baker at 4 p.m. and Blues Punks at 8 p.m.

“They’ll keep playing right up until the fireworks start,” Morency said. “Then, the show continues inside.”

Morency’s clubs will host bands of their own, as part of the festival. Local band Backlash will play beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Midnight Blues and The Usual will take the stage in the Cellar Door beginning at 9 p.m.

“These are all local bands that don’t get the exposure that they should,” Morency said. “It gives them a chance to promote themselves to their community and really build on their own reputation.”

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