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Freedom Blast to honor Preston Johnson; entertainment features Early Ray Band

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Friday, June 3, 2016

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Preston Johnson, left, who helped organize the festival since the inaugural 2009, will have the recognition of the vets renamed the Preston Johnson Veterans Walk.
 
 

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Preston Johnson, left, who helped organize the festival since the inaugural 2009, will have the recognition of the vets renamed the Preston Johnson Veterans Walk.

 

 



Enlarge photo

The Early Ray Band and its self-described “Carolina Smash Mouth Country Music” will entertain at the free concert.
 

Submitted

The Early Ray Band and its self-described “Carolina Smash Mouth Country Music” will entertain at the free concert.

 

The 2016 Freedom Blast Festival will honor Preston Johnson a Vietnam veteran whose service included leadership at both the local and state levels of Disabled American Veterans.

The festival is Saturday June 25, 6-10:30 p.m.

Johnson, who helped organize the festival since the inaugural 2009, died in January. The annual veteran’s segment is being renamed the Preston Johnson Veteran’s Walk.

“Preston was an integral part of Freedom Blast from Day One and he knew how to make things happen to recognize those who have served our country,” said Ann Cunningham, director of the City of Greer Parks and Recreation Department.

“For all of his contributions to the festival, it’s his friendship that we all miss the most. I’m so glad we will be able to publicly honor his life and work.”

The Early Ray Band and its self-described “Carolina Smash Mouth Country Music” will entertain at the free concert. Their music combines bits and pieces of each band member’s background for an eclectic sound.

Activities include:

• Fireworks show

• Free concert, featuring Early Ray Band.

• UH-72 helicopter, other military displays

• Free children’s crafts and activities at Kids Zone.

• Inflatables and rock climbing wall is $5 for children and adults.

• 11 food vendors

The schedule:

6 p.m. – Greer Idol competition.

7:05 p.m. Texas Roadhouse Rib Eating competition.

7:30 – Early Ray Band first set

8:35 – Military Tribute and Preston Johnson Veterans Walk. Vets meet at the park fountain no later than 8:39 to participate.

Speaking will be U.S. Navy Commander Tadd Gorman, who led the USS Ross on two patrols in the Mediterranean and Black seas as a forward deployed Naval Force ship, conducting Ballistic Missile Defense operations.

9:10 p.m. – Early Ray Band second set.

10:10 p.m. – Fireworks with patriotic music.

More information is here.

 

 

 

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