You could take one day to celebrate our nation’s freedom, but why take just one? The owners of The Dog House have a better idea — take the whole weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July, with great music, great bikes and fantastic fireworks. All of these things come together at the First Annual Freedom Bike Fest, July 4-6.
    {mosimage}The Dog House has long been a destination for great music and a favorite for modern day cowboys who love to ride with the wind in their face and the feel of throbbing metal between their legs as they race down the highway and their horses of steel. (For those of a less poetic bent, that would be bikers.) Organizers are capitalizing on the love of music and bikes to bring together one of the biggest Fourth of July celebrations in the state.
    The event, which is a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n roll, will be held in Parkton, on the site of the Southern Comfort Air Ranch. The ranch used to be the site of some great sky diving. These days the skies aren’t as busy as they used to be, but that will change over the course of the weekend. The ranch is 300-plus acres, some of which will be used as campsites for attendees at the rally. Camping is a major part of the Freedom Bike fest experience. All campgrounds are clean and well maintained with 24-hour security provided by the local law enforcement Freedom Bike Fest security staff. Freedom Bike Fest also provides trash and recycling, collected daily, and portable restrooms which are cleaned daily. The campground will not open until noon on Thursday, July 3. Only one motorized vehicle is allowed per campsite. You must be at least 18-years-old to camp at the event. Organizers note that the event is not designed for small children, and no pets are allowed either.
    The remaining land will be eaten up by the main stage; a vendor city and activities all designed to put you in a party state of mind.
    The event isn’t just about music, although there will be plenty of that. It’s also about charity. Each day, charity bike rides will begin and end at the ranch. They will spread throughout the area, with all monies raised going to local charities.
    There will also be some fun events. Events like the Biker Olympics, the FMX Stunt Riders, extreme sky divers and celebrity bike builders. Oh, we forgot to mention the world-famous tattoo artist who will be on hand. Ami James is an Israeli-born American tattoo artist. He is the co-owner of the Miami, Fla., tattoo parlor known as LoveHate, and is the subject of the TLC reality television program Miami Ink. If you ever thought you wanted a great tattoo, this would definitely be the man to talk to.{mosimage}                                                And while all those events will complement the music, it is the music that will rule at Freedom Bike Fest. Organizers of the event are bringing together some great national acts, as well as local groups, for three rocking days of fun. Local bands slated to perform include: D.L. Token and The Fifth. They be joined by regional acts such as: Rebel Son, The D.B. Bryant Band and Dixie Highway.
    Big name draws to the show Molly Hatchett, Blackfoot and Sammy Kershaw. Molly Hatchett and Blackfoot are both southern rockers who have definitely made their mark on southern rock. The two bands are known for good times and great music — they are good ‘ol boys whose guitars get pretty loud. Kershaw adds a bit of country to the mix. Known for such hits as “Queen of My Doublewide Trailer” and “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful,” will end the three day-event with his performance on Sunday night. On Saturday night, following the Blackfoot performance, a fantastic fireworks show will light up the Parkton skies.
    One-day admission to the show is $25, while a three-day pass if $50. In order to camp on site, you must purchase a three-day pass. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster outlets. Southern Comfort Air Ranch is located off U.S. 301 on Little Marsh Road, between Fayetteville and Lumberton.

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