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Celebrating Our Freedom and Those Who Defend It!
Music by the Swingin’ Medallions, a grand Zambelli fireworks display, and the City of Greer’s annual salute to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and veterans awaited guests at the 2013 City of Greer Freedom Blast held June 29 at Greer City Park. Officials deemed the crowd to be the largest ever in the event's five-year history.“For many Upstate families, Freedom Blast is a ‘must-attend’ event every year to celebrate our nation’s independence and to honor the men and women who protect our freedom,” Greer City Administrator Ed Driggers said. “It’s an event that draws thousands of visitors from across the Upstate.”
The Military History Club of the Carolinas brought a lineup of restored military vehicles and expert club members to share information with visitors. Another popular attraction was a display presented by the Owens/Kennemore Detachment of the Marine Corps League with USMC uniforms and accessories.
The Swingin’ Medallions had a large crowd dancing in front of the stage as they entertained with the a high-energy show that has earned them the title “Party Band of the South.” Inspired by early rhythm and blues acts, the Swingin’ Medallions found national fame in 1966 with the million-seller “Double Shot (of My Baby’s Love),” which reached #17 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. “She Drives Me Out Of My Mind” and “Hey, Hey, Baby” were also top 40 hits for the band. Original band member Jimmy Perkins took the stage with the new generation of Medallions
Lt. Col. Mike Vail kicked off a salute to veterans and current members of the U.S. military that included the S.C. National Guard Honors Funeral detail and members of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 39 in Greer. The salute included a Veterans Walk from the Greer City Park fountain to the City Hall flagpole along a path crowded by residents expressing their thanks.
The internationally-renowned Zambelli Fireworks Company followed that salute with a 15-minute show that lit the skies above Greer Station.
“Freedom Blast wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of many partners and dedicated volunteers,” said Ann Cunningham, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. “We make a concerted effort to highlight the dedicated service of those who have and continue to protect our liberty and we can't thank those partners enough for the invaluable roles that they play.
Partners for the 2013 celebration were: the S.C. Army and Air National Guard, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 39, MY 102.5 FM, Texas Roadhouse, The Home Depot, Langford Electric, the Military Collectors Club of the Carolinas, the Owens/Kennemore Detachment of the Marine Corps League, North American Flags and Flagpoles, Greer Cultural Arts, Pepsi, Budweiser, Citizens Building and Loan, and the Woodruff Exchange Club.