More than 5,000 people spent their Fourth of July at the National Infantry Museum and Solider Center for the fifth annual Freedom Fest.
“I was just talking to my boss earlier, and it seems to me like this year is the largest that I can remember,” said Jim Talley, an assistant with the museum’s Volunteer and Educational Services.
The festival, which was located on the edge of Fort Benning, focused on American and military history.
Members of the Columbus Historical Reenactors Association fired cannons reminiscent of the Civil War-era while living historians held interactive demonstrations.
The Silver Wings Parachute Demonstration Team representing Airborne Soldiers from Fort Benning stopped by the Inouye Field to deliver a copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Children were screaming with excitement as they played games, hopped around in the bouncy house, marched in the Muscogee Mom’s Pint-Sized Patriots Parade and more.
Talley said Independence Day is day that Americans should never forget.
“This is the day that set the beginning of the foundations of our country in 1776,” Talley said. “That document — the Declaration of Independence — directs itself to the natural human spirit desire to be free.”
Marilyn Raglon of Columbus was among the thousands of people who attended the Freedom Fest with her family and friends. She even met a few people.
“We’re really just celebrating our independence and having a good time,” Raglon said with a smile.
Danny Oliver came from Albany, Ga., to view the museum for the first time.
“I’ve got a lot of family that were in the military,” Oliver said. “Being able to see a little bit of what they went through and some of the gear that they actually used means a lot.”