Milford's largest annual outdoor event will commence this week, celebrating the freedoms enjoyed by Americans in Milford and beyond. This year's festival will include a couple of first-time events as well as some of the much loved staples residents have come to love.

Milford's largest annual outdoor event will commence this week, celebrating the freedoms enjoyed by Americans in Milford and beyond. This year's festival will include a couple of first-time events as well as some of the much loved staples residents have come to love.

There are a few things to know before you go, though:


'Smile for Freedom' 5K

This year, some changes to the 5K run/walk have been made for the sake of the participants, from registration to start times and distance.

Pre registration ended Tuesday, Aug. 21. From Wednesday, Aug. 22 through Thursday, Sept. 6, registration will be $25 and will include a goodie bag and an event tee-shirt while supplies last. Participants can register at Extreme Total Fitness or WSFS Bank in Milford. Race day, registration for all participants will be at Extreme Total Fitness. Forms can also be downloaded at and payment can be made through PayPal. Other locations will accept cash, checks and credit cards.

In years past, the 6:30 p.m. start time for all participants caused a long delay for the runners. This year, registration for walkers will open at 5:30 p.m. and the walk will begin promptly at 6 p.m. Additionally, the organizing committee reduced the walk from a 5K (3.2-miles) to a 3K (1.86-miles) because they have found that many of the walkers are not competing competitively and only want to participate.

The runners' registration will commence at 6 p.m. and their race will then begin at 6:30 p.m.

Another option for the less athletically inclined who don't think they can do the 3K is the "Happy Hour Walk." These participants can register anytime between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for $25 and have the option of walking, running or skipping the exercise all together and heading straight for the after-party at Abbott's Grill. "Happy Hour Walkers" also receive a goodie bag and an event tee-shirt, if supplies last.

Race awards will be given out at Abbott's Grill. Proceeds from the event will benefit the American Cancer Society and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford.

For more information, visit or call (302) 422-344.



12 p.m. The food court will open in Bicentennial Park, giving people the opportunity to kick off the weekend early with options like fried fish or authentic Mexican fare like tacos.

4 p.m. New this year is "Operation Giveback," an on-site veteran-centric area dedicated to the men and women who dedicated their lives to serving their country.  There will be 10 to 15 non-profit veteran support organizations as well as a "Veteran Relaxation Station," located in the Pavilion in Bicentennial Park. Both active and retired military members will have the opportunity to kick back and relax in the comfy seating provided while listening or sharing stories with men and women who've shared similar wartime experiences.

4 p.m. Good Time Boys perform

5 p.m. Petch and Paula from Eagle 97.7's Morning Show entertain the crowd and announce the days decoration winners.

6:30 p.m. Another new feature for this year's festival will be the patriotic boat parade on the Mispillion River. Anyone with a motor boat is invited to participate. No registration is required. Simply decorate your boat with as much patriotic flair as possible and be in the water and ready to start promptly at 6:30 p.m., Friday night.  Judges will choose their favorites and prizes will be awarded.

7 p.m. Glass Onion performs.

Sunset Fireworks commence.

All day Vendors have been asked to show their patriotic spirit by decorating their booths with a corresponding patriotic theme. Festival-goers will then be asked to pick their favorites and the vendor with the most votes will win a prize. There's no cost to participate as a judge.



10 a.m. The last day of the festival opens.

11 a.m. Cool 101.3 radio station takes the stage.

11 a.m. First Responders Tug-of-War Competition takes place on the Washington Street Bridge.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Making a reappearance this year in the Park Place parking lot will be the 4th Annual Bike Show, featuring motorcycles from all over the region. A 50/50 drawing will also be held with proceeds going to the Delaware County Wounded Troops. For more information about the bike show, call (302) 422-4988.

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Delmarva Stars Talent Competition takes over the stage. Check out local and region talent featuring singers, dancers and entertainers of every variety.

All day The streets of downtown Milford will be filled with more than 100 vendors selling everything from jewelry to jam and the doors of locally owned small businesses will also be open throughout the day.

Other popular attractions coming back this year include the Southern Delaware Street Rods Organization, who will line the parking lot of the Senior Center and Antique Tractor Club show, located between the Milford Senior Center and the food court; Free paddle boat rides on the Mispillion River will also be available and the kid's area will be located in its usual spot along the riverwalk, with more games, inflatable and a dunk tank.

Another first this year taking place all day will be the Plein Air Art Contest. The contest will allow artists to draw and paint around the festival during a designated time period before convening at the Milford Library Amphitheatre for awards and recognition. For more information about participating in the plein air contest, call (302) 430-7646.