By Michela Owen
July 4, 2023

LibertyFest brings business opportunities

This entirely volunteer-run event presents a unique opportunity for local businesses to thrive.
A young girl riding a horse during the rodeo at LibertyFest 2023 (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

LibertyFest has been a beloved Fourth of July tradition in Edmond for more than five decades. This entirely volunteer-run event offers many free activities and entertainment for the community. It also presents a unique opportunity for local businesses to thrive and for the city to generate significant tax revenue.

Economic impact

The festival attracts a substantial number of visitors from surrounding areas who might not have yet explored Edmond. As these visitors flock to the city, they bring their spending power, creating a promising economic landscape for Edmond’s businesses. The surge in foot traffic during LibertyFest presents a golden opportunity for local establishments to capitalize on this influx of potential customers.

Conversations with city officials and business owners reveal a consistent pattern of higher earnings during the festival. Janet Yowell, the Executive Director at Edmond Economic Development Authority, affirms that LibertyFest is a significant economic generator for the city. She commends the local businesses for their efforts to attract and accommodate festival-goers, noting their commitment to being exceptional hosts.

“It is a very nice economic generator for the city of Edmond,” said Yowell. “I think our businesses do a really good job of trying to lure people in and just be good hosts.”

Visibility for businesses

People marching in the parade during a past LibertyFest (Photo: Brent Fuchs)

Eriech Tapia, the first-year President of LibertyFest, encourages businesses to consider participating in the festival’s grand parade, which draws the largest crowds of any Edmond event. The parade provides an excellent platform for businesses to gain visibility and capture visitors’ attention. Tapia emphasizes the inclusive nature of the parade, as any business can have a float at no cost. 

“Anybody can have a float in our parade. It is free!” shared Tapia. “It’s patriotic and exciting.”

Because the festival is nonprofit, they also need financial help to keep events running. “We need sponsors just like any other nonprofit. Citizens Bank is a great sponsor. The Red Beard Plumbing company is sponsoring our porta-potties,” said Tapia.

Challenges in 2023

However, there were some struggles to make this year’s events happen, according to Ray Hibbard, the media contact of LibertyFest. 

“This year has been really challenging,” said Hibbard. “We had people serving on the committee that had been there like 30 years, And after the 50th celebration, many of them decided they just couldn’t do it anymore.” 

Though Hibbard was grateful for their hard work, he was happy to see the new life first-year president Eriech Tapia brought into the event. “He got everything reorganized and brought in a lot of new volunteers. It revitalized everything, and it’s been a good year,” said Hibbard.

Given that LibertyFest relies on community involvement, there is a continuous need for volunteers to ensure the smooth execution of future events. This presents a unique opportunity for business owners to showcase their expertise and actively contribute to the festival’s planning and execution, boosting their visibility and community engagement.

Support LibertyFest in the future

As LibertyFest continues to be a cherished tradition that brings joy to Edmond’s residents and attracts visitors from afar, businesses have the chance to thrive by embracing the festival’s spirit of celebration and patriotism. By capitalizing on the increased foot traffic, getting involved in the parade, and offering support through sponsorship or volunteering, businesses can leverage the festival’s vibrant atmosphere to strengthen their connection with the community further.

To apply to be a volunteer for next year’s events, visit

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About Michela Owen

Michela Owen is an Oklahoma native and passionate wordsmith with a knack for creative problem-solving. After obtaining her associate's in business management from Baptist Bible College, she went on to receive her bachelor's of journalism with a focus in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma. During her time at OU, she was the news lead of OU Esports.

Michela is also a Marketing Strategist at Backslash Creative, where she helps businesses and nonprofits be strategic about how and where they spend their marketing efforts.