4th of July Festivities Kick Off at Crocker Park

American Liberty Fest had music, a hero, fireworks and a world record.

Not even the threat of severe weather could stop the eighth annual American Liberty Fest Sunday evening at .

The evening's festivities started late after rain and thunderstorms came through, but it was worth the wait.

Did you go to Liberty Fest? Share your photos here!

One of the highlights of the evening was the appearance of Ashland veteran Josh Sommers, who was critically injured in 2010 by a roadside bomb while serving with the Army in Afghanistan.

Sommers, 25, suffered a traumatic brain injury, serious hearing and vision loss, and paralysis on his left side. He returned home to Ashland exactly one year ago Sunday.

Crocker Park management presented Sommers with an Aqua Creek wheelchair for him to use in water therapy to further his recovery.

Sommers said thanks, not only for the chair, but for the support of people for him and his family since he was injured.

Then the Cleveland Pops orchestra took the stage, performing patriotic classics like The Battle Hymn of the Republic, God Bless America, and a medley of patriotic tunes such as You're a Grand Old Flag and Yankee Doodle. 

While the medley was performed and the audience sang along, they were urged to put on sunglasses to help set a new world's record for the most people wearing sunglasses at night in one place.

It worked, as 761 people did it, which was confirmed by a representative of the Guinness Book of World Records. That gave Westlake the world record. The previous best was 671.

Finally, it was on to the fireworks.


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