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Meet the Grand Marshal of the 2024 Freedom Fest, Aubrey Wade

Freedom Fest 2024 is underway and more than 100 veterans are being recognized this year.
Posted at 10:10 PM, Jun 26, 2024

Jeff Davis residents and community members across Lake Arthur are painting the town red, white and blue for Freedom Fest 2024.

The annual event was designed to honor the lives and legacies of veterans and their commitment to patriotism.

City Councilwoman Debbie Abshire said more than 100 signs were purchased by locals this year, a small act of kindness for those who sacrificed.

"The first time that they were displayed were for Freedom Fest last year," Abshire said. "After Freedom Fest, we pick up the signs and we display them again for Veteran’s Day."

If you walk or drive along Arthur Avenue, you'll notice military signs are displayed all the way to City Hall.

Orders were taken by city officials and a local business owner, Chrystal Breaux.

However, this isn't the only salute to the military this weekend.

93-year-old Aubrey Wade, a Korean War Veteran and former All-American will be crowned the 2024 Freedom Fest Grand Marshal on Saturday.

Wade, a proud Lake Arthur resident who was born in Mize, MS in 1931, said he's truly honored for the opportunity.

"I’ll tell you what, I don’t know what to think of Debbie when she came here and came up with that," Wade said. "I thought she was kidding at first. I said what are you talking about Grand Marshal?"

Wade told KATC he joined the service as a teenager back in 1951 and it's an experience he won't ever forget.

"It's just something there," Wade said. "You meet people from all over the nation and become friends with them and you're just buddy to buddy."

If you'd like to meet Wade, you can find him in the Freedom Fest Parade at six o'clock.

Admission for Freedom Fest 2024 is FREE and open to the community.

Attendees can expect live music, old fashioned games like a watermelon-eating contest, sack races and more.

The parade will begin at the corner of Fourth and Main Street and will end on Commercial Avenue.