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Confederate Railroad fans turn out in large numbers for Freedom Fest 2016

Confederate Railroad, 2016 Freedom Fest

The musicians of Confederate Railroad have been playing together nearly 30 years and have a huge fan base, many of them obviously in North Mississippi. They were the featured act Saturday night for the New Albany Freedom Celebration concert.

While a good-sized crowd listened to opening act Melissa Lee and  Honky Tonk Heroes drew a crowd of several hundred, there were a great many empty lawn chairs in front of the stage during the early evening; many people had come early, set up their lawn chairs, intending to return in time to hear Confederate Railroad, which was scheduled to start at 8 p.m.

Confederate Railroad founder and lead singer, Danny Shirley

Confederate Railroad founder and lead singer,
Danny Shirley

Return they did. Several hundred more arrived to fill the lawn chairs before Confederate Railroad took the stage and they kept arriving.

People were still coming in, carrying their lawn chairs as late as 9:15 p.m.

While several of the Confederate Railroad band members are past 60 years old, theirs is a high energy act, as many as five guitars being played on some of the numbers.

Many estimated that it was the biggest crowd in downtown New Albany since the huge Tallahatchie Riverfest turnout in September 2014. Downtown parking areas Saturday night were packed, and many parked as far away as the First Baptist Church, a half-mile away from the stage in the Park-Along-The-River.

Following the Confederate Railroad, the crowd was treated to a fantastic fireworks program, which was sponsored by Barnes Crossing GMC. It was a rousing finish to a day that included ceremonies, events and arts that highlight the patriotic, political, artistic, and adventurous natures that make us who we are.

2016 Freedom Fest  (Click to enlarge or download photos)

Freedom Fest is sponsored by I Heart Media, Barnes Crossing GMC, Riverside Traffic Systems, Cook’s Adult Healthcare, as well as many others. The First Hand Political Speaking Event is presented by the Union County Republican Women.

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