Country music sensation Maren Morris highlights the 2017 version of Fort Polk’s annual FreedomFest, slated to begin at 5 p.m. July 1.

Country music sensation Maren Morris highlights the 2017 version of Fort Polk’s annual FreedomFest, slated to begin at 5 p.m. July 1.

Morris is a Grammy Award winner and the Academy of Country Music’s New Female Artist of the Year. Her album “Hero” is currently in the I-tunes top 10.

The Texas native started singing at karaoke parties in her hometown hair salon, hosted by her parents. She began playing across her home state in bars and clubs, singing songs from such stars as Clint Black and Chaka Kahn, developing into what she call a “gangster June Carter.”

At the age of 20, she moved to Nashville to work on her song writing and singing skills. Small shows led to big opening gigs for such country music giants as Little Big Town and Loretta Lynn. She also scored cuts for artists such as Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson.

She burst onto the mainstream country charts in 2017 with her album “Hero” that took the industry by storm and led to her Grammy and Country Music awards.

In addition to Morris’ melodies, FreedomFest will also offer a treat for visitors’ taste buds. If it can be fried, smoked or roasted — thrown on a bun, sandwich or stick — eaten, drunk or slurped — it can be found at Headquarters Field. Nearly 19 vendors are traveling to Fort Polk from across the southeast for FreedomFest 2017. They serve up gator and shrimp on–a-stick, hot dogs and chili dogs, frog legs, tacos, pizza, wings and turkey legs just to name a few. If all the smoked and slow roasted food leaves the mouth parched, pick up a smoothie, lemonade or even an Italian ice. Finally, satisfy the sweet tooth with ice cream, funnel cakes, sno-cones and smoothies.

Attendees should probably wait until all the food settles before jumping on the five inflatables that will be set up to entertain children of all ages.

Country music star Brooke Eden will take the stage at 6 p.m., followed by a 50-gun Salute to the Nation. At 8:30 p.m., as the sun starts to set, Morris will take the stage and shake things up a little. At 9:40 p.m. the sky will light up with the biggest and best fireworks display in West Central Louisiana sponsored by the Fort Polk Quality Recycling Program.

Things to know about FreedomFest

FreedomFest is free and open to the public. La. Hwy 467, both south and northbound from Corps Road to Third Street, will be closed beginning at 9 a.m. from June 29–July 3. The Directorate of Emergency Services will have detours in place.

There is no on-site parking at the event. There will be limited handicapped parking available at the event site but it will not open until 5 p.m. Corps Road will be closed all day on July 1 to thru traffic. Only those with access passes will be allowed to travel on Corps Road.

Patrons that do not have a Department of Defense ID card must park at Honor Field, located on La. Hwy 10, and ride the shuttle bus to the event site. Patrons with a DoD ID card may park at Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, the Mission Training Center, the Library and Education Center, the Exchange and Commissary and ride the shuttle bus to the event. Shuttles will begin running at 4:30 p.m. continuously.

Do not bring the following items: Pets, weapons, umbrellas, large coolers, personal tents, alcohol or glass bottles, personal fireworks, professional cameras or video cameras, or large signs or banners.

Seating is not provided so make sure you remember your blankets and chairs.

This is an outdoors event and it will be hot. Young children, the elderly and anyone else with special medical concerns should take precautions not to become overheated.

Please call 531-4271 or go to for more information.