Free food, family games, entertainment and information about local community services will be available at the Freedom Festival in Millbranch Park this Saturday.

What Is It?

The Freedom Festival is an annual community block party thrown by the Middletown Action Network, a town-sponsored commission that provides referral services and direct assistance to local residents.

Typically held in a different Middletown neighborhood on the weekend before Independence Day, the fifth-annual festival will be returning to Millbranch Park in the Greenlawn neighborhood from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

"We had it at Millbranch two years ago and it was a big success," said Candace Calloway, who co-chairs Middletown Action Network. "It's open to the whole town and it's just a great way to bring families and neighbors together for a day of fun and games."

What Does It Involve?

The main draw of the festival is the plethora of family-friendly games and activities that are available.

This year's event will include a punt, pass and kick competition, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a slam dunk contest, a 50-yard dash and potato sack race and a water balloon toss contest, among other events.

Neighbors also will be treated to the wonders of five-time Delaware Magician of the Year Al Hitt, as well as a demonstration by Middletown Police Department K-9 officer Nitro.

And once everyone has worked up an appetite having fun, the Middletown Action Network will cook up free hot dogs and hamburgers for as long as supplies last.

Community organizations including Westside Family Healthcare, Our Daily Bread and Child Inc. also will be on hand to provide important information and health screenings to residents.

"Our true mission is to make people aware of the services that are available to them if they need help," chairman Tez Lively said. "Whether it's paying your electric bill, getting off drugs or making sure you have enough to eat, we're here to point you in the right direction."