Sounds of Freedom 2018

Vietnam Veterans of America Public Affairs Committee Chair Dennis E. Howland speaks to crowds during the Sounds of Freedom Festival on Saturday, June 10, 2017, at Layton Commons Park.

LAYTON — What started as a small car show in the parking lot of a real estate business has turned into a much larger annual celebration of military veterans held in the park.

The 2018 Sounds of Freedom event begins at 6 p.m. Friday, June 8, and continues Saturday, June 9, at the Layton Commons Park, 437 N. Wasatch Drive. The event will feature live music, an outdoor movie, a flag ceremony with guest speakers, more than 100 vendor booths, and a car show with hundreds of cars and motorcycles.

Admission is free, but donations are requested. Proceeds will go to the Ogden Homeless Veterans Fellowship.

RELATED: Ogden Homeless Veterans Fellowship serves city for nearly 30 years

The idea behind the celebration, according to Layton businessman and event founder L.T. Weese, is to show appreciation for those who’ve served in the military, as well as their families.

“Basically, it’s a day to tell our veterans and everyone thank you,” he said.

The event kicks off with a concert featuring Big Red Judy. The Ogden band plays blues, folk, classic rock and country.

Following the music, at dark, the 1973 feature film “American Graffiti” will be shown in the park.

On Saturday, the car show and vendor booths will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There’s also a monster truck, beard contest, pin-up contest, raffles, a dozen food trucks and more.

At noon Saturday, the event’s annual flag ceremony will be held, featuring an aerial fly-by and guest speakers.

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Sounds of Freedom 2018

Scenes from the Sounds of Freedom Festival on Saturday, June 10, 2017, at Layton Commons Park.

This will be the seventh year for the Sounds of Freedom celebration. Weese said the event averages between 10,000 and 12,000 participants each year — about 6,500 of whom are veterans.

“We’re calling it the Day They Deserve,” Weese said. “It’s a day for all veterans to be told ‘Thank you,’ and for the public to come out and shake their hands.”

Weese said the event is less of a car show and more of a community gathering.

“This is like going back to the old days, where everyone sits in the park, among the trees and grass, with music playing,” he said. “This isn’t the kind of car show where you just go in, look at a ’55 Chevy, and walk out. With this one, people walk in and stay all day.”

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Friend him on Facebook at

(1) comment


This is a kind of celebration worth a time and effort to honor the heroes of the past.

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