Houston Freedom Fest

July 17, 2010 - No Comments

by Jim Barnes

The Houston Freedom Fest was held on July 3rd, 2010 in the park behind the American Legion in Houston, PA, and is sponsored by the Central Christian Church of Meadowlands. The 28th Infantry, Co. K was invited to attend and set up an encampment. We all got to the park Friday evening and set up our various tents and shelters. Having spent most of June carting large displays around to Reading and Rowlesburg, I decided to go light to this event, which is a one-day affair. As a result, I only brought a shelter tent, but ended up staying in Don Grimm’s command tent anyway, since he had room. (Thanks Don!) As it was, we had a lot of tentage for the space we were assigned, so it is just as well that I didn’t bring my larger tent.

The Freedom Fest itself  is very reminiscent of a good old fashioned 4th of July celebration held on the village square. The shelter which housed the main activities was decorated in red, white and blue and there were patriotic speakers and musical numbers throughout the day. There was also lots and lots of  free food. Hot dogs, hamburgers, covered dishes and a variety of desserts were available all day. There was also plenty of bottled water and soda pop. Throughout the day, we were constantly asked if we needed drinks. It was hot and sunny and we did, so this was a great convenience.

In the field in front of our camp, festival goers played volleyball, ascended  a climbing wall and took part in other strenuous activities, while door prizes were being given away in the main shelter. I usually never win anything, but Bill Burress and I managed to take home a couple of decent prizes. Goes to show that it never hurts to fill out a ticket!

While this was only a one-day event, all throughout the day we had a constant stream of  spectators who asked questions and seemed genuinely interested in our presentations. As I have said before, events like these attract folks who may never attend a regular living history event. Hopefully, some of those we talked with will have their interest in history heightened and they may even read a  book or become aware of the need to preserve what we have of our history.

At any rate, the folks at Freedom Fest really seemed to enjoy what we brought to the event. The hospitality we received was excellent. I can only say thanks to the organizers.

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