Popular rock band hosts seventh annual event in PA
By Pete Papaherakles
FreedomPalooza 7 took place over the
July 4 weekend in Quakerstown, Pa.
Held every year since 2011 by patriot
rocker Paul Topete of Poker Face, the
three-day festival has become somewhat
of an institution within the patriot movement
where friends and like-minded Americans gather
from around the country to have fun and celebrate
our nation’s Independence Day.
This year the festivities started at noon on Saturday,
July 1, and went on into Monday night, July
3. Since 2011, the festival was held at Johnny
Mack’s in Kintnersville, Pa. near Easton. Unfortunately,
Mack recently passed away, and a new
venue was found in nearby Quakerstown.
The late Jim Traficant was the prime speaker at
FreedomPalooza every year from FreedomPalooza 1 until his death shortly after speaking at FreedomPalooza
4. With covered pavilions, picnic tables, concrete
pavement, and more, the new venue at the Morwood
Sportsmen’s Club is infinitely superior than
was Johnny Mack’s. Even the bonfire was bigger
Topete and his lovely wife, Tara, deserve much
credit for pulling it off this year again and making
it even better than before. Their efforts are paying
off in having established a bona fide annual tradition
that has stood the test of time. This year’s
event was probably the best attended so far. The
new space also put everyone in closer proximity
where they interacted more.
Topete changed the format this year and had
only music on the first day followed by speakers
and some music over the next two days. The speakers were also exceptionally good this
year. Fifteen in all, many have spoken at previous
Jim Condit talked about the behind-the-scenes
politics within the Trump campaign. Cindy Steele
spoke about the tragic story of her late husband,
Edgar, the free-speech “attorney for the damned.”
Art Larson shared his encyclopedic knowledge of
how organized crime runs everything.
A number of new speakers came to the event
this year as well. Political activist Ken O’Keefe was
clearly the most powerful speaker, with a fiery
style not seen since Traficant.
Rudy Dent, also an outstanding speaker, talked
about his many experiences including losing 350
of his men as a fire chief with the New York Fire
Department on 9/11.
Mark Koernke, the head of the Michigan Militia,
was also an outstanding speaker. He was full
of energy and told many inside stories of militia
standoffs with the feds including Waco, Ruby
Ridge, and the Bundy ranch in Nevada as well as
rancher Robert LaVoy Finicum’s murder in Oregon
at the hands of state police.
Topete has really gotten a good formula going
with FreedomPalooza. The music along with the
speakers, the camping out along with the bonfire
into the morning hours, the rural Pennsylvania setting,
and the chemistry between the attendees all
work to create the magic of the experience.
Next year promises to be even better, and
Topete surely has some surprise new speakers he
is working on.
For all those who have missed the previous
FreedomPaloozas, why not plan to attend next
year? It’s guaranteed to be a blast.
- Pete Papaherakles is a freelance writer and fine artist from Maryland.