Popular rock band hosts seventh annual event in PA
By Pete Papaherakles
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 and better.
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 years. 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.