The Freedom Festival is a living history and cultural event that will bring the Border/Civil War history to life. It will be held in Osawatomie’s John Brown Memorial Park on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 19, from noon to 5 p.m.

The Paola American Legion will perform a POW MIA memorial ceremony at 10 a.m., and Civil War Reenactors will perform Border/Civil War Weapons and Drill and reenact Border/Civil War battles on both Saturday and Sunday of the Freedom Festival.

Paula’s International Cuisine Food Truck will be serving delicious food for the Freedom Festival, and the First Presbyterian Church of Osawatomie will be serving delicious desserts at the Freedom Festival. Artists and crafters will be selling their creations at the Freedom Festival. In addition, the Osawatomie Public Library will be having children’s activities, and the Osawatomie High School FFA will be having a petting zoo at the Freedom Festival.

Music will also be a big part of the Freedom Festival, with the Magpie, the award winning and nationally known folk music duo of Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino performing their “John Brown Cycle” of folk songs that tell the story of John Brown’s life and abolitionist crusade on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 4:30 p.m. John Brown Memorial Park will be filled with music on Sunday, Sept. 19, when the Band of Oz performs in concert at noon, and Springleaf will take the stage at 3 p.m. and perform traditional Ozarks and frontier folk music.

Historical speakers and performers will both entertain and educate Freedom Festival attendees, with Saturday, Sept. 18, featuring Mary Buster, the great-great granddaughter of Florella Brown Adair, the half sister of John Brown, presenting “Florella Brown Adair, Living in the Shadow of John Brown” at noon. The Pottawatomi Rifles Reenactors will give a presentation on the guerilla war in Kansas Territory at 1 p.m, and Kerry Altenbernd will be portraying John Brown at 3 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 19, features the Pottawatomie Rifles reprising their Saturday presentation at 2 p.m. The Wild West will come to life when the Flint Hills Outlaws reenact gunfights on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 19, at 4 p.m.

The Freedom Festival is a family fun event that both entertains and educates attendees about the Border/Civil War in Kansas, and Miami County’s nationally and internationally important history. Come to the Freedom Festival and see history come to life!

Grady Atwater is site administrator of the John Brown Museum and State Historic Site.

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