The Freedom Festival is a living history/cultural event that will bring Border/Civil War history to life!

The festival will take place 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 Freedom Festival will feature Civil War reenactors and other historic reenactors who will not only reenact combat during the Border War/Civil War but also portray historic figures of the Border War/Civil War. Musicians will also perform music about and of the 1850s and 1860s in Miami County and in Kansas Territory, and there will be other family fun activities.

The combat between Free State and Proslavery forces in Kansas Territory will come to life on Saturday, Sept. 18, with a reenactment of the Battle of Osawatomie amongst other weapons and drill of the Border/Civil War.

Freedom Festival attendees can visit with Civil War Reenactors and learn about the daily life of Civil War era soldiers and guerillas, and see Civil War era weapons being fired at the Freedom Festival. Sunday, Sept. 19, will feature a typical battle between Union troops and Confederate Partisans at 1 p.m.

History will come to life in the performance tent at the Freedom Festival on Saturday, Sept. 18, when Mary Buster presents “Florella Brown Adair, Living in the Shadow of John Brown” and gives special tours of the Adair Cabin, and members of the Pottawatomie Rifles Border War Reenacting group will bring the Border war to life. Both fascinating speakers will educate event attendees about life during the Border War in an interesting and enlightening manner.

Kerry Antenen will take the stage at 3 p.m. and portray John Brown, and Magpie, consisting of Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino, will perform their John Brown Song Cycle, which tells the story of John Brown’s Abolitionist Crusade in a set of folk songs.

On Sunday, Sept. 19, The Band of Oz will perform patriotic and Civil War era music, and Spring Leaf will perform Traditional Ozarks Folk Music and Civil War Era music at 3 p.m. The Flint Hills Outlaws will bring the Wild West to life by reenacting gunfights throughout the afternoon.

Freedom Festival attendees will also be able to see artists and crafters at work and buy handmade and other items at “Art in the Park” during the Freedom Festival, and the Osawatomie High School FFA will have a petting zoo and other activities.

The Osawatomie Public Library will provide children’s activities at the Freedom Festival. Paula’s International cuisine food truck will be selling delicious food for event attendees, and the First Presbyterian Church of Osawatomie will have equally delicious dessert items for sale at the Freedom Festival, along with other family fun activities that will provide both entertainment and historical and cultural enlightenment for Freedom Festival attendees.

Come to the Freedom Festival and enjoy seeing and experiencing Border/Civil War history come to life!

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

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