Freedom’s Light Festival returns Sept. 16-18Sep 13, 2021 01:22PM ● By Tom Haraldsen
BOUNTIFUL—She started it in 2007 as a way to help students learn more about the U.S. Constitution and the founders of our nation. It has grown to become one of the area’s most anticipated traditions.
The Freedom’s Light Festival will run Sept. 16-18 in Bountiful City Park, three days filled with fun, education and passion for our country. And it started when Delane England, founder and chair of the Freedom’s Light Foundation, went to an Independence Day celebration.
“I tell everyone it was for Independence Day, not just a Fourth of July event,” she said. “I’m a school teacher (at Liberty Hills Academy) and I always loved learning about Independence Day. I felt like we should do more as teachers to talk about the Constitution. Federal law requires every school in the nation that receives federal money to celebrate the week of Sept. 17. So that’s what we’ve done with the Festival since it started.”
England said most teachers don’t have a curriculum for teaching the Constitution, and she felt starting the Festival was something she could do to help both teachers and students. It has steadily grown through the years, and now has a regular following of volunteers and attendees.
The event starts all three days at 9 a.m., with a variety of activities and “stations” where attendees can learn more about the people behind and the events surrounding the creation of the Constitution.
On Sept. 16 at 5 p.m. a Mini Constitution Bowl will serve as a “taste” of the Foundation’s larger Constitution Bowl it holds in April. Stage shows at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. will include a discussion about Henry Knox, who was George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War (“he moved the cannons for Washington,” England said); a performance of sounds from the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” and a performance of George Washington.
There will be stage shows on Friday starting at 5 p.m., culminating with a dance at 9 p.m., and on Saturday there will be musket firings every hour, starting at 9 a.m., and performances from the “Give Me Liberty” musical at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Another great part of the Festival is its variety of “stations,” where those who come can meet true heroes – volunteers who dress and act the part of historic figures. This year that will include many of the forefathers and patriots, as well as Joan of Arc, Christopher Columbus, Gov. Bradford of Plymouth, and a replica of the Mayflower with some of its voyagers.
“Every station has a founding father or mother, some better known than others, and all of whom made amazing contributions to this nation,” England said. “We teach the principles of the Constitution in a fun, interactive way. You learn through these experiences about the Bill of Rights, Ellis Island, and other events of the early days of America.”
England said this Festival is “not partisan, not political. We’re teaching the original intent of the Constitution. Every elected official of any level has taken the oath to uphold the Constitution. We want to support people in living up to that oath – aligning their actions with that oath. The forefathers were motivated by their Creator, and that liberty and freedom was so valuable that it was worth sacrificing their lives, honor, and fortune. They were willing to sacrifice everything.”
The Sons of the American Revolution will do several re-creations of a battle. Colonial artisans will offer hands-on demonstrations. There will be a calligraphy class each day, with a small fee of $10 to pay for supplies and quill pen to keep. There will be classes in candle making and the lucet (cord making). A printing press that is an exact replica of Founding Father Isaiah Thomas, who printed the Declaration of Independence, will be on display. Plus there will be food booths, food trucks, snacks, a bookstore and much more.
“We encourage people to bring their own lawn chairs if they wish,” England said. “This is always such a great event and we’re grateful for all the volunteers and the hours they spend preparing for the Festival.”
Bountiful City Park is located at 400 North 200 West. More information can be found online at https://www.freedomslight.us/.