Monday, July 11, 2016

Let Freedom Rain

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

The town of East Stroudsburg, PA and the population of its surrounding communities joined together in the Dansbury Park to celebrate the Independence Day holiday during a three day 15th Annual American Freedom Festival which was presented by The Eastburg Community Alliance and took place from July 2nd to the 4th. The holiday commemorates when the 2nd Continental Congress voted a resolution on July 2nd, 1776 to approve the act of declaring the North American Colonies' independence from their mother country Great Britain with whom they were engaged in a Revolutionary War. The passage of the resolution led to the formation of a Committee headed by Thomas Jefferson to write a document explaining why the resolution was necessary. The wording of the document was debated and revised until The Declaration of Independence was finally approved upon on July 4th, 1776. The date has since become a National Holiday and it was on this date did I attend the festival.

It was during the late afternoon hours when I arrived and the festival was in full swing. My senses was met by the sounds of carnival rides thrilling their passengers, sights of vendors offering their wares to desirous customers, the scent of delicious food dancing happily upon the breezes, and vibrations of music from the American Spirit Stage. It was there I wandered as Chris London performed a solo set on his electric guitar. He played numerous songs from a variety of genres with each composition being enhanced by his gentle skills. It was after Mr. London's performance did Magician Mark Mysterrio take the stage to announce raffle tickets for the festival's 50/50 were available for purchase with the proceeds assuring the continuation of the event in the future. It was after this did I begin my explorations of the grounds.

I saw many things in my travels. They ranged from Jewelry to clothing and from ponies to politicians. There were also a lot of rides to be admired (for me) from afar and food reflecting a plethora of cuisines. It was fun to roam around and this enjoyment was enhanced by the meeting of friends who came to partake of the event. We shared the news of the happenings in our lives since we last met along with our thoughts on the happenings around us. Our journeys that day experienced a mixture of alignments and dispersments but the unexpected rendezvous we shared sustained us in our mutual absences as our memories inspired by our friendship were renewed.

It was after some time did I return to experience the performance on the stage. My ears were greeted by the soulful renderings of Red Panda who consists of Rachel Wild and Jacob Clifford as they shared their gentle talents that flowed throughout the field. They were followed by a demonstration in the martial arts given by students of The Pocono Karate Academy. This was followed by Katie Rubino who stood upon the festival's stage with her guitar. Her countenance and stage presence accentuated her gentle and joyful renditions of the compositions she shared which were both established work and original pieces. It was during her performance did I move toward the back of the stage in order to obtain some photographs reflecting the enchantments of her show. While doing this, I met up with musician Pete Begley who asked to borrow my camera so he could take some pictures of me. He did so and I returned to capturing images of much better looking subjects. After Ms. Rubino's set came to its conclusion, she meet with her many fans to share gifts, photographs, and conversations with them.

Meanwhile, the duet known as Woodrow who consists of Theresa Ratcliff on Vocals and Brian Bramkamp on Guitar took the stage. The songs they shared touched the audience who were enjoying every note and utterances. I was too until the rain started to fall and I, since I was getting over a cold, decided to leave participation that surrounded me. Unfortunately, this led me to missing the performance of The Tellerz and Scrilla Lcf who were the Poconos Got Talent Winners and the Fireworks Display. I also missed the event's finale which consisted of a performance given by P. O. W. W. O. W. which is an acronym for Pain of Wisdom In a World of Waste. Still, the 15th Annual American Freedom Festival proved to be an enjoyable one and I look forward to experiencing it next year. You’ll be able to see the pictures I took during my day at The 15th Annual Freedom Festival in the Let Freedom Rain Gallery at

The Eastburg Community Alliance was established over 30 years ago by local leaders and business owners and is funded through a combination of local grants, direct fund raising, memberships, and local contributions. Besides their annual Freedom Festival, The Eastburg Community Alliance presents a Fall Octoberfest and their Winter Holiday Celebration. They currently hold their weekly Music on Mondays event which can be enjoyed every Monday evening beginning at 7pm until September. You’ll be able to learn more about The Eastburg Community Alliance by exploring their Facebook Page at or their Website at

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