Freedom festival of Music back for second year

— The Ausable Chasm Pavilion will host five artists who will come together to help raise funds for the North Star Underground Railroad Museum.

The second Freedom Festival of Music will take place Thursday, Aug. 1, starting at 4:30 p.m. and will run until 8:30 p.m. at the Pavilion.

Featured performers include local favorites Roy Hurd, Lita Kelly, Speedy Arnold, Charlie Stone and Split Rock, along with the Lake Champlain Gospel Choir.

The date for the concert is a significant one in the history of Civil Rights. On Aug. 1, 1834, the British abolished the practice of slavery throughout the empire, including Canada. The day was known and celebrated for many years as Emancipation Day, which is still celebrated in some former British colonies, especially in the Caribbean.

“Their action inspired abolitionists in the U.S. to organize the antislavery movement and aid thousands of fugitives from slavery to escape to the Canadas,” North Star Underground Railroad Museum Manager Helen Nerska said.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit the museum, which, according to Nerska, “tells the story of enslaved people who escaped through the Lake Champlain Corridor of the Underground Railroad with the help of courageous local people who believed in freedom.”

Admission to the festival is $7 for adults and $2 for children under 12. Group rates are available for parties of 20 or more.

Those attending are asked to bring a chair and a picnic supper. There will be light snacks available for purchase. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed.

Tickets can be purchased at Arnold’s Grocery in Keeseville, Bob’s Music and the Corner Bookshop in Plattsburgh, along with the North Star Museum and at the event.

For more information, call 834-5180, visit northcountryundergroundrailroad.com, email ugr@frontier.com or go to Facebook.com/NorthCountryUndergroundRailroadHistoricalAssociation & Museum.

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