‘Cries of Freedom’ sets stage for patriotic celebration at Scera Park

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Fireworks and hot dogs often find center stage during America’s summer holidays, but two dedicated citizens are looking to shift the focus back to what really matters: how our freedom came to be.

“If you want to spend the Fourth of July the way it was really meant to be, then you need to be here in this park,” said Scott Swain, founder and executive producer of Cries of Freedom.

Scott Swain on stage for "Cries of Freedom" to play for Fourth of July Weekend. (Ari Davis)
Scott Swain on stage for “Cries of Freedom,” to play for Fourth of July Weekend. (Ari Davis)

In 2005 Swain teamed up with Wasatch Elementary 5th-grade teacher and would-be musical director Bonnie Busco in an effort to refocus Americans toward the roots of their freedom.

At first, Swain had a vision of teaching elementary students about the Founding Fathers through “Freedom Galleries” placed in schools across the state; with Busco’s help, that soon evolved into bringing those iconic portraits to life in an on-stage production.

“We want to change the direction of our country,” Swain said. “We want to inspire and educate people to return back to our Founding Fathers, our founding documents and start over.”

Because social studies is rarely tested in public schools, teaching civic competence becomes increasingly difficult for teachers to do. With an increased focus on other subjects in school Swain believes social studies is being watered-down, that history is a thing of the past.

“If you’re not free then all the education in the world’s not going to matter at all,” Swain said.

Swain and Busco hope to inspire and educate others by bringing scenes from history to life, and every year since the first show in 2008 the event has grown bigger and better.

“We have a lot of people that come year after year to hear the story over and over again,” Busco said. “So what does that tell you? They want that renewal, just like with the gospel.”

“Cries of Freedom” will run Thursday–Saturday with shows at 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on the Fourth of July. Admission is free, and donations are accepted.

Other events at the Scera Park over the weekend include The Walk of Freedom, a live U.S. swearing in and a rustic colonial village. All are free of charge.

For more info visit http://www.criesoffreedom.com.

 

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