The DesMoines Register reports,
Perhaps no small town in America will celebrate the 225th anniversary of the signing of the American Constitution with such fresh fervor as Hampton, the Franklin County seat of 4,461 residents in north central Iowa.
Hampton’s inaugural Libertyfest in September is the brainchild of its 29-year-old libertarian mayor elected last fall, Shawn Dietz. The fest will mark the Sept. 17, 1787, signing of our nation’s blueprint with an entire “Liberty Week” series of events — embracing everything from historical reenactment to Congressional candidates (potentially U.S. Rep. Steve King and Iowa 4th District challenger Christie Vilsack), a political rock concert, a hymn sing and a portrayal of John Adams in a “patriotic Christian drama.”
I noted to Dietz that his ambitious celebration on the eve of a presidential election in a tense battleground state such as Iowa, a celebration that aspires to blend patriotism, religion and one of the most contentious Congressional races in the nation — well, his small-town fest could become a bit of a political powder keg depending on what transpires. . . .
But the mayor was clear that Libertyfest is “not presidential election year spin.” There will not be campaigning for Romney or Obama.
The idea began to take shape last year when Dietz was struck by the music of singer-songwriter Jordan Page, who performed on behalf of presidential candidate Ron Paul at the Ames Straw Poll.
But Dietz, who said he helped found the Tea Party in Franklin County, has since distanced himself because he “kind of felt like the Tea Party name started to kind of get co-opted by the Republican party.”
“All of us who were so gung-ho about Ron Paul, we’re in this transition period,” he said. “Now we have to turn away from Paul and towards the message that he was putting forward all these years in Congress.” . . .
The week is scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 17, with the official mayoral proclamation, plus a dramatization or other performance to represent the signing of the Constitution.
The lineup will continue with the hymn sing Sept. 19 in Band Shell Park downtown as well as participation by a local Christian group called “Liberty Keepers.”