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310 views • July 3, 2023

Residents Celebrate America the Beautiful Festival in Upstate NY

NTD News
NTD News
The local festival in upstate New York, running through Independence Day weekend, July 1 to July 2, is a unique celebration of the Fourth of July. Artists like Billboard Top Ten Recording Artist Danny Griego, Zach Myers of Shinedown, and Platinum Country Singer Julie Roberts, are headlining the America the Beautiful Festival—The Sound of Liberty (America TheBeautifulFestival.com). The Deerpark, New York event is being presented by New Century, a local event space, and The Epoch Times, which is livestreaming the event on EpochTV here. James White, one of the co-organizers, said the festival was about celebrating and honoring America, veterans, and the local community, which has grown in recent years, becoming home to many immigrants who came to America in pursuit of liberty. Local veterans organizations took part in the event, opening for the musical performances. "We wanted to honor the beautiful culture, the beautiful heritage, and also honor the veterans, the military, the people who have sacrificed so much," White said, adding that the mix of locals, both new and old, may come from all different parts of the world, but they are now citizens of the United States and the event is a way to celebrate the Fourth of July. For locals the event was an opportunity to become closer to their new neighbors. Many Chinese nationals now live in the area, they told The Epoch Times. "It's very interesting, people who move here oftentimes are the most patriotic, because they're the ones that appreciate the freedoms we have so much," White said. Some of New Century and the local tech start-up Gan Jing World's founders are Chinese immigrants, just like The Epoch Times. "I was born here, I was lucky to be born with these freedoms, but as I started learning about hardship around the world, it really made me appreciate what I have here. And I think the message we really want to convey is that the United States really is a united effort," he said. "We come from all different cultures and we have a long history that is really grounded in a belief in the divine and we want to honor that. All of our freedoms when you're an American citizen, they actually come from God. And that's something universal, that's something that people around the world, no matter where they're born, no matter what their background is, we all deserve that." Jack Austin, 80, has been a resident of Port Jervis for 40 years, and he attended the event on July 1. He was happy to see residents old and new enjoying the festivities. "I'm very happy that the Chinese community is finding a new way of life here, new forms of freedom," he said. "This is a really nice event that New Century is providing to local residents to celebrate the Fourth of July." "We cherish freedom," Austin said, getting emotional. He noted that some of the Chinese residents he has gotten to know have shared with him the intense persecution and censorship they faced in China or Hong Kong for practicing their faith. "But we have that same value and love of freedom and the ability to speak as we wish," he said. Denise Rivera, who runs a local restaurant, said the festival and holiday were a chance for her to celebrate freedom with the great melting pot of Americans. "God bless the United States of America—we are free," she said. "Freedom to do what I want to do, freely serve who we want to serve ... that is normal for me, but there are many people who are not free ... and it's such a nice blend, different people, different cultures." "God bless America," Rivera said. Both in-person and virtual attendees are sharing their moments, photos, and videos on GanJingWorld.com with the hashtag #AmericaTheBeautiful. With reporting by NTD. From The Epoch Times
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