Trump supporters celebrate ‘Freedom Fest’ in Northern Kentucky
MORNING VIEW, Ky. – On the 20th anniversary of September 11, thousands of supporters of former President Donald Trump flocked to a farm half an hour south of Cincinnati.
Among the pastures and hay bales, banners directing curses at President Joe Biden adorned trucks and fences.
It was a celebration hosted by former lawyer Eric Deters, a staunch conservative, podcaster and self-proclaimed “outlaw.” He is no stranger to controversy. In 2020, a judge banned him from the Hamilton County Courthouse for Deters’ comments on his podcast, “The Bulldog.”
Deters saw nothing wrong with holding a rally to encourage Trump on September 11. It was the first Freedom Fest, something he told the crowd he wanted to hold every year on his 138-acre farm in the rural outpost of Morning View, Ky., Just south of Independence.
Speaking on Saturday night, former Trump adviser and Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is currently dating Donald Trump Jr., and Fox News personality Tomi Lahren.
People have come from across the region, as far as Batavia and Fairfield, united in their loyalty to Trump, their distrust of COVID-19 vaccines, and their belief in debunked myths surrounding the 2020 election and Trump’s discredited claims of ‘a stolen election. There is no evidence of widespread electoral fraud.
“We are the outcasts of the country these days,” said Bill Albright.
The 57-year-old traveled from his home in Batavia with his girlfriend Kathi Brinegar. They grabbed flag poles on the hill where Deters had built a stage and amphitheater, the wind whipping their large flags that said “2020 has been rigged,” “Unmasked, unmuzzled, unvaccinated, fearless” and “Joe Biden sucks. “
In the crowd were several members of the Proud Boys, dressed in their yellow and black colors and polo shirts. The group Proud Boys is designated hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC and the Anti-Defamation League both describe the all-male members of the Proud Boys as being known for their anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric.
During the speeches, a man in the colors of Proud Boy flashed the “OK” symbol, which the Anti-Defamation League and Other Civil Rights groups say he was co-opted into a symbol of white supremacy.
Hundreds of motorcycles thundered over the rolling hills and parked in front of the stage, forming a barricade between the stage and the audience.
One of the bikers, Dwayne Turner, 51, of Goshen, told The Enquirer he was on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, DC, during the assault on the Capitol on January 6. He said, however, that he did not enter the Capitol.
He traveled to Washington that day for the Boots on the Ground Bikers for Trump organization to provide security for various groups.
“I was right on the steps,” Turner said. “They did more than it really was. The mainstream media turned the insurgency into an insurgency, to me it was a few people who were pissed off.”
But a lot of people who were at Freedom Fest said they weren’t in any group. About 100 cars and motorcycles, most decked out in pro-Trump vaccine gear, traveled to Ky. 17 for about 10 miles to Deters Farm in a trailer.
Shari Reynolds, dressed head to toe with stars and stripes, walked among the cars stopped at Pioneer Park in south Covington. She was tidying up the trailer at Deters’ farm, telling the cars to put on their turn signals.
She said the trailer sort of came together.
“It takes a person to organize someone and you talk to a person and then you talk to a person,” Reynolds said. “The worst thing you can do is shut up.”
Reynolds, 51, and her husband Patrick, 38, of Deer Park, like many thousands at Freedom Fest, believe Trump won the 2020 election and are wary of the media.
So where do they get their information from?
“I have no source of information,” said Patrick Reynolds.
“Just research,” Shari Reynolds said.
They see reports, said Patrick Reynolds, but “you have to find the information.”
Keynote speakers Lahren and Guilfoyle in their speeches touched on the usual talking points, denouncing vaccine warrants, praising Trump, slamming Biden and accusing “culture cancellation” of silencing the Tories.
The media were not popular at Freedom Fest.
“The media have become so engrossed in their own agenda that they have lost sight of their responsibility to report, to inform and to serve, but they certainly love their little fact-checks,” Guilfoyle said. “I could say Kentucky is a beautiful, beautiful state, and they would actually check me out.”
Many of those who showed up at Deters Farm just wanted to get together with like-minded people. Mark Hunter stood by his white SUV in Pioneer Park, ready to travel by caravan to Deters Farm. As he affixed a Gadsden flag with the Don’t Tread On Me tag and a coiled rattlesnake and American flag on his car, Hunter, 65, of Independence, explained why he went to Freedom Fest.
“I’m here because I love America,” Hunter said. “This event is about bringing unity and defending freedom and liberty and we should never accept or take safety and sacrifice freedom for it. Sometimes just showing up makes a difference.”