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updated: 7/7/2011 4:52 PM

Organizer cancels Barrington Freedom Festival

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  • Justin Gulas, 7, of Wonder Lake hands out flags at Barrington's fourth annual Freedom Festival in 2007.

      Justin Gulas, 7, of Wonder Lake hands out flags at Barrington's fourth annual Freedom Festival in 2007.
    DAILY HERALD FILE PHOTO

  • Carol Cornwall of Fox River Grove enjoys a moment on a Humvee with Marines from the 2nd Battalion station in Chicago, while at Barrington's sixth annual Freedom Festival in 2009.

      Carol Cornwall of Fox River Grove enjoys a moment on a Humvee with Marines from the 2nd Battalion station in Chicago, while at Barrington's sixth annual Freedom Festival in 2009.
    DAILY HERALD FILE PHOTO

  • Marla Dahlstrom of the Village Church of Barrington arranges stars on a prayer wall during the fifth annual Freedom Festival in 2008.

      Marla Dahlstrom of the Village Church of Barrington arranges stars on a prayer wall during the fifth annual Freedom Festival in 2008.
    DAILY HERALD FILE PHOTO

  • At left, Linda Kupferschmid of Operation Military Kids, shares a laugh with We-Do-Care board member Bobby Ferguson during the fifth annual Freedom Festival in 2008.

       At left, Linda Kupferschmid of Operation Military Kids, shares a laugh with We-Do-Care board member Bobby Ferguson during the fifth annual Freedom Festival in 2008.
    DANIEL WHITE | Staff Photographer

 
 

The organizer of the annual Barrington Freedom Festival and Freedom Run has canceled this year's events, which would have coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

But the village of Barrington itself has begun planning a more solemn memorial to mark the anniversary.

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In an email to supporters and sponsors of the Freedom Festival this week, organizer Dirk Beveridge wrote, "It is with heavy disappointment that I have made the decision to cancel this year's Freedom Festival and Freedom Run. I hope you know how honored I have been to have served our troops and our community with you."

Beveridge was traveling for business Thursday and could not be immediately reached to explain the reasons for his decision.

The first Barrington Freedom Festival was held in the fall of 2004 to show support for U.S. troops stationed overseas. It occurred shortly after a rare anti-war rally in Barrington.

At the time, Beveridge was firm that the intention of the Freedom Festival was to support troops and that "Any political agenda is going to be unacceptable and off-limits."

The festival adopted the slogan, "We Do Care," in contrast to the anti-war rally's slogan, "Do You Care."

The Freedom Festival was held for seven consecutive years through 2010, moving from its original October dates to ones in September closer to the 9/11 anniversary.

In 2008, a 9.11-mile Freedom Run was added to the festival, winding its way through Barrington Hills and ending in downtown Barrington.

Until Beveridge's recent announcement, the festival's website at we-do-care.org had promised an eighth annual event to take place on Sept. 10.

Instead, Barrington Village President Karen Darch said, the village is in the early stages of planning a solemn, respectful memorial service for the victims of 9/11 that will likely occur on Sept. 11 itself at Memorial Park downtown.

These plans will be further discussed at the village board's committee of the whole meeting Monday evening.

In the rest of his recent email to supporters this week, Beveridge wrote, "Our seven Freedom Festivals, three Freedom Runs, video webcasts, and award-winning 4th of July floats -- together we all made a difference. From the bottom of my heart I appreciate all that you have done."

Beveridge is the owner of a Barrington-based consulting firm.

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