HFI Censored on Independence Day.
Here is the celebration they didn’t want you to see.
HFI was thrilled in April to hear the announcement that there would be an Independence Day parade this year in the city of Boise! It has been several years since this event has taken place. We were even more thrilled when we found out that the theme is honoring our Founding Fathers and Founding Mothers! If you have followed HFI for any length of time, you know we LOVE to talk about the Constitution ad nauseam. We also LOVE talking about the brilliance of the Founders. We filled out the application to host a float immediately.
HFI supporters, volunteers, and families came together to donate time, supplies, decorations, and beautiful costumes to pull off our beautiful float – one of many ways we hope we are giving a thank you to the work and bravery of the Founders and honoring their legacy. On this 247th birthday of the Declaration of Independence, we wanted to contribute to Boise’s parade and teach the future the importance of knowing and respecting our nation’s history.
But our float and our contribution to the parade almost did not happen. Just six days before the event, we received an email from the event organizer with an addendum to the parade rules. We had agreed to the rules in April when we completed the application, but this was a change to the stated rules.
The addendum read,
“Additionally, in consultation with local public safety officials, the parade organizers add the following parade entry requirement, which all entries must follow:
No open carry of weapons or firearms will be permitted. The only exception to this is sworn law enforcement officers, uniformed military Honor Guard personnel, or those participating in an authorized armed Color Guard.
This additional parade entry requirement ensures the focus on the parade’s intent to celebrate our Nation’s founding safely. The parade organizers greatly appreciate your adherence to this amended entry requirement.”
The email indicated we must agree to this stipulation and sign and return the addendum to the organizer.
We were absolutely shocked and truly disappointed in this company, Outdoor Event Group. For a company to hold this parade over our heads, to tell us we must surrender our right to defend ourselves and our children, on INDEPENDENCE DAY of all days, in IDAHO of all places…. we were utterly dumbfounded. Our directors, Miste and Sarah, refused to sign such a disgraceful blatant violation of our rights. In that moment, we thought our hopes of a great float, a tribute to the founders on Independence Day, and a fun day were doomed. We thought we would be excluded.
Thankfully, Idahoans heard the news of this addendum to the rules when the Idaho Dispatch broke the story the night the email was sent to all organizations with a float entry. Gun owners and freedom lovers immediately got in contact with the parade organizer, the board that put on the parade, and the companies that were sponsoring the parade. They made their strong feelings of dissatisfaction with the addendum known. By the next morning, the addendum to the rules had been rescinded. We celebrated! Our float and our entry into the parade were back on!
We were so excited to get our float and ourselves all put together on the day of the parade. We arrived before 7 am so we could get all the decor in its place and our dresses on, and our kids dressed to join us. We represented the brilliance and bravery of Thomas Jefferson, John and Abigail Adams, George and Martha Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, Mary Hays (Molly Pitcher), Alexander Hamilton, and all the other Founders whose memories we honor on America’sIndependence Day.
Our float was ready to go just after 8 am. The parade was scheduled to start at 10 am. We were able to get all dressed in our colonial-era gowns, dress the boys in their Revolutionary Blues with white powdered wigs, and our girls wore gowns and carried parasols.
Other parade participants, passersby, kids, and even a fire chief stopped to visit with us, take photos with us and of us, and rave about our float! We had a marching band next to us that was happy we offered them flags and patriotic pinwheels to include in their hats. It was so wonderful to be so well received!
During the parade our kids walked and skateboarded alongside our float. They handed out small American flags, pinwheels, fliers, and stickers to excited children.
One aspect of our float which was very important to us was the booming audio of the Declaration of Independence being read aloud in its entirety. The reason for the season! The document that created this great nation and the very reason for our celebration of Independence on July 4! We realize not many Americans read this precious document as often as we do, and we were very excited to play it for the crowd.
As we approached the front of our Idaho Capitol Building, it was so exciting and rewarding to hear our Health Freedom Idaho mission statement read aloud by the booming voice of Nate Shelman from KBOI. The crowd in front of the Capitol was large and amazing, we were so excited to hear their applause and encouragement! Idahoans love health freedom!
Later, after the parade, friends who were watching on TV notified us that the live feed on CBS2 stopped abruptly as HFI drew close to the Capitol and would have been in view of the camera. The TV feed interrupted the commentators who were speaking and after a long pause went to a commercial. You can see it here:
Thankfully the Idaho Dispatch was reporting live and caught the HFI float being announced. You can view that video here:
Overall the day was wonderful. We had such a great time connecting with the crowd and celebrating our nation’s Independence and freedom. We were hot and exhausted, but energized by the outpouring of support and enthusiasm. We are eternally grateful to the Founding Fathers and Mothers who created this beautiful nation of liberty. We are so thankful for their reliance on God the Creator, and their brilliant writings that laid the framework for our God-given liberty to be protected in the most blessed nation on Earth.
Despite the controversy about who should and should not be allowed to participate in the parade, especially in regard to those of us who chose to open carry, we are thankful it came together the way it did and we were able to create our tribute to the Declaration of Independence, and the amazing people who pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to this country.
Please reach out to the Board who brought back this wonderful event after several years. Please thank them for all their work to make this happen. Please also thank them specifically for allowing Health Freedom Idaho to present a float in the celebration.
A special thank you to LeeJoe Lay for his assistance, our float would not have been possible without his contribution. Thank you to all who contributed supplies, time, and talents! Thank you also to Hyatt Place Hotel on 11th in downtown Boise. They allowed us to use space to change clothes and get ready. Thank you all!
Happy Independence Day from Health Freedom Idaho!