Pilgrim Festival takes on serious tone

CLAREMONT, Calif. The festival, being held at 1:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at Pilgrim Place in Claremont, traditionally celebrates the original pilgrims' quest for religious freedom, their journey to Plymouth Rock, their friendship with Native Americans and the first Thanksgiving.

This year, organizers will ask a new question: What would the pilgrims think about what transpired after their early struggles for liberty?

The answer will be played out in the Pilgrim Festival Drama held each afternoon. The story will include the treatment of early Native Americans, from the years of warfare to their removal to reservations, the history of slavery and the struggle for equal rights.

The story will also include some positive developments, including the struggle for a new country, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

"The pilgrims and the audience will leave with a feeling of pride in our country and a renewed commitment to freedom for all people of all nations in this 'one world under God," said director Dale Morgan.

The production is written, directed and acted by Pilgrim Place residents. Music is provided by the Pilgrim Pickers.

The event also features arts and crafts, food and activities for people of all ages.

Pilgrim Place is located at 660 Avery Rd. in Claremont.

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