Several local 'tea parties' planned for Friday, Saturday


Published: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 6:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 6:18 p.m.

Independence Day for most Americans means fireworks, barbecue and parades. For many others, it's a chance to exercise their right to free speech.

Tea Party protests, during which people gather to object to government tax policies, will be held this weekend at different sites throughout the region. Organized locally, parties allow participants to voice their opposition to things they consider unreasonable, among them taxes, government spending and the national debt. On the Web site TeaPartyDay.com, more than 1,367 cities have registered.

Tea parties were held earlier this year on April 15, otherwise known as Tax Day, in more than 750 locations in all 50 states. The gatherings began partly because of CNBC commentator Rick Santelli's call on Feb. 19 to Americans to protest against the Obama administration's mortgage bailout plan.

Several tea parties are being held in the area today and on Saturday:

Friday:

--Gainesville Target Range, 1610 NW 65th Place, 5 p.m., Gainesville.

--River Front Stage on the St. Johns River, Route 17, 5:30 p.m., Palatka.

Saturday:

--The Old Courthouse Heritage Museum, 1 Courthouse Square, noon, Inverness.

--Levy County Courthouse, 355 S. Court St., noon, Bronson.

--Southeastern Livestock Pavillion, 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, 10 a.m., Ocala.

--Old Brick Armory across from Bradford High School, 500 block of U.S. Highway 301/Temple Avenue, 10:30 a.m., Starke.

For more information on Tea Party locations, visit http://www.teapartypatriots.org/.

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