Knights of Columbus Religious Freedom Day parade in Fredericksburg

Knights of Columbus Plan Annual Religious Freedom Day Celebration

by | Jan 7, 2017 | Events

By Susan Larson. Photo of a previous year’s parade, provided by the Knights of Columbus.

Update 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017: This event has been cancelled, due to the predicted extreme cold.

The Knights of Columbus will hold their annual Religious Freedom Day celebration in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017.

Thomas Jefferson drafted The Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, during a January 1777 visit to Fredericksburg. “Jefferson felt strongly about religion, and his notes were very clear that the principle of religious freedom was meant to include every faith and denomination,” said Karen Klugh, spokesperson for the Knights of Columbus.

After nine years of debate, it passed the Virginia General Assembly on January 16, 1786. It was one of the sources Congress used when drafting the Bill of Rights in 1789.

“Each January since 1974, the Knights of Columbus have commemorated the bill and Jefferson’s role in preserving religious freedom,” Klugh said.

The Religious Freedom Day celebration will start with a 1:30 p.m. parade from the Fredericksburg train station through downtown Fredericksburg to the Thomas Jefferson Religious Freedom Monument on Washington Avenue. The ceremony at the monument will begin at 2 p.m.

“All religious groups are invited to march in the parade and carry a banner identifying their affiliation and showing their support for religious freedom,” Klugh said.

Virginia State Delegate Bobby Orrock (R-54) will serve as the master of ceremonies. State Senator Glen H. Sturtevant, Jr., (R-10) will deliver the keynote address. Fredericksburg Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw will make an official proclamation. The festivities will culminate with the laying of a wreath.

Anyone with questions about the event should contact organizer Rick Reschick at 540-850-5587.

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