Clarion County Freedom Rally Set for Friday at Veterans Memorial Park

CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – A Clarion County Freedom Rally is scheduled for Friday afternoon in Veterans Memorial Park in Clarion.

It will take place from noon to 4:00 p.m.

The rally is a joint effort sponsored by John Pacsai, of Infusion Night Club and Grille, and Patty Schmader, owner of Serenity Spa & Tanning Salon.

Featured guest speakers include Pastor Harry Hoff, of Hope Rising Community Church; Clarion Borough Council member Ben Aaron; and Pittsburgh Real Estate Entrepreneur and Activist, Mat Simmons.

Pacsai told that the organizers want to focus on as much of a positive message as possible.

“People have good points on both sides of the issue, and we aren’t here to judge people’s personal choices. We just feel that we’ve lost our personal choices. Right now, we don’t have the freedom to choose whether we open our businesses or not.”

While the guidelines that businesses are required to follow during the COVID-19 Emergency Disaster will be one topic during the event, Pacsai explained that it’s only one aspect of the rally.

“We want to keep this a pro-small-town and pro-small-business event. We pretty much already know no one in D.C. or Harrisburg is going to help us very much. At the end of the day, we have to come back from this as a community, no matter where we are on these questions. This isn’t about different agendas; it is about the survival of our small towns.”

Schmader mirrored Pacsai’s viewpoint.

“We need to stick together as a town, and we need to support one another through all of this because everyone is suffering,” Schmader said.

“It’s not about getting a haircut or going out for drinks; it’s about businesses and revenue and saving our economy.”

Schmader said the idea for a local rally came from Pacsai; however, it originated from a comment that she made on social media about people standing up and making noise about the current situation.

“It went from that to ‘let’s have our own rally,'” she said.

Schmader said both she and Pacsai are in industries that have taken a hard hit from the ongoing closures under the “yellow phase” of the reopening plan.

“We have to wait for the green phase to open, and I feel like it’s constantly a few more weeks and a few more weeks. But, I feel like we’re ready to open. We’re adults, and we’re professionals, and we know how to take care of our clients and guests.”

As a professional stylist for over 20 years, Patty emphasized that she is trained and licensed in public sanitation and has the knowledge to operate while keeping clients safe.

Nevertheless, along with the business aspect, the community aspect is also at the forefront of her concerns.

“Clarion just needs to come back together and be the town we used to be before all of this started. Sometimes it just feels like everyone has turned against each other, but it’s not about what political side you’re on.

“We’re still Clarion, and we need to come together.”

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