Freedom Run – June 28th at 8am

The 36th NC 4th of July Freedom Run

SOUTHPORT, NC June 10, 2014 – The NC 4th of July Festival will hold the 36th Annual Freedom Run on Saturday, June 28th at 8am, starting and finishing at the Southport Waterfront. The Festival is excited to announce that the run will include color gauntlets again this year, as well as a red and blue color outburst just before the run during the Opening Ceremony.  Participants of the Freedom Run who wish to participate in the Color Outburst will gather in a designated area in Waterfront Park before 7:45am and be given a bag of red or blue non-toxic powdered paint.  They are encouraged to wear white shirts and must wear sunglasses. At the appointed time in the Opening Ceremony they will exuberantly unleash their paint creating an explosive patriotic display.   To continue the fun, there will also be two optional color gauntlets on the 5k.

Freedom Run art

The design on this year’s Freedom Run shirt has a very interesting history. The original “Join, or Die” art was created by Benjamin Franklin and published in Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette in 1754. The political cartoon was published next to Franklin’s editorial concerning the “disunited state” of the colonies. It was used to illustrate Franklin’s point about the importance of colonial unity with Great Britain to defeat the French and Indians during the French & Indian War.  The snake was used to represent the thirteen American colonies but was cut into eight segments.  At the snake’s head, New England represented four colonies; Delaware (which was part of Pennsylvania) and Georgia were omitted.   Leading into the American Revolutionary War, American colonists changed the message to “Unite, or Die”.  This cartoon still has the powerful message of unity today.   The Festival has coupled the “Unite or Die” image with the words “ Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor”, a portion of the last line in the Declaration of Independence which reads “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

With a new addition of a color outburst and a historical t-shirt design, the NC 4th of July Festival assures the runner this year’s Freedom Run will be a fun event. The festival invites all families and friends to participate.  For more information, please contact the NC 4th of July Festival  at (910)457-5578 or visit the website at

*Join or Die history-  Source Wikipedia