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UPDATE, 07/01/10: Due to scheduling issues, Rand Paul's appearance at the Voices of Independence rally in Shepherdsville's City Park has been changed to 6:30 p.m., rather than 7:30 p.m.
SHEPHERDSVILLE - What has been dubbed as a celebration of the country’s independence will boast a high-profile guest speaker at its inaugural event.
Dr. Rand Paul, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated with the retirement of Jim Bunning, will be among the speakers at the first tea party event in Bullitt County.
The event will be held in the front portion of the Shepherdsville City Park at the corner of First Street and South Buckman Street on Thursday, July 1.
Voices of Independence organizer John Colburn said that although many associate the tea party events with the Republican Party, it is really a gathering for those who have grown frustrated with government in general.
“We, the people, have been asleep at the wheel,” said Colburn. “We have trusted politicians to lead us and they’ve put us into some positions with some real challenges.”
Many tea party gatherings were held around April 15 but Colburn said that was too quick to organize one locally. With the Independence Day holiday approaching, he said that was an ideal time to have the celebration.
“It is a celebration of our liberties and our freedoms,” said Colburn.
He said the tea party success has grown due to the number of people who are frustrated with government officials.
“People are looking at a way to voice their frustrations with the current politicians,” said Colburn.
And while the stereotypical tea party participants may be angry white men, Colburn said it is actually a cross section of America.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will start with some music at 5:30 p.m.
Mandy Connell, a talk show host each morning with WHAS, will be the master of ceremonies.
Other guest speakers will take the stage with Paul to be at the podium at 7:30 p.m.
Colburn said that Paul presents a very Constitutional approach to the way to run government. He expects Paul’s appearance will draw a large crowd.
“We think there will be a good crowd,” said Colburn. “This is not a Republican Party thing. The Constitution binds us all together.”
There is plenty of free parking in the city park.
Originally, the event was planned for the front of the Bullitt County Judicial Center.
However, the court facility is open until 6 p.m. on Thursdays and there is a state Administrative Office of the Courts regulation of not allowing political events on judicial property.
Shepherdsville officials were also concerned about the request to shut down Frank E. Simon Avenue for several hours for the rally.
Instead, the front portion of the city park was selected as the rally site.