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International Freedom Festival (Canada, United States)

Last modified: 2012-08-11 by rob raeside
Keywords: international freedom festival | detroit michigan | windsor ontario | maple leaf | eagle | bridge |
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International Freedom Festival image contributed by Bill Garrison, 29 July 2007

On E-Bay a 1959 Vintage Freedom Festival Windsor/Detroit

Description: Up for auction is an original hand made flag from the 1st ever Freedom Festival between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Canada. This festival continues to this day and this "ORIGINAL 1959 FLAG" signifies the start of a lasting relationship between Detroit and Windsor. The flag was custom hand made by Geo. P. Johnson Co. out of Detroit. It is made of nylon and very well done. It is quite fancy and in the center is the Ambassador bridge. The condition is very good with no holes or damage just a very little minor expected wear. It is a large flag that measures approx. 70 inches long by 43 inches tall.

The success of the first International Freedom Festival, themed "Partners in Freedom," in 1959, paved the way for the Detroit-Windsor celebration that continues to develop and grow in popularity on both sides of the Detroit River. The International Freedom Festival is a 75-year-old idea that became a reality 48 years ago. In 1930 Paul Lutzeier, a student editor at the College of the City of Detroit - later to become Wayne State University - conceived the idea of a joint Independence Day celebration between the citizens of Detroit and Windsor. He felt the United States and Canada shared not only a geographic border, but also a spiritual bond.

The fulfillment of Lutzeier's dream was almost 30 years in the making. As originally stated, the purpose of the festival was to promote an annual civic festival...for the purpose of dramatizing the friendship between the American and Canadian people and publicizing this friendship as a worldwide example of the benefits derived under "free government."

Business and civic leaders gave their support to the concept, and the first International Freedom Festival was held in 1959. Its theme was "Partners in Freedom." Queen Elizabeth II made an historic visit to Windsor and it was also the beginning of a long-standing tradition of fireworks, sponsored by Hudson's. Today, the Target Fireworks is the centerpiece of the entire festival.

Bill Garrison, 29 July 2007