By Blake Musser
July 18, 2017

I have found my pocket watch and dug out my knitting needles! This weekend will be the first of Collaborate Freeport’s destination weekends. It is clear to us that our community is hosting amazing events and attractions that already make us a destination. We are helping organizations with the promotion of these celebrations. All events have great backstories, excitement and the pull to bring in participants from outside our community.

One of our goals at Collaborate Freeport is to help improve tourism and economic development. When we invite people from outside communities to participate in these events, it illustrates to them that Freeport is a great place to visit and live. It also gives us the chance to have them spend the night in a hotel, eat at local establishments and shop at our great local businesses helping to strengthen our economy.

This Friday, Jeffrey Wall and Dennis Rinkenberger, also known as The Yarn Guys, will show our community’s value of giving back by sponsoring and hosting Freeport’s first Hope-A-Thon. The Halos of Hope-A-Thon participants knit hats for chemotherapy patients across the country. All donations from the event will go toward distributing hats to cancer treatment centers. This unique 24-hour event runs from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday and will be at the Wall of Yarn, 14 W. Stephenson St.

As part of the event, The Yarn Guys will also host the renowned author and knitting expert Franklin Habit, who will lead classes and give a lecture at The Wagner House. For more details, please visit their website. I look forward to supporting this cause and listening to Franklin Habit’s presentation.

The following night, Saturday, marks the return of prohibition. What started last year as an anniversary party for The Wagner House owners, Bill and Stacy Green, quickly grew into a large public event. It was such a hit, they brought it back for a second year and have made it even better!

I attended last year and the party was exciting, interesting and one of the most well-rounded events that I have attended. One of the best parts of this event is that it is interactive. You start in a speakeasy somewhere downtown Freeport, but you constantly need to be on the lookout for the cops and G-men trying to bust up a good party. The night wraps up at The Wagner House with music from The Gatsby Gang. The progressive party begins at 6:30 p.m., with early VIP access starting at 5 p.m.

Guests will receive a text with the first location about a half hour before the event begins. If you have not yet done so, purchase your tickets and 20s attire and prepare to dance the night away.

If these activities are not already in your calendar, please make sure you come out for a great night! Tickets for both Prohibition Freeport and The Gatsby Gang are available on the Wagner House website: wagnerhouseil.com. For more information about Freeport’s Hope-A-Thon, visit halosofhope-a-thon.org. Journal Standard article link.