- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 11, 2016

While Democrats and Republicans are busy planning their national conventions in July, Libertarians have the upcoming Porcupine Freedom Festival — or “PorcFest” — next week.

Staged in the piney woods of northern New Hampshire, this political and cultural gathering is described by organizers as the “the libertarian version of Burning Man,” and “the largest gathering of libertarians in the world.” They expect about 1,700 attendees.

The prickly porcupine is the official emblem, “Don’t tread on anyone” is the  motto. Now in its 13th year, the event has been organized by The Free State Project, a liberty-minded non-profit seeking to inspire like-minded folk to make their homes in the Granite State.

Voter interest in third party candidates including Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson is fanning porcupine passion.

“With Johnson breaking double digits in the polls, everyone’s asking: Who are these people? While the Libertarian Party convention was a good primer on the quirks and qualities of your average libertarian, there’s no better place to see what they’re all about than PorcFest,” a spokesman told The Washington Times.

“Visiting PorcFest is the best way to see Libertarianus Americanus in his or her natural habitat,” he added.

There will be meet-ups for dogs, drum circles, much music, multiple family outings, a costumed gala, plus classes in bonfire making, 401K tax traps, fiber arts, homeschooling and “gun etiquette.” Organizations such as the Americans for Prosperity, the CATO Institute, The Atlas Society, the Charles Koch Institute, Students for Liberty and the National Rifle Association are represented at the event.

PorcFest’s lineup of speakers includes author and Fox News contributor Kristin Tate, Atlas Society founder David Kelley, George Mason University economist Christopher Koopman, Reason magazine editor-in-chief Matt Welch and several state lawmakers.

The event begins June 19, at a campground about two hours north of Manchester. Find the PorcFest here.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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