PORTSMOUTH – NH Liberty Forum officially kicks off on Thursday March 5. The Free State Project has organized a number of tours of different regions of the state for conference attendees who arrive early and want to explore and tour New Hampshire.
The first tour took place yesterday in the historic coastal city of Portsmouth. Conference attendees were invited to meet for lunch at Flatbread Pizza, which specializes in all-natural, wood-fired, clay oven pizza. Almost a dozen liberty lovers met up, introduced themselves, and enjoyed pizza, salads and beers. The group consisted of a combination of Granite State natives and FSP early movers from California, New York, and even as far away as Russia and Brazil! One young early mover couple is expecting a baby in just a few months. Another attendee, a 25-year-old native, credited Ron Paul when asked how he found out about the FSP and its efforts to entice 20,000 liberty-loving people to move to New Hampshire.
After lunch, New Hampshire native Kelly Halldorson led a walking tour of Portsmouth’s historic and charming downtown. Halldorson, a homeschooling mother of three, gained national media attention several years ago while campaigning for Ron Paul. She’s also known as “the Unschool Bus Mom” for traveling around the US in a converted school bus for three years with her husband, three teens and three dogs. The group visited Bull Moose, a popular music/movie/video game store; Kilwin’s Chocolate, Fudge and Ice Cream shop; and a “vape” (e-cigarette) shop. Next stop was the local Starbucks for hot beverages to warm up from the cold. The group then walked down to historic Strawbery Banke, where an outdoor ice skating rink is set up at Puddle Duck Pond. Dozens of adults and children were enjoying the ice, as well as the nearby fire pit set up to help defrost frozen fingers and toes. Several Liberty Forum attendees took advantage of the opportunity to rent skates and take a spin on the pond. It was a novel experience for those who came from much warmer climes.
Following the tour, the Praxeum hosted a cocktail party for Liberty Forum attendees. The Praxeum is a flexible use space for liberty oriented people which opened last September. Similar venues have opened in Manchester and Keene, and a new one is under construction in Concord. The existence of physical social clubs throughout the state, owned and operated by libertarians, is one of the many things that makes New Hampshire unique. Co-owner Mike Vine, an organizer of last fall’s successful Freecoast Festival, gave a brief welcome and led a toast. This year’s Liberty Forum organizer Merav Yakov helped to welcome all to the upcoming conference. Several young couples had brought their children. Attendees mingled, chatted, and enjoyed an open bar donated by members of the Praxeum.
Additional tours are taking place in the Lakes Region, the Upper Valley and Keene throughout the week.