Planning Begins for Diversity Day

McHenry County Blog received the following press release from Patrick Murfin. The event has grown from an alternative to a 1995 Ku Klux Klan rally at the Courthouse to a Woodstock Square festival.

While I doubt the Ku Klux Klan rally participants were local people, McHenry County does have a vibrant history of Klan activities. Three stories have appeared on McHenry County Blog that might be of interest:

Ku Klux Klan in McHenry County

So, the KKK Shows Up in McHenry County

The Maryland Legacy of Slavery Director’s Reply

The press release follows:


WOODSTOCK—Planning has begun for DIVERSITY DAY 2007: “…SKIES EVERYWEHRE AS BLUE AS MINE.” The annual festival, now in its 12th year, will be held on Woodstock Square Sunday, October 7 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Patrick Murfin, a co-founder of the festival with the Rev. Dan Larsen of the Congregational Unitarian Church and its long time on-stage co-host, has been appointed the festival’s first ever executive director. He will co-ordinate planning and arrangements with a volunteer committee.

“This year our theme, ‘…Skies everywhere as blue as mine’ is taken from the popular hymn ‘This is My Song,’” according to Murfin. “It reflects the unity of our common experience what ever our country, what ever our origin, regardless of all the things that divide us like race, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or ability.”

The festival, which originated as an alternative event to a rally by the Ku Klux Klan at the McHenry County Government Center, is looking for community participants, including performers representing a broad range of cultural traditions and styles.

“This year we are also highlighting community projects that build bridges and make peace in our community, the nation and the world,” Murfin said. He encourages individuals and organizations with such projects to contact him for information on how to participate.

Non-profit organizations, issue advocacy groups, service organizations, and government agencies are invited to set up information tables at the festival.

The festival is also selling advertising in its program book. “Not only is advertising a way to support the healing work of the festival, but it is an excellent way to reach one of the few really multi-cultural audiences in McHenry County,” Murfin said. “We encourage bi-lingual advertising.”

For more information contact Murfin at 815 814-5645 or e-mail

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