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A spirit that is not afraid

Community set to celebrate Pagan Pride on Sept. 21

<p>The Auburn Pagan Pride Day on Sept. 23, 2017 in Auburn, Ala.</p>

The Auburn Pagan Pride Day on Sept. 23, 2017 in Auburn, Ala.

Pagan Pride Day, an event organized by the Church of the Spiral Tree, will be held Saturday, Sept. 21, at Kiesel Park from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

The event begins with an opening blessing and will feature classes, vendors and the annual membership meeting of the Church of the Spiral Tree. This event is free to attend. Robert Von Allmen is the event’s organizer, a position he took over from Linda Kerr this year. In the past, he has served as the event’s treasurer. 

“Pagans of all different beliefs and paths [attend], as there simply are not a lot of us, and events like this give us a chance to meet and connect with each other,” Von Allmen said.

The Church of the Spiral Tree is a non-profit, nondenominational pagan church in Auburn. Its purpose is to unify the pagan community, but they encourage anyone who is curious about their beliefs to attend and learn more, Von Allmen said. 

“We have even occasionally had parents come with their pagan teenager to try and understand about our community,” Von Allmen said.

While Kiesel Park is a city park, which means any sales must be made by those with a City of Auburn business license, all are welcome to display their wares, especially pagan-themed ones.

There will be no food vendors, however, so the church will be giving away bag lunches on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Organizational tables must be pre-approved, but all are welcome as long as they are not political. All religions are welcome too, as long as their purpose is outreach and education. 

“There [are] always a few Fundamentalist Christians who show up and try to witness to us, but usually, they have been very polite and respectful of others, asking to witness, but not forcing themselves on anybody,” Von Allmen said. 

As long as the witnesses are respectful, Von Allmen said, he engages with them, but if they try to cause a scene, they are asked to leave.

Auburn’s local Pagan Pride Day was started by Cliff Landis, an Auburn alumnus who was president of Pantheon, the Auburn student pagan group to unite like-minded pagans and showcase their beliefs to the public.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item to be donated to the East Alabama Food Bank.

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