Polk County Pagan Market met with more backlash by Christian Extremists at Samhain event
In the town of Livingston, Texas, the reoccurring Polk County Pagan Market Samhain festival, held on October 28th, once again found itself the target of vehement protests from a group of so called Christian extremists. At the forefront of this opposition stood Josh Herridge, of Tram road in Livingston. Josh, along with his group consisting of committed members such as David Driscoll, Denise Driscoll, and others affiliated with the Pentecostal Lighthouse church, has consistently rallied against every pagan market held in Livingston Texas.
The protestors, who had acquired a permit, (even though city code states no permits shall be granted within 300 feet of another) strategically positioned themselves just beyond the sturdy metal gates that served as a barrier between them and the event they vehemently opposed. Armed with conviction and a powerful bullhorn, they intended to drown out the proceedings with their amplified voices and disruptive chants. Their unwavering determination was further amplified by the bold and striking signs they displayed, unequivocally stating their belief that anyone who dared to enter the premises was destined for eternal damnation. The protestors stood together, unified in their message, sending a clear warning to all those who may be swayed by the allure of the event. Their presence and actions intended to create an atmosphere of intense tension, yet it did not seem to bother the more than 1000 visitors to the metaphysical Samhain festival.
Pastor Tanner Crawford, in a proclamation made online, called for a counter event in the same park where the Pagan Samhain festival was taking place. This rival event, titled “The Stand,” aimed to challenge the principles embodied by the Satanic Temple, which had been invited as a guest vendor at the market. Although the location of The Stand was ultimately moved, some of Pastor Tanner’s followers independently decided to attend and express their opposition. The night before the event a prayer group walked the grounds of the venue, chanting prayer of protection while littering the grounds with sticky notes covered with bible verses. The wonderful vendors and guests of the Pagan Market cleaned up the mess.
Regrettably, amidst the heightened tensions, four protestors, namely Jon Hale, Christopher Morrison, James Goff, and Roger David, trespassed onto the festival grounds in defiance of the strict “no proselytizing” rule. Their objective was to confront the Satanic Temple and publicly challenge their beliefs. Despite the clear boundaries established by the event organizers, Jon Hale and Christopher Morrison took it upon themselves to document their incursion, later sharing videos from inside the event. Event organizer, Jason Mclelland, later made a post on social media addressing this. These controversial videos have been included below for reference:
[Video 1: Jon Hale’s Perspective]
[Video 2: Christopher Morrison’s Account]
These incidents highlight the ongoing clash between religious ideologies within the community and the challenges faced by event organizers striving to maintain a peaceful and inclusive environment for all participants. This is just another addition in the harassment of the event and its organizers adding to events of repeat vandalism at the organizer’s commercial store location throughout the summer.
Despite the prayer group littering the grounds with Bible scriptures, the counter event’s meeting in opposition through prayer, the protests at the gate, and the negative comments wishing for the event’s failure, it proved to be a resounding success. Over the course of two days, hundreds of joyful faces reveled in the festivities, partaking in delightful activities such as trick-or-treating and engaging in captivating metaphysical events.
More about the Polk County Pagan Market Samhain event in Livingston Polk County Pagan Market – Samhain 2023 Was A Success!
Check out our next event coming up on March 9th 2024, The Ostara 2024 Pagan Market
This article will be updated with more info at a later date.