Freedom Conference to feature former presidential candidate, Boston bombing survivor |

Freedom Conference to feature former presidential candidate, Boston bombing survivor

This week’s Freedom Conference & Festival, organized and hosted by The Steamboat Institute, will feature artwork by a former president, a visit from a former presidential candidate and inspiring words from a Boston Marathon bombing survivor.

New this year, the event will show two films free for the public to attend.

“We are trying to broaden the overall audience for the event by broadening the message a bit,” organizer Jennifer Schubert-Akin said.

The events are hosted by The Steamboat Institute, a conservative group which, according to its website, promotes the “five basic founding principles of this great country: limited government, lower taxes, free markets, strong national defense and individual rights and responsibilities.”

The Freedom Conference sells out every year, and Schubert-Akin said about 25 $350 tickets are still available.

The conference is capped at 320 people.

“It’s small enough that people get to chat and interact with the speakers,” Schubert-Akin said.

The event kicks off at 8 p.m. Thursday with a screening of “Amazing Grace” in Gondola Square.

“Let There Be Light,” a film produced by Sean Hannity that has not yet been released, will be shown at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Chief Theater.

That film is also free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted for Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports.

“They’re both really great films,” Schubert-Akin said.

During the annual annual Friday night keynote at the top of the gondola, former presidential candidate Steve Forbes will speak about challenges facing the country, including changes to the tax code and the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s all about restoring prosperity,” Schubert-Akin said.

Other speakers will also health care.

“Our health care panel really is going to have some substance,” Schubert-Akin said. “It’s time for people to start acting like adults and to find solutions to these problems.”

During the day Friday, those who have a conference pass will be able to tour artwork created by former-President George W. Bush.

“Many people don’t realize that President George W. Bush turned out to be quite the artist after his presidency,” Schubert-Akin said.

Saturday’s keynote luncheon speaker will be Boston Marathon bombing survivor Rebekah Gregory, who was three feet away from the blast.

She lost a leg, but her young son was sitting at her feet and was shielded from the blast.

“She brings a perspective of someone who was determined not to be a victim,” Schubert-Akin said. “I just cannot wait to hear her.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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