Druids plan ritual in Athens

ATHENS, Tenn. (WDEF) — This weekend Druids are holding a religious ceremony in Athens that is gaining a lot of attention.

Angela Wilson is an Archdruid. She says Druids practice a nature based religion.

“We are very much about conservation of the earth and taking care and being good stewards of the community,” Wilson said.

On Saturday, she is organizing a religious ceremony at the Market Park Pavilion in Athens.

“We are doing an ancient pre-celtic ritual that honors the deceased, our ancestors and it also ushers in our New Year,” Wilson said.

Since the announcement, Wilson says there has already been backlash and a planned protest. She says some people don’t understand her religion.

“They think it is some sort of satanic demonic type of religion, when we are all about building communities up, building people up,” Wilson said.

Seth Sumner, the Athens City Manager, says the park will be fenced off and police officers will be working the event.

“We do have a plan in place already and we are prepared to elevate our response, should the need arise. We are certainly hoping that will not be called for,” Sumner said.

He says they’ve dealt with situations like this in the past.

“We are accustomed to planning large scale events and making sure the public is protected,” Sumner said.

As for Wilson, she expects there to be a large turnout.

The ceremony will be from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. on October 27. For more information, click here.

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