MORNING VIEW, Ky.– On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, thousands of former President Donald Trump's supporters flocked to a farm a half-hour south of Cincinnati.
Among the pastures and bales of hay, banners directing expletives at President Joe Biden adorned trucks and fences.
This was a celebration organized by former lawyer Eric Deters, a conservative firebrand, podcaster and self-described "legal outlaw." He's no stranger to controversy. A judge in 2020 banned him from the Hamilton County courthouse for comments Deters made on his podcast, "The Bulldog."
Deters didn't see anything wrong with organizing a Trump pep rally on 9/11. It was the first Freedom Fest, something he told the crowd he wants to hold annually on his 138-acre farm in the rural outpost of Morning View, Ky., just south of Independence.
Speaking Saturday night were former Trump advisor and Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle, who is currently dating Donald Trump Jr., and Fox News personality Tomi Lahren.
People came from all over the region, as far away as Batavia and Fairfield, united in their fealty to Trump, distrust of the COVID-19 vaccines and belief in the debunked myths surrounding the 2020 election and Trump's discredited claims of a stolen election. No evidence exists of widespread voter fraud.
"We're the outcasts of the country these days," said Bill Albright.
The 57-year-old traveled from his home in Batavia with his girlfriend Kathi Brinegar. They gripped flag poles on the hillside where Deters had built a stage and amphitheater, the wind whipping their large flags that said "2020 was rigged", "Unmasked, unmuzzled, unvaccinated, unafraid," and "Joe Biden sucks."
In the crowd were several members of the Proud Boys, wearing their yellow and black colors and polo shirts. The Proud Boys group is designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Both the SPLC and Anti-Defamation League describe the Proud Boys' all-male membership as known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric.
During the speeches, one man in the Proud Boy colors flashed the 'OK' symbol, which the Anti-Defamation League and other civil rights groups say has been co-opted into a white supremacist symbol.
Hundreds of motorcycles thundered over the rolling hillsides and parked in front of the stage, forming a barricade between the stage and audience.
One of the bikers, Dwayne Turner, 51, of Goshen, told The Enquirer he was on the Capitol steps in Washington, D.C. during the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6. He said he didn't enter the Capitol, though.
He traveled to D.C. that day for Boots on the Ground Bikers for Trump organization to provide security for different groups.
"I was right on the steps," Turner said. "They made it out more than what it really was. The mainstream media has made it out to be an insurrection, to me it was a few people who were pissed off."
But many of the people who were at Freedom Fest said they weren't part of any group. About 100 cars and motorcycles, most decked out in pro-Trump, anti-vaccine regalia traveled up Ky. 17 for about 10 miles to Deters farm in a caravan.
Shari Reynolds, dressed head-to-toe in stars and stripes, walked among the cars pulled over at Pioneer Park in southern Covington. She was getting the caravan to Deters' farm into order, telling cars to put their blinkers on.
She said the caravan just kind of came together.
"It takes one person to organize somebody and you tell one person, and then you tell one person," Reynolds said. "The worst thing you can do is be silent."
Reynolds, 51, and her husband Patrick, 38, of Deer Park, like many of the thousands at Freedom Fest believe Trump won the 2020 election and distrust the media.
So then where do they get their information?
"I don't have any news sources," Patrick Reynolds said.
"Just research," Shari Reynolds said.
They do see news stories, Patrick Reynolds said, but "you have to research the information."
The keynote speakers, Lahren and Guilfoyle, in their speeches hit on the usual talking points, railing against vaccine mandates, praising Trump, slamming Biden and blaming "cancel culture" for silencing conservatives.
The media wasn't popular at Freedom Fest.
"The media has become so consumed by their own agenda that they've lost sight of their responsibility to report, to inform and to serve, but they sure do love their little fact checks," Guilfoyle said. "I could say Kentucky is a beautiful state, magnificent, and they would fact check me."
Many who showed up to Deters' farm simply wanted to gather with like-minded people. Mark Hunter stood by his white SUV in Pioneer Park ready to caravan to Deters' farm. As he affixed a Gadsden flag with the Don't Tread On Me label and coiled rattlesnake and an American Flag to his car, Hunter, 65, of Independence, described why he went to Freedom Fest.
"I'm here because I love America," Hunter said. "This event is to bring unity and to stand for freedom and liberty and that we should never accept or take security and sacrifice freedom for that. Sometimes just showing up makes a difference."