Have you ever heard of the Free Hugs Project? It's coming to Central New York and the Oriskany area this July.

Free Hugs Project founder Ken E. Nwadike Jr will be outdoors under a big tent on Thursday, July 22nd at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County. That is located at 121 Second Street in Oriskany.

A peace activist, motivational speaker, and video journalist, Nwadike is known as the “Free Hugs Guy” online. His goal is to motivate people to spread love, inspire change and raise awareness of social issues.

The Free Hugs Project launched in 2014 in response to the Boston Marathon bombing. According to the Rome Sentinel, it gained popularity in 2016 as Nwadike made major news headlines for his peace-keeping efforts and de-escalating violence during protests, riots, and political rallies.

His ‘Free Hugs’ videos have been viewed by hundreds of millions on Facebook and YouTube, according to the CCE."

If you'd like to attend this event, people are encouraged to register quickly. The event is free.

People may register, or receive additional information, by calling 315-736-3394. The Cornell Cooperative Extension grounds open at 4:30 p.m. with food trucks and a Hoffman hot dog stand available for dinner. The program begins at 6 p.m. Seating is available for 400 people, but you must register for each person coming to get tickets.

Registrants should bring proof of registration via printed out document or photograph on phone. The CCE is handicapped accessible.

All NY Forward COVID19 public health guidelines and safety precautions will be followed at this event, including social distancing and mask requirements for unvaccinated people. You can also learn more online here.

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