In the 1700s, the New River guided kidnapped Radford heroine Mary Draper Ingles home. Now, in the traditional retelling of the young woman’s harrowing experience, the town’s July dramatic reenactment will be set beside the river, making it practically a character of its own.

Steve Frey,
Contributing Writer

“Walk to Freedom: The Mary Draper Ingles Story” is moving closer to the river for this year’s performance. Yes, the acclaimed outdoor drama will be held right next to the New River, the very river Mary followed on her courageous journey back to freedom and family over hundreds of treacherous miles.

The new site at 101 University Drive, Lot FF, at Radford University, is right next to the peaceful flow of the New, and the steep inclines across the river will remind the audience of the cliffs near Eggleston where Mary was found at the end of her trek. The site is also just down the river from the Ingles’ farm and former ferry crossing where Mary and her family assisted thousands of families making their way across the frontier along the Wilderness Road.

The river provides the perfect backdrop for the outdoor drama and will help to vividly illustrate Mary’s intrepid struggle to find her way back home using the river as her guide.

Performance dates have been set for July 14, 27, 28, and August 4, and tickets can be purchased online at If a show is canceled because of weather on any of the July dates, tickets will be…

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