Convention 2021 information
The convention hotel is the Boston Park Plaza, 50 Park Plaza at Arlington St., Boston. The convention rate is $189 single, double, triple or quad. Suites are $389 and up. Attendees should call the Central Reservations Office (617-379-7129). Please ask for “Freedom From Religion Annual Convention.” The hotel will discount self-parking to $30 per day at Motor Mart Garage.
The cut-off date for reserving rooms is 5 p.m. Eastern on Oct. 18, 2021. FFRF urges you to plan ahead and reserve early to avoid disappointment.
In addition to offering several complimentary food or dessert receptions, the convention will include four optional group meals. FFRF does not mark up meal prices, which include 17 percent gratuity, 10 percent taxable administrative fee and 7 percent sales tax.
A robust and tasty box lunch, $60, will be offered at Friday noon for participant convenience, concurrent with Andrew Seidel’s Christian nationalism workshop.
• Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap
• Turkey BLT Wrap
• Grilled Vegetable Wrap
Wraps will be served with roasted vegetable penne salad, Cape Cod potato chips, a piece of whole fruit, a freshly baked cookie and choice of assorted soft drinks or bottled water.
A Southern barbeque buffet, $65, with vegetable chili and cornbread muffin, rotisserie chicken with BBQ sauce and greens, carved brisket with mac and cheese and fruit kabobs will take place from 5–7 p.m. Friday.
FFRF’s Non-Prayer Breakfast, $45, includes scrambled eggs, bacon and breakfast potatoes, assorted pastries, juice, coffee and tea, with vegetarian/vegan options.
The Saturday banquet dinner of $95 will include Maple Glazed Statler Breast of Chicken with buttermilk mashed potatoes, seasonable autumn baby green salad with roasted beets, quinoa, goat cheese, apple cider vinaigrette, and Boston Cream Pie. The vegetarian option is Butternut Squash Ravioli.
A two-hour lunch on your own is scheduled for Saturday to permit some fresh air, sightseeing or relaxation between events.
The Boston Park Plaza itself offers a variety of dining options: Kozy Korner for drinks, lunch or dinner in Off the Common, the uber-modern steakhouse Strega Italiano just off the lobby, and classic Irish pub J.J. O’Connor’s, just outside the entrance. The Back Bay Boston neighborhood offers a variety of restaurants.
Plan time to sightsee
The Boston Park Plaza is in the officially recognized neighborhood of Back Bay Boston, built on reclaimed land in the Charles River basin. It’s home to a number of restaurants, glitzy stores, skyscrapers, the commercial strips of Newbury Street and Boylston Street, the residential brownstones of Marlborough Street and Copley Square, a grassy plaza within walking distance. The hotel is about a mile from the Charles River Esplanade, a waterfront haven for runners.
You may wish to take a self-guided Freedom Trail tour of historic Boston sites, or sign up on your own for a guided tour on Thursday or Sunday at thefreedomtrail.org or choose any number of other tour options.
Covid-19 rules – vaccinations required
The event is limited to FFRF members and their guests who are fully vaccinated* for Covid-19. Please be sure to indicate on the registration form whether you have been vaccinated. FFRF reserves the right to request proof of vaccination. *Only exception: If you are under a physician’s explicit instructions not to be vaccinated for Covid-19 due to health/immunity issues.
The great news is that atheists as a group in the United States are the most likely and willing to be vaccinated. We fully expect the event to reach “herd immunity.” FFRF staff members are fully vaccinated.
Please note that the Boston Plaza Hotel is adhering to all federal, state and local guidelines and does not at this time require its staff to be vaccinated.
It currently does require them to be masked. The hotel has indicated it will follow whatever protocol, as yet unknown, is required by the government at the time of FFRF’s convention.
Although FFRF will not require masking for vaccinated individuals, unless CDC, Massachusetts or Boston rules change and require them, convention participants of course are free to wear masks. FFRF will be offering its popular masks, with the slogans “FFRF,” “Science is Golden” and “In Science I Trust,” at no cost during the convention.
The conference room will be set up for about 800 seats in the usual theater format, which does not allow for social distancing. However, FFRF will inform participants of any requirements requested by authors during book signings, such as masking or social distancing.