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5th Annual Peace Day in the Park Sunday

By Staff | Sep 18, 2012

Peace Day in the Park was created to acknowledge one thing – the fact that a single day of peace does, in fact, exist, said coordinator and creator Zachari VanDyne.

The event will be held Sunday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. – the closest Sunday to the International Day of Peace, which is Sept. 21.

It is the 5th Annual Peace Day in the Park, which started in 2008, and in 2010, Cape Coral Mayor John Sullivan publicly acknowledged “Peace Day in the Par” with an official proclamation.

“It is a day where we come together to understand and experience that peace isn’t something we dream about, it’s actually quantifiable. Peace is an experience and a choice,” VanDyne said. “It’s here, we are just building on it. The event is about experiencing peace – not imagining it.”

He said he created the day because of how peace has been part of his own journey.

“When I was most recently in India doing a march to Tibet a few years ago, I was partaking in a cause that I felt really compelled to do,” he said. “It is if not me, who; if not now when?”

When he was in the march, he said he got detained and put under house arrest, all for the Tibetan cause.

“When I was coming back to America I felt it was time to do something more,” he said. “I found out there actually was a calender-fixed day of peace, voted unanimously in 2001 by the United Nations.”

He meditating and thought about it, thinking that locally, it should be celebrated in a day in the park.

“I just wanted to get people together to celebrate the day and it has turned into a beautiful community communing,” he said.

An array of things will be going on – from music to entertainment even a beekeeper doing a workshop.

This is a free event to be enjoyed by all.

“Our big causes are food and blood- they save lives,” VanDyne said.

Two Big Red Buses will be there to get blood donations, and there is a Peace Food Collection, to benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank and ACT (Abuse Counseling and Treatment Center).

“We are featuring another amazing raffle with prizes like a Peace Quilt hand stitched by local artisan Mary Hansen.” he said. “This is truly a one of a kind slice of Americana. Each year, Hansen designs a single quilt specifically for the event, and only one is ever produced.”

Entertainers, including Strange Arrangement, Renee Hose, Cosmic Mountain and Freedom Hall, will perform, along with the music of various local deejays.

Competitive Edge Dance Studio from Cape Coral will appear, along with The Calendar Girls.

“We will also have one of the best animal communicators in the state – Christene Johnson,” he said.

The many activities include face painting, mediations, Initiatives, massages, information, education, crafts, workshops, classes and local vendors.

There will be paint stations where people can write their messages for peace, love, hope and gratitude, he said, so people are encouraged to wear paint-friendly clothes.

“We invite you to bring your drums, shakers, flutes and other instruments, hoops, and join us in conjuring and sending out the energy of peace unto the universe as we close with a community drum and dance circle,” he said.

The Drum and Organic Music Circle starts at 5:30 p.m. at the end of the event.

“We could not have this event without our sponsors,” he said.

They include Competitive Edge Dance Studio, Harmonys Treasure, Fasco Solar and SWFLnatuarally.com.

There will be food available, and animals at the event.

“Bring a blanket, bring a book, bring your family and some sunscreen. Come hang out and enjoy this unique experience in the park.”

The event is free and open to the public. For information, call 560-5224.