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Peace Day in the Park

By Staff | Sep 16, 2016

Residents and visitors can help spread peace at an event this weekend in Cape Coral.

The 9th Annual Peace Day in the Park will be held Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Jaycee Park. Organized in honor of the International Day of Peace – recognized every year on Sept. 21 – it will feature dozens of vendors, live entertainment and demonstrations, activities for all ages and more.

“What people can really expect is a family-friendly unity and community celebration in honor of International Day of Peace,” Zachari VanDyne, founder and event coordinator, said Thursday.

“They’re going to experience and recognize that culture and feel good,” he added.

The event is free and open to the public; pets are welcome to attend.

Yoga will be offered from 8 to 10 a.m., then again from 6 to 8 p.m. along with other activities.

“This year’s theme is ‘The Environment,'” VanDyne said.

New this year, Florida’s nine indigenous nations will be represented.

“They’re all coming to Peace Day to bridge the gap between the indigenous culture and American culture,” he said, adding that the nine nations’ spiritual leader will perform a blessing at 10 a.m.

An estimated 10,000 people attended last year’s event.

The vendors range from individuals, artisans and crafters, to businesses and non-profits.

“The vendors are all going to be vendors that benefit, promote or support peace, wellbeing and happiness,” VanDyne said. “And most of our vendors are going to be local.”

Live entertainment will be provided by musicians like the band Old Friends, which organizers compared to the Grateful Dead, and the award-winning flutist Kat Epple. The local dance team The Calendar Girls will take the stage to perform, along with demonstrations such as belly dancing.

“We have some other surprises and musicians throughout the day,” he said.

There will also be open mic slots available for those interested.

A children’s zone will offer arts and crafts, face painting, activities and more for the youth.

“There’s also going to be some rides,” VanDyne said.

There will be a blood drive on site, along with donations collected for a food drive. Pantries like the Cape Coral Caring Center, Abuse Counseling and Treatment and the Veterans Village will benefit.

“We’re encouraging everybody to bring cans and dried goods,” he said.

A pet food and supply drive will also be held for the Gulf Coast Humane Society.

“Everything that we take in, it stays local,” VanDyne said.

For the four-legged family members, there will be a pet trainer, pet masseuse and more.

“We’ll be doing pet adoptions this year,” he said. “We’re going to have pet vendors, as well.”

Food and drinks will be available for purchase, or people can bring their own.

“We do have off-site parking this year,” VanDyne said.

Three shuttles will run between Jaycee Park and the Big John’s plaza.

Organizers welcome people to stop by.

“This is a day to have fun and experience all the beauty and peace that surrounds us here in Southwest Florida,” he said. “There’s going to be something for everyone.”

For more information, call (239) 560-5224, email SWFL4Peace@email.com or visit online at: www.peaceday-in-thepark.com/. Also on Facebook at “9th Annual Peace Day In The Park.”