By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Over 60 organizations will come together at the 29th Annual Fall Peace Festival creating a cornucopia of entertainment, information and items for holiday shoppers. The event is free and open to everyone.
The family-friendly festival will be held on Saturday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., at the Civic Center Music Hall’s “Hall of Mirrors,” 201 N. Walker, in downtown Oklahoma City.
“Visitors will find tables and booths of local groups and organizations active in social justice, human service, human rights, environmental sustainability and peace,” said Nathaniel Batchelder, director of Oklahoma City’s Peace House.
“The Peace Festival showcases the good efforts of private groups working in those areas.”
The festival will feature a diverse collection of people and interests, which will provide free informative materials, refreshments and a wide array of crafts and other items for sale.
Visitors will discover fair trade and homemade goods from local sources and from around the globe. Items for sale include pottery, crafts, organic coffee from Central America, carvings and hand-made items from Africa.
Also available will be the creations of local artists and craftspeople, books, calendars, t-shirts and membership opportunities.
The daylong event will offer an adult supervised children’s activity room hosted by the Peace Education Institute. Activities for kids include a story quilt, floor puzzles, games, and face painting.
Conna Wilkinson, Peace Education Institute director and event cosponsor said, “Live entertainment by local musicians and fair trade goods on sale make this a popular event for supporters of human rights, social justice, environmental sustainability, and peace.”
Other festival sponsors include Bob Lemon, the Social Justice Committee First Unitarian Church, Kay Adair, Home Creations, the Oklahoma Observer and The Peace House.
Adam Leathers, OK-CADP co-chair said, “The annual Peace Festival is one of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty’s (OK-CADP) most anticipated events for sharing information about our vital mission.
“This event provides us the opportunity to discuss accurate facts about issues such as how often families of murder victims request alternative punishments over death and that the death penalty does not deter violent crimes.”
Festival entertainment will be provided by Oklahoma musicians Steve McLinn, founder of Ojas Recording Studio and Jahruba Lambeth, world-class hand drumming artist.
There will also be a solo performance by classically trained musician Ali Soltani on the oud, a traditional Middle Eastern stringed instrument.
Batchelder added, “Visitors are inspired by the community of local groups and people making a difference in our world and right here in Oklahoma City.”
The festival brings a distinct atmosphere of diversity and tolerance to the metro area. Cultural and spiritual traditions including Buddhist, Baha’i, Moslem, Quaker, Religions United, Unitarian Universalists and others will be represented.
Scott Hamilton, Executive Director for Cimarron Alliance Equality Center, an organization that works to promote equality for Oklahoma’s LGBT community said, “Every year we get to meet people who might otherwise never know about our work.
“I wish everyone in Oklahoma City could experience such a powerful spirit of cooperation as exists at the Peace Festival.”
Terry Dennison, Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma Director of Educational Services said. “We want to help people understand that sexuality is a basic, integral part of life.
“The decisions we make every day regarding sexuality can have profound, long-lasting effects regarding issues such as life planning, self-determination, and economic security.”
The Oklahoma Vegetarian Society will offer homemade snacks, lunch items and recipes and information about the benefits of a plant-based diet, without meat.
Gail Sloop, art educator at Sequoyah Elementary School in Oklahoma City and regular event volunteer said, “Children need to see adults modeling activities such as the Fall Peace Festival in their community.”
For more information, call 405-524-5577 or visit peacehouseok.org.