The 15th Annual SWFL Peace Day Celebration will be held on Sunday, September 25 at Wa-Ke-Hatchee Park in Fort Myers.
The celebration of International Peace Day will run from 10:00am to 5:00pm, with a kick-off event for those who wish to start early.
“It’s hard to put into words the feelings I feel as I create a project that started with a few hundred people and has grown into an annual staple.” said event creator Zachary vanDyne. “It is indescribable and beautiful to behold. It’s the 15th annual celebration, bringing a day of peace to the Southwest Florida community. This year we were able to increase donations and offer activities during Peace Day for the organizations we support.”
This is the first year the event has featured live mermaids and there will be an artists’ village, allowing many talented local artists to showcase and sell their work. Each year there are new vendors and a greater variety of foods to meet every diet choice.
“Each year, Peace Day has expanded its reach, turned outward to include and connect with more people, and create opportunities for greater understanding and communication.” said Van Dyne. “I am always grateful for the people here in Southwest Florida, as well as those who travel from afar to experience a day of peace, and who have worked for peace and helped create it and every year after spread outside.”
This year’s theme is transformation, which organizers say was chosen from a long-ago prophecy that predicted that people of different races would gather to unite and restore balance to the earth – and that that time is now is.
“Every year I pray to Spirit to give me the subject.” said Van Dyne. “This year Spirit said the theme was transformation and spoke about the Rainbow Prophecy and said the time is now. The rainbow prophecy said that a generation of people of many colours, many backgrounds and many faiths would come together to unite, restore and usher in a time of balance for the earth. Peace is transformative and comes with understanding through communication. What unites us is greater than what separates us.”
This year’s free, family and pet-friendly celebration features fantastic food trucks, vendor and artist booths, live music, entertainment and ample free parking
Here’s what’s happening on Peace Day this year:
∫ 7:30 a.m.: Kick-off to Peace Day with the “Ultimate Breathing Experience” Candace Tranter leads a Breathing Peace Empowerment for 100 people to focus on the breath and capture intent for massive change for humanity.
∫ Opening Ceremony of the Druid Elders
∫ Sales and craft stands
∫ Delicious Food and Sweet Treats: Vegetarian, Vegan and Omnivore
∫ Live music and DJs all day: Hosted by Jenni B (All Smiles Entertainment) and starring David “Wear” Delli Paoli, Family Music Time, Violet Midnight, Luna Muni (violin), The Markleys and B-Love
∫ Live entertainment with the Calendar Girls, the Belly & Hula Connection SWFL, Poets Realm and Luna Moonz
∫ A Peace Day FIRST: Mermaids sponsored by Freedom Roofing will be making a splash locally on Peace Day!
∫ Dog park for our furry friends
∫ Massage, Reiki and crystal bowl sound baths
∫ Living Universal Medicine Wheel
∫ Meditative Peace Grid for Transformation
∫ Education talks
∫ Local non-profit organizations
∫ Food and Supplies Drive for ACT (Abuse and Counseling Treatment) and GCHS (Gulf Coast Humane Society)
∫ Peace Blood Drive
∫ Closing Drum Ceremony with Ernel Grant
Especially for the kids:
∫ Family Time Music Singalong based on Tai Chi
∫ Yoga for children
∫ Bouncy castles and fairground rides
∫ Painting/art activities
∫ Wa-Ke-Hatchee Playgrounds
∫ Face painting
∫ Free gifts
For children of all ages:
∫ Butterfly tent
∫ Chill-out areas with umbrellas by Umbrella Mafia
∫ Mocktails and kid-friendly drinks from Millennial Brewing
∫ Interactive live art stations
∫ Photo Op stations
∫ Volleyball and tennis courts
“Peace is an umbrella we all fit under” Added Van Dyne. “As we have said before, there is more that unites us than what separates us. It is our natural instinct that we all want to be happy and no one wants to suffer regardless of race, religion, age etc.; Therefore, Peace Day and coming together on Peace Day is an opportunity for us to continue to inspire, educate, and unite in that most fundamental and fundamental desire…the desire for peace.
“Community is made up of all walks of life and we continue to create a day of peace in which everyone can participate regardless of race, religion, age, financial status, education, etc. Peace Day has always been and always will be a free event for the community.”
Wa-Ke-Hatchee Park is located at 16760 Bass Road, Fort Myers. Attendees are invited to bring a blanket or chair, relax on the lawn to great music and entertainment, and enjoy a peaceful day with friends and family.
15th Annual Peace Day sponsors include Thinking Peace, Helping It Grow: CasaShanti, Grand Illusion, Mitra 9, Millennial Brewing, Freedom Roofing, Neenie’s House, Iona Cannabis Clinic, Zak’s Jewelers, Mystic Moon, What’s Up SWFL, Bath Fitter, Solar Bear, and EPEC.
– Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj