Project Peace, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Francis, is inviting the public to attend the first Tiffin Peace Fair noon-4 p.m. June 23 outdoors along Frost Parkway in Tiffin. An Evening of Peace, featuring Joanne Tawfilis, UNESCO commissioner, is to take place at 7 p.m. in St. Francis Chapel on the St. Francis Community campus in Tiffin.
Sister Paulette Schroeder, founder of Project Peace, is expecting 15 or 16 festival booths, including an olive wood carver from Akron, ceramic tiles and origami. Participants can place ribbons on a large paper mache dove as a pledge to be proactive for peace.
Other booths are to focus on yoga, tai chi and health-related topics.
Displays and information on human trafficking, Guantanamo, Pax Christi, the Peace Project and Vote to Amend also are to be available. St. John's UCC is to set up a table of fair trade merchandise. Calvert students are to present an anti-bullying project. At an environmental booth, Jim Bailey is to illustrate the environmental impact of resource usage in the United States.
"The kids from the charter school (Bridges Academy) are doing graphs with 100 jelly beans to show where the money in the United States goes. They'll let people have a chance to see where they think it goes and then show the real chart," Schroeder said. "They also made a huge, big mandala of hands; every hand in the school."
The parade is step off at 1 p.m. to begin the festivities. Schroeder said Tiffin Middle School also made a mandala to carry in the parade. Children age 8 and up are invited to decorate their bicycles for a contest and ride in the parade. Judges at the Knights of Columbus on East Perry Street will choose the winners. There is no entry fee. Bicycles and other parade participants can register the day of the parade or in advance by calling (419) 447-0435, ext. 136.
"Everybody is invited to be in the parade. We will line up at the old train depot at noon, and the mayor will head the parade," Schroeder said.
The route is a .6 mile circle along Frost Parkway, past the K of C, to Clay Street and back to Frost Parkway. A wagon is to be available for people who cannot walk the entire route but want to take part. Lions Club and Rotary Club are expected to be represented. Pax Christi and a Quaker contingent are to participate. The sisters will have signs available for people to carry, or marchers can make their own. Schroeder said negative political messages have no place at the event.
"This is all meant to encourage, affirm, empower people," she said.
The festival activities are to include a magic presentation by Rodney Biggert, music by Twisted Strands and Brad Kepler, children's games, crafts from the Middle East, food and lemonade. A bouquet and garden stone are to be raffled off. Twenty international murals from the Art Miles Mural Project are to be on display. People also can create their own designs on a 100-foot community mural, using acrylic paint. Schroeder is hoping to inspire every person attending to explore their inner power and decide on their own ways to promote peace. It may require curbing one's language, repairing broken relationships, avoiding gossip, reporting unlawful behavior and obeying community codes
Schroeder said people may unconsciously form elitist attitudes and judge those who have different preferences than their own. Adopting more tolerant thought patterns is one way to promote peace, she believes. Because the media tend to focus on scandals, disasters and crime, readers may need to seek out more positive stories for motivation and inspiration.
"We're trying to help people to not back away from peace making but to be part of the solution to end the violence around us. If it's not happening so much in Tiffin, thanks be to God, we can be a proactive people and show other places how to build harmony, good relationships and cooperation within our town," Schroeder said.
In the evening, Joanne Tawfilis is to give a program at 7 p.m. in the St. Francis Convent chapel.