Elizabeth Siani

Staff Writer

Sunday September 24th, 2017; a day dedicated to provoking peace in Lancaster.
Lancaster Peace Fest was held downtown on North Queen Street. The event
consisted of stands from different organizations, guest speakers, and musicians that promote
world peace. The festival was a welcoming environment for people of all ages, attended
by children and adults.
Many of the organizations that were representing peace through their cause at the
Lancaster Peace Fest had a religious affiliation. This is supported in one of the brochures that
was being handed out entitled Mennonite Central Committee Material Resources Center that
briefly explains the organization Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). MCC is an organization
that, “Shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic
human needs and working for peace and justice” as stated in the Mennonite Central Committee
Material Resources Center brochure. Another organization that was advocating for peace and
nonviolence is The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP). This umbrella organization had
representatives at Lancaster Peace Fest who seemed incredibly passionate about their program
and were capable of talking in detail about their purpose. The program began in a prison and its
goal is to find alternatives to violence, not just for prisoners, but for all people. The workshop
that AVP hosts is two and a half days that they dedicated to learning how to handle and control
violence within oneself and others. These are just two of the many stands that were dedicated to
their organization’s idea of creating peace.
Guest speakers that attended Lancaster Peace Fest included Jacquette Hunter, John Dear,
and many others. Jacquette Hunter is a Millersville University alumni. She is a former English
teacher who is an advocate for peace. John Dear dedicated his time speaking to stressing that
violence is not the answer. He has been in jail more than once, fighting for the cause of peace. He
gave a moderately lengthy speech addressing the things that he believes the world needs to
change in order to create worldwide peace. He believes that all of the money used toward
funding the military should be used instead, to end poverty. All though he presented many ideas
to end worldwide violence and create peace, there were not many solutions given toward the
local aspect of ending violence given that the event he spoke at was referred to as Lancaster
Peace Fest.
There were a few groups of musicians who played at Lancaster Peace Fest, one going by the
title, Music for Everyone Strings. This group covered three songs on their instruments: Don’t
Stop Believin’, Viva La Vida, and Hallelujah. These musicians were a group of relatively young
children playing cover songs on string instruments. These youthful representatives of peace
showed passion and dedication through their music.
Overall Lancaster Peace Fest was a community driven event that brought together
different types of people working towards the common cause of Peace and united world.