Peace Fair returning for 2nd year

The inaugural Tiffin Peace Fair took place in June 2012 on Frost Parkway with a parade, informative displays, activities and music. Organizer Sister Paultette Schroeder has changed this year’s event to fall and moved it to Courthouse Square. She is hoping students from both universities will be able to participate.

“The purpose is the same: to empower people to step forward and think of themselves as peacemakers amid the violence all around them. Violence is out of control in our culture, and we must be proactive,” Schroeder said.

The YMCA is a partner for this year’s Peace Fair, set for 1-4 p.m. Sept. 28 in downtown Tiffin.

First on the agenda is the Peace Parade that is to begin on Court Street, progress to St. Joseph Church and return to the square via Jefferson Street. Mayor Aaron Montz is to lead the parade, and St. Francis is expected to appear.

There will be a wagon carrying senior citizens.

The parade will have a conga line and kaleidoscopes created by Tiffin Middle School students.

“St. John’s UCC is going to do their chair routine again,” Schroeder said. “They carry these plastic lawn chairs and then they march and clap them.”

Volunteers are to carry large images of well-known peacemakers, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day and Mother Theresa. Afterward, the pictures will be posted around the square, and children who can identify all of them can win a prize of $25.

“This year, the fair is expanded. We have more booths and interactive activities for the children. Every booth has something interactive to offer,” Schroeder said.

More than two dozen organizations are to have information about their work. Face painting, bracelet making, mural painting and a “minute to win it” game run by Calvert students are planned. “His Blank Canvas” from Upper Sandusky is to create special artwork, as well.

To raise funds for Project Peace, local supporters are making baked goods to be sold at the Peace Fair. Some craft items also are to be for sale, and popcorn. A new feature is a cake auction.

“A young man who just graduated from high school is going into auctioneering. … so he’s going to do his debut here at the Peace Fair with the cakes,” Schroeder said.

Entertainment includes keyboard music by Joel Starkey, the Sisters’ Choir, the Tiffin Washboard Band, Cecilia St. King, David Mitten, and Emily Stant from Tiffin University. Sister Jane Omlor is to introduce her Mother Earth puppet.

D.J. Denny Setzler will play recorded music in between performers.

Schroeder would like to see people put aside hard feelings about the courthouse demolition and take advantage of the green space that is now available.

About 200 people attended the 2012 Peace Fair, and Schroeder is hoping for more this year.

“The Peace Fair shall be a large event, I hope, wishing internal peace and empowerment for all who want to see an end to violence on all levels, especially in our midst and on an international level,” she said.

Later that day …

As a follow-up to the daytime events, St. Francis is to host “An Evening of Peacemaking” at 7 p.m. in the Convent Chapel.

Cecilia St. King is to provide live music to introduce and conclude the presentation. Last year, St. King performed some of her original songs and tunes by other artists.

The featured speaker is Toledo attorney, poet and activist, Terry Lodge. He has represented many clients in civil rights, civil liberty and environmental cases. He also has represented opponents of nuclear weapons, antiwar activists and opponents of mountain top removal for mining. Lodge is now working on strategies to challenge oil and gas “fracking” in Ohio.

“He does a lot of pro bono activism, but the title is so clever (“There’s No Cavalry; You’ve Arrived in the Nick of Time”). Prayer is good, but action is expected after prayer,” Schroeder said.

Admission to the evening program is free.