The inaugural Belfast Peace Festival invites everyone to bring friends, family and lots of energy to Miller and Court streets Friday evening and Saturday, Sept. 5 and 6. There will be activities for all ages, rain or shine.

All events are free of charge, except for food sold to offset the expenses of the festival; T-shirts also will be available for purchase throughout the event. According to festival founder Neva Allen, participants will “learn about peace in a fun way; opening up their hearts and minds to the possibility of peace.”

The Belfast Peace Festival will kick off Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. with a street dance, broadcast live by WERU-FM, on the lawn of First Church UCC, 8 Court St. (indoors at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 37 Miller St., in the event of rain). Dancers will enjoy music from the 1960s, echoing efforts to promote peace in our hearts without violence; come dance and enjoy refreshments, or bring your own picnic.

Saturday will begin outdoors at the First Church with a meditation and labyrinth, a 7 to 10 a.m. pancake breakfast and a sign-making workshop, followed by a public Peace Walk through Belfast. An 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. BBQ lunch will be available at the Unitarian Universalist Church, behind the library. The afternoon will offer a full schedule of music by Dave Johnson and friends, Voices for Peace and other local musicians; a Veterans for Peace panel discussion featuring its co-founder, Doug Rawlings, along with Dud Hendrick and Bruce Gagnon; drumming; and other festivities. A children’s tent for family activities will be open through the afternoon.

A 5:30 to 7 p.m. spaghetti supper will be held at the First Baptist Church on High Street; and the festival will close out with a 7 to 9 p.m. concert by well-known local musicians and friends, including Lynn Deeves from Portland.

Donations will be accepted. Everyone is invited to be a part of the festive atmosphere and embrace peace with their neighbors because the time is now and the place is here to imagine peace. For more information, call 323-5393 or visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or