Red Deer joins Earthdance

Red Deer will join with more than 100 communities across the world to give peace a chance.

Red Deer will join with more than 100 communities across the world to give peace a chance.

Earthdance, the world’s largest music and dance event for peace, is scheduled for Saturday, coinciding with International Peace Day.

Jan Underwood, Central Alberta Refugee Effort public affairs co-ordinator, said the event celebrates peace, the planet and people.

“There’s a feeling of togetherness and unity,” said Underwood.

“There are people all over the world who believe in peace and would love to see it happen.”

In Red Deer, the events take place from 3 to 7 p.m. at both Veterans’ Park and the Ross Street Patio.

“It’s a public and community intention for peace,” said Underwood.

“We’ve done this for eight years and each year there are more and more people who get involved.”

The event starts with Audrey Graham, a jazz pianist, and includes a peace banner activity, community artists on the Ross Street Patio, hula hooping, kids activities, a performance by the Red Deer Aboriginal Dance Troupe and community yoga.

Earthdance takes a serious turn at 4:45 p.m. when Olivia Smith sings a peace song, followed by a non-denominational prayer at 5 p.m., one which Underwood said is designed to be inclusive.

“One year we had a person who couldn’t attend the actual event, but she wanted a copy of the prayer so she could take it off into the mountains where she was going and just say it,” said Underwood.

“It’s people speaking about peace together and the intention and hope is that more people celebrate this kind of thing, we can try to have a ripple effect.”

After the prayer, Mayor Morris Flewwelling will give a proclamation for the international day of peace, followed by community speakers talking about peace.

The rest of the event features dancing to music recorded by local artists.

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