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Give Peace a Chance

Downtown hosts an alternative to the war-mongering Air Show.

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Cleveland Peace Show organizer Tim Smith says he’s used to people calling him a dirty hippie. The annual fest, which has taken place on Labor Day for six years now, wouldn’t be complete without a few drivers telling the peaceniks what they think of their party in the park. “They honk and shout, ‘Hippies go home,’” says Smith.

Smith expects the downtown gathering to be a bit more proactive this year. “We want to challenge people to create peaceful solutions,” he says. “Hopefully, it will trigger people to learn more about nonviolence and peacemaking at work and at home.” The Peace Show was originally conceived as an alternative to the holiday weekend’s annual Air Show -- which “used to be a non-military event,” says Smith. “You can celebrate aeronautics and aviation without using weapons of mass destruction. They use fighter jets. The main reason they are built is to destroy people.” Today’s family-oriented outing includes storytelling, poetry readings, and kids’ games -- all designed to teach us how to live together in harmony. Plus, socially conscious groups like I-TAL, the Waterband, and the Very Knees perform all day long. “We need to present the truth,” says Smith.
Mon., Sept. 3, 12-5 p.m.

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