Thanksgiving comes early today for area pagans, who celebrate the annual Pagan Pride Mabon Festival. Mabon which means "Thanksgiving" in Celtic is also designed to dispel myths about the religion. "Every day, I have to educate people that we're not devil-worshipers," says James Harper of Akron's Church of the Spiral Oak. "When you say pagan or witch, people automatically think we're baby-eaters. We're not. We're just like anybody else."
The festival features crystal-ball meditations, fire-spinning demonstrations, and live music by Burning Sage and Fey Fire. Nearly 40 vendors sell gyros, pizza, and barbecued chicken, while pagans compete in archery contests and jousting matches. At 7:45 p.m., a Thanksgiving picnic (with turkey and ham) is served. Harper expects nearly 1,000 pagans to attend. "There are more of us than most people realize," he says. "You can't swing a cat without hitting a witch."
Sat., Sept. 23, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.