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Peace-filled celebrations in Honokaa (Sept 13-21)

MEDIA RELEASE

The United Nations International Day of Peace and global ceasefire is officially Sept. 21, but Honokaa town celebrates peace with a week-long series of thoughtful, educational, and fun events.

Sponsored by the Peace Committee of Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, activities for all ages include a student poster contest and gallery reception at C&J Woods, book talks, a 5K Run for Peace, meditation workshop, a large community festival with food booths, live music, magic, cirque entertainment and bon dancing. The highlight of the day is the Peace Day Parade, now in its 7th year, starting at a new time, 4 p.m.

Also new this year is “Peace in the Streets,” produced in partnership with the Honokaa Business Association and Mamane Street merchants. Prior to the parade, Peace in the Streets offers live music on four stages, a scavenger hunt through town with prizes for winners, Jump and Slide inflatable bouncer and train rides for keiki.

Special guests of the Peace Committee are members of the Sasaki ohana from Japan, peace advocates related to Sadako Sasaki (“Sadako and the Thousand Cranes”), a little girl who became a peace icon after the bombing of Hiroshima. Before she died at age 12, of radiation-caused leukemia, Sadako and her friends folded origami cranes, each with a wish for peace and healing.

Earlier this year, the Peace Committee launched the “199,000 Cranes” project, to gather 199,000 origami cranes in the next 12 months (one for each victim of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings). In 2014, the cranes will be sent to Nagasaki and Hiroshima (to be placed with Sadako’s statue in Memorial Peace Park).

Groups and individuals committed to donating 1,000 cranes can apply for an invitation to participate in the parade at info@peacedayparade.org. Others can volunteer to carry and display cranes during the festivities.

The 7th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace are presented by the Peace Committee of the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in cooperation with the United Nations and numerous community organizations.

The Peace Committee continues to seek additional support, and information on sponsorship, contributions (including Silent Auction items) and purchasing collectible 2013 T-shirts is available at www.PeaceDayParade.org or by email info@peacedayparade.org.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

* Friday, Sept. 13

Deadline to enter the Student Peace Poster Contest. All students, grades K-12 are encouraged to enter their best expression of this year’s theme: “Prepare for Peace.” Throughout history, nations have worked hard to prepare for war, natural disasters and other emergencies — but how do people prepare for peace? Cash prizes are awarded by grade levels, with “Best of Show” winning an overnight stay with parents at luxurious Waianuhea Bed and Breakfast in Ahualoa. Entry forms for students and teachers available at www.peacedayparade.org. Posters will be on display at the Peace Day Festival, where winners will be announced.

* Friday, Sept. 13

Peace Poster Gallery display reception. C&J Woods will host a reception and display of winning and other select Peace Poster Contest entries from previous years, 5-7 p.m. Light refreshments will be served and the New Dharma Band will be performing. Various Mamane Street storefronts will also be exhibiting Peace Poster Contest entries from years past.

* Sunday, Sept. 15

A day of “Mindfulness for Peace in Your Daily Life,” a group of meditation practitioners and leaders will introduce their different disciplines via an engaging panel discussion, a mindful meal and small group meditation instruction and practice sessions. The day-long workshop takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the peaceful and historical Hamakua Jodo Mission in Paauhau Mauka. Cost per person is $25 including a delicious vegetarian lunch.

In addition to the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist perspective, participating meditation leaders include: Father Walther Dettweiler, Retired Episcopal Minister, Kamuela; Ruth Bernaert, Yoga and Meditation teacher, Ahualoa; Kathleen Golden, Vipassana Meditation teacher, Volcano; Amelia Walker, follower of Thich Nhat Hahn’s Order of Interbeing, and panelists representing other meditation perspectives to be announced.

Registration forms are available online at www.peacedayparade.org, or call 775-1064. Advance registration is required by Friday, Sept. 13.

* Thursday, Sept. 19

“Read for Peace,” presented in partnership with Friends of Honokaa Library, takes place at 5 p.m. in the Library, with good conversation over light refreshments. The book selection for 2013 is “Sarah’s Key,” by Tatiana de Rosnay. Friends of the Honokaa Library will also generously offer an interactive book giveaway at the Peace Day Festival again this year.

* Saturday, Sept. 21

Peace in the Streets

From noon to 3:30 p.m., early birds can enjoy in-town activities all along Mamane Street, with fun activities for the whole family, a scavenger hunt with a $100 cash and other great prizes, the ZooChooTrain, Jump & Slide inflatable bouncers, continuous live music up and down the street and more.

Run for Peace

Register at 2:30 p.m. for a fun run/walk through town, just before the Parade starts. A great way for runners to show support for Peace Day and share the experience with friends, the 5K Run for Peace route begins at Honokaa High and Intermediate School, takes a long loop out towards Waipio Valley and back. Cost is $25 per person which includes a Peace Day T-shirt with cash prizes to be awarded to division winners. Entry fee will be waived for high school cross-country runners or teams can use the event for fund-raising. For information or to register in advance, visit www.peacedayparade.org

Peace Day Parade

Stepping off at 4 p.m., the 7th Annual Parade for the United Nations International Day of Peace has been called a “moving stage” of music, dance and entertainment-with-a-message, as 30+ performing acts, floats, robots and special guests march, drum, dance, play and sing their way from Honokaa High and Intermediate School down to Mamane Street and up to the County Sports Complex. This year’s highlights include clowns, unicyclists, stilt-walkers and costumed cirque performers from Hiccup Circus, colorful Prince Dance troupe, a magician, a tribute the 75th reunion of Honokaa High School’s Class of 1938, the dynamic drums of Ryukyukoku Daiko Kohala and thousands of origami cranes to honor Sadako’s family, special guests of the Peace Committee.

Peace Day Festival

From 5-8 p.m., immediately after the parade, the Peace Day Festival fills the County Sports Complex with action, food booths, fun activities and great entertainment onstage, kicked off by the Grammy-winning Honokaa Jazz Band. Rev. Kosho Yagi will start the festivities with ringing of the peace bell, followed by more music, hula, the Magic and Comedy of Bruce Meyers, the amazing tricks and talents of Hiccup Circus and more. Family activities include ZooChooTrain rides, Jump & Slide bouncers, games, numerous food, instruction on crane folding and other craft and info booths, giveaways of bicycle safety helmets and peace books, Silent Auction to benefit the Peace Committee and a large community Bon Dance for everyone to join. This is a drug and alcohol free event. No coolers.

The 7th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace are presented by the Peace Committee of the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in cooperation with the United Nations and numerous community organizations.

The Peace Committee continues to seek additional support, and information on sponsorship, contributions (including Silent Auction items) and purchasing collectible 2013 T-shirts is available at www.PeaceDayParade.org or by email info@peacedayparade.org.

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