Photo Gallery: 10th Annual Summer of PeaceJuly 31st, 2012 |
Milwaukee’s tenth annual Summer of Peace Parade and Rally stepped off on Friday morning. Starting at Sherman Park, hundreds of young people and volunteers marched down Sherman Boulevard to participate in a peace rally at Washington Park. The event was sponsored by several renowned organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, COA Youth Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Peace Action, True Skool, Urban Ecology Center, and the Helen Bader Foundation.
The parade was led by a stilt walker who impressively trekked the nearly two mile route without folly. Several participants constructed their own striking anti-violence signs and costumes for the walk. Youth marchers donned matching t-shirts from their sponsoring organizations and participated in chants along the way.
Floats and oversized puppets constructed by artists from Milwaukee Public Theatre and Milwaukee Mask and Puppet Theatre were among the most memorable components. This year’s theme was “Finding Your Voice,” and featured towering reverse marionettes in the likenesses of famous musicians from different decades. The Extra Crispy Brass Band’s upbeat jazz funerary-style music at the rear of the procession complimented the giant puppets almost too perfectly.
Upon arrival at Washington Park, kids were treated to three Moon Bounce tents and complimentary pizza while The Jackson 5 played in the background. Live entertainment included several solo youth performers, participatory song and dance by Express Yourself Milwaukee, youth leader awards, and motivational speakers. A fashion show and dance performances closed the event.
If all it took to motivate adults to be nice to each other were some pizza, ice cream, and a dance party with giant puppets, the world would be a much happier place. The rally truly served its purpose by motivating several hundred young people to sign community peacemaker pledges and treat each other with respect. They had fun and hopefully raised awareness within communities throughout the city.