by Lybra Olbrantz
for The Beacon
This September 11, local group Friends of Peace Park Sheboygan will be kicking-off an ‘11 Days of Peace’ event, which is a series of pop-up mindfulness experiences placing importance on centering ones focus on the present moment. The group felt that after the last two years the collective community has shared that it’s time to bring more attention to our emotional and spiritual well-being.
The kick-off event will start at 3:00PM at the Sheboygan Peace Park on Broughton Drive, along Lake Michigan, and last until 5:00PM. It will include live performances from Park Street String-Along, Raging Grannies of Sheboygan, Lisa Vihos and more local and visiting poets.
“Friends of Peace Park Sheboygan organized a similar event in 2016 after our group formed and we decided to bring the series back,” said Mary Koczan, a community organizer for the group. “We have been able to host many similar events and informative sessions in the park and community. The mission is to inspire a more peaceful world through the development and beautification of the city and the Sheboygan Peace Park.”
The first event started when the events committee was looking for mindfulness events to sponsor in the park to gather community members around the idea of peace. When they realized the UN International Day of Peace was coming up and it aligned with 9/11 they thought they could combine the two dates and create an educational experience for the community surrounding emotional intelligence. From there the ‘11 Days of Peace’ event was born.
“We have a wide-ranging diverse variety of events this year including concerts, Tai Chi and Qigong sessions, a movie screening and discussion, opportunities to engage in personal meditation, family-friendly activities and ways to explore peace in nature,” said Koczan.
The ‘11 Days of Peace’ will close with a celebration of the UN International Day of Peace at Fountain Park on Tuesday September 21st. Food trucks will start lining up on 8th Street at 4:00 PM and at 5:00 PM local performers will take stage at the bandshell including: the Hmong Girls Dance Group, NAFAYA African Drumming and more local musicians, dancers and writers. Afterwards the community is asked to join a candlelight walk to the peace park.
Friends of Peace Park Sheboygan is a small group of local residents who hope to promote peace in others lives and peace in the world.