Showing up at the park, it was a beautiful afternoon filled with sunlight and high energy. The park, acting as the main station for the event, was cheerfully dressed with signs for positive creative inspiration including tables with fun activities like face painting and making faces to carry during the parade. As an intern I joined with the volunteers setting up and having a good time when people started to arrive and the events began. The theme of Ubuntu was a shock of electrifyingly positive energy built around a solid connection with community. Fortunately for this event that connection was available, alive and kickin’ with people participating all along the age spectrum from babies to grandparents.
Outside of the park however the parade was a struggle. The puppets were heavier than expected and the wind, though refreshing, pushed its way against us tearing at the construction of our men and women wildly waving on poles. But despite all this we persevered with determination and good cheer to hoist our puppets and banners ever forward down the parade route. Having gone through it all taught me the importance of never giving up and remaining strong in the face of times that seem tough because in the end it’ll all pay off.
The Peace is Power Giant Puppet Parade is an annual event created by AFSC NOLA community activist Ahmane’ Glover to celebrate the International Day of Peace. This years’ event held on Sept. 15, 2012 marked the third year of the parade. The subtheme was Ubuntu: I am my brother, I am my sister, We are each other.
For pictures of the event: