Away from the mid-fifty-degree weather predicted for Saturday will be a celebration of HOPE. Hidden away in the Field House of the Memorial Union, Saturday, April 19 will play host to the HOPE – or Help Organize Peace Earthwide – Festival.
As the name indicates, the HOPE festival is intended to spread the message of peace throughout the world – starting right here at the University of Maine.
The festival is the brainchild of the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine, with a whole slew of other organizations throwing their support behind it, including Maine Peace Action Committee, UMaine’s peace studies program, UMaine’s Women in the Curriculum, UMaine’s women studies program, Green Campus Initiative, COOL Bangor and Maine Partners for Cool Communities.
Not only does this festival have a heavy list of supporting organizations, it also boasts over 70 non-profits setting up camp – or tables as it were – at the HOPE festival’s “Green Expo.” The expo hopes to help students get in touch with communities outside that of just UMaine. This is part of the “earthwide” aspect for the HOPE festival’s agenda. In fact, the expo has expanded this year to include “going green” aspects. “It’s intended to be a celebration of Earth Day,” said Jeffrey Hake, the HOPE festival’s student coordinator. said. Despite the event not actually taking place on Earth Day, which will occur on Monday, April 22 with its own scheduled events, there seems to be no reason not to celebrate the earth every other day of the year.
At the expo, there will be several areas of entertainment, ranging from a puppeteer – for both children and adults – to African drumming and the showing of pertinent films. There will be an opportunity to test drive an electric car. There will also be UMaine student groups, including the guitar ensemble and a showing of international dance. There will even be children’s entertainment, a helpful distraction to any child guided indoors on a beautiful Saturday morning or even the college student looking to reminisce.
In addition to the green expo, students and community members have the chance to run – or walk – a 5K race in support for the HOPE festival. The race will start at 11 a.m. with registration taking place beforehand at the black bear statue in front of the Field House. Registration for the run is five dollars and proceeds go to benefit the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine as well as the Orono Public Library. Fabulous prizes will be made available for those with the fastest times.
The HOPE festival is free to everyone. It will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. For more information or to request a table for an organization, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.