San Geronimo Valley festival for peace emphasizes activism


A celebration of the International Day of Peace is returning to the San Geronimo Valley this month, with the third rendition of the Peace, Love and Action Festival on Aug. 26 and 27. Established in 1981 by a United Nations resolution, Peace Day is celebrated worldwide in moments of silence, workshops, marches, parades and flag ceremonies, plantings of peace poles and more. “We live in a society of fear-mongering and endless bad news, and so it’s important to spread the word about things in our society that are in the name of peace,” Ted Wright, a former West Marin resident who pioneered the valley event in 2015, said. While Sunday will feature local bands such as Zero & Friends, Achilles Wheel, Howie’s Persuasion and San Geronimo, Saturday’s events are dedicated to action and education. A “peace forum” will include films and guest speakers addressing topics of peace building, activism, inner peace and nonviolent action. “We are bringing in new components to the festival this year, tying in the theme of love to honor the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love as well as action, considering our current political climate,” explained Dave Cort, the community center’s executive director. “We want to take the International Day of Peace to a new level for the residents of West Marin. What can we do in our lives to take some action locally, statewide or in a bigger way?” Mr. Wright, who said the mission of the festival has evolved every year considerably since its inception, was introduced to Peace Day by a friend, Bill McCarthy, who has a long history of producing special events to support the United Nations. Mr. McCarthy, Susan Santiago, host of KWMR’s “Pieces of Peace” program, and Don Carney from the YMCA Marin County Youth Court will speak at the event. The festival will take place at the San Geronimo Valley Community Center on Saturday, Aug. 26 from 5 to 9 p.m. and from noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Saturday’s events are free; tickets for Sunday’s music lineup are $25 in advance at and $35 at the door.