Third annual Earthdance festival to kick off Saturday

Monday, September 13, 2010 | 6:45 p.m. CDT; updated 9:57 p.m. CDT, Monday, September 13, 2010

COLUMBIA – "Embracing All Traditions" is the theme of an eight-day local festival aimed at promoting peace, sustainability and social justice.

The festival will kick off Sept. 18 and is sponsored by Earthdance, a global organization that joins more than 50 countries for a synchronized "Prayer for Peace." The prayer will be recited at 6 p.m. the last day of the festival and reads as follows:

Celebration Schedule, Sept. 25

Noon-12:45 p.m. The Jaguar Shark (band)

12:45-1 p.m. Benazir (belly dance), Victoria Day (poetry)

1-2 p.m. The Goldbugs (band)

2-2:15 p.m. Aditi Bandyopadhyay (classical Odissi Indian dance), Victoria Day (poetry)

2:15-3:15 p.m. Bad Dog Stay (band)

3:15-3:30 p.m. Kemisi & Kadija (belly dance) Brad Jacobson (poetry)

3:30-4:30 p.m. Hormone Junkies (band)

4:30-4:45 p.m. Tandava Tribal Belly Dance, Brad Jacobson (poetry)

4:45-5:15 p.m. Lee Ruth

5:15-5:45 p.m. Steve Meyerhardt

5:45-6 p.m. Dances of Universal Peace (dancing, singing, prayer)

6-6:12 p.m. Peace Prayer

6:15-7:15 p.m. Slippy LaRue (band)

7:15-7:45 p.m. Raqs Fusion (belly dance), the Indian violin by Sankalp

7:45-8:45 p.m. Rhyme or Reason (band)

8:45-9 p.m. Fire Good Productions (fire spinning)

9-10 p.m. Videology (video DJ dance party), Hulagans (hula hooping- scheduled intermittently all day)

"We are one global family / All colors, All races / One world united. / We dance for peace and the healing of our planet Earth / Peace for all nations. / Peace for our communities. / And peace within ourselves. / As we join all dance floors across the world, / let us connect heart to heart. / Through our diversity we recognize Unity. / Through our compassion we recognize Peace. / Our love is the power to transform our world / Let us send it out NOW..."

Donations collected at the festival will be divided in half. One half will be put toward Earthdance 2011 and the other will benefit Columbia's Rainbow House's Sol House for homeless teenagers. The house gives teens a place to stay and offers an 18-month program to integrate them back into society.

Each year, Earthdance-Columbia gives out the "Peace through Community Award" to a local business that emulates the year's theme. This year's winner is The Mustard Seed due to the store's fair trade practices, efforts towards sustainability and art from around the world.

Earthdance T-shirts can be purchased at ACME Hot and Fresh T-shirts Made to Order. A portion of these proceeds go to Earthdance-Columbia and the Sol House as well.

In case of rain, the events will be moved to the First Christian Church on Walnut Street. For more information, contact Tamera Shupert Gonzales, Earthdance-Columbia Director at 573-864-4710 or by e-mail at

On the last day of the event, Sept. 25, a free celebration will be held from noon to 10 p.m. in the Courtyard Square in the District.

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