Syracuse Plowshares Festival still building on the dream

Attendance has ebbed and flowed between 3,000 and 4,000 attendees over the years, with 2008 recording its highest attendance ever.

"Each year we receive more applications than the previous year and, unfortunately, we need to turn away many skilled artisans," Mager said. "In addition to being a marketplace, Plowshares is a time when people catch up with old friends and find out what community groups are up to.

"Every year I run into so many people to visit with at Plowshares that it's difficult to find time to shop," he said.

War seems like such a constant, why choose peace?

"To us, peace cannot be separated from social justice. And it is a process. By coming together and challenging ourselves to live up to our highest ideals and supporting one another when we fall short, we work toward that larger goal," Mager said.

The Peace Council definitely seeks to eliminate war. And the thinking is that if we took all the effort that goes into war, and instead, put it toward respect and opportunity for all people, just think of what a positive difference that would make in the lives of many.

"We work to build a community where all children can grow up without fear of violence inside or outside their homes," Mager said. "We try to work in ways which recognize the sacredness of the natural world, recognizing that humans are but one of many species on this precious earth."

Because Plowshares is such a popular show among craftspeople, the application deadline is now in early July and has been full since that time. It is happy to add new people to the mailing list to receive applications next spring for the 2010. show.

The skinny

Plowshares Craftsfair & Winter Peace Festival

Dec. 5 to 6

Nottingham High School, 3100 E. Genesee St.,

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Only $2-5 (sliding scale) for adults;

Free for those under 16 or over 65. .

More than 120 craftspeople from throughout CNY.

There will be ongoing performances, by local musicians, dancers and drummers.

Tasty food from The Mission Restaurant.

For information, 472-5478, spc@peacecouncil.net or peacecouncil.net/plowshares.

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