It’s a beautiful late summer day in Rutland. The sun is out, the air is slightly chilly telling of cold weather to come, old ladies are out walking their dogs and children are playing.It is prime time for a relaxing afternoon in the park. But as you make your way through the bustling Route 7 of Rutland, almost to the Main Street Park, suddenly the tranquility is broken.
You see a couple of pierced and painted punks holding a sign and screaming to passing cars. You squint to see what all the fuss is about. Why people are honking and screaming?
HONK FOR PEACE is written boldly in red on a poster. Past these kids you see the familiar gazebo in the center of the park.
People are setting up amps, guitars, drum sets and more. A giant banner waves in the breeze from this gazebo VERMONT SAYS NO TO WAR.
I recognize a familiar band from the TBA concert on the Castleton State College campus last year. It’s Downplay and members are waving their excessively long hair around and rocking out with their mad metal skills.
There are booths set up all around and everyone is having a great time.
On Sept. 1, this was the scene that the Student Peace Alliance Rutland County (SPARC) unveiled. It was a rock show from 1-7 p.m. to generate awareness for the war in Iraq and for world peace in general.
Local bands including Jonnee Earthquake, Orange Juice, the Hostiles, Down Play, Phil Henry, Larson, The Spruce Knob Uprising, Brendan Eprile, and Wards performed to quite an audience.
Matt Kimble, a Castleton State College student activist and Orange Juice guitarist, spoke in between sets about what young adults and teens can do to help change government policy and how they too could make a difference.
The show went off without a hitch and Kimble is already looking to future events with a peace theme.
“I hope we can have more like them with an even larger turnout,” he said.