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1983 - The Celebration on the Downtown Plaza
by Michele Rippey



The warmth of the sun and lots of mutual affection poured upon "The Celebration," on March 26th, in Gainesville's downtown Community Plaza. This day of light, laughter, and letting go, brought together some of Gainesville’s diverse Aquarian interests for a day of education, play, and entertainment. The day was highlighted by the absence of anything to buy.

Information booths around the Plaza included representation from Eckankar, Arica Institute, Life Streams of Jacksonville, Rajneesh Meditation Center, Kripalu Yoga Mandal, Siddha Meditation Center, Florida Institute of Wholistic Health, The Birthplace, Florida Massage Collecive, The Florida School of Massage, Meher Baba Study Group, Paul Hoffman's Transformational Information System, Plenty, the service arm of The Farm, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and the Summit Lighthouse.

Golden and the Earth People brought a variety of solar-powered devices and shared popcorn and live grasses
(not grass, although there was a definite aroma of Gainesville Green on the Plaza that day). Their presence added a special dimension. All the groups set up their own displays and used the day as a time to talk with and touch those around them.

Entertainment flourished. Great appreciation goes out to all who participated: The Kitchen Table Boys, Smiling Hearts Club Band, Stan the Fixit Man, Tom Savage, Christian Youth of Today, The Backporch Cloggers, George Tortorelli, Jubal, John, the man in white, Skip Hendry, and the Star Band. A special thanks to Claudio Belfort who led Sufi dancing, to Don Grooms and Prem Dhanesh of Modern Music Workshop for sound equipment, and to Jim Weaver of Priceless who worked the sound board most of the day.

The initial inspiration for this day was to make available a time and space for people to get together, have fun, and share in whatever ways seemed appropriate to them. The consensus was that "The Celebration" genuinely provided this opportunity. The last words are "thank you" to everybody who enjoyed the day.

Reprinted from NEW AGE gainesville's Premier Issue, May 1983

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