The white dove is a symbol of peace and love accepted among a variety of world cultures and religions.
It’s a perfect fit to be the centerpiece of the newest event from the Amani Festival, which is dedicated to promoting peace, culture and diversity in the community.
The Dove Fest will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 15 at First United Church of Christ, 30 S. Pitt St.
Amani chairman Tanis Monroy said the festival will feature entertainment ranging from traditional Christmas music to dances spotlighting a variety of cultures. Throughout the day, there will be activities for children, organized by Amani’s Children’s Alley coordinator, Lisa Marie.
Visitors will also enjoy homemade baked goods, local food and hot chocolate.
The centerpiece of the event, though, are the small wooden doves that will fly into local businesses in the coming weeks.
Amani had been looking for doves to use in its festival, but the ones available were either too small, too big or too heavy, so Monroy said he decided to check back in with his old school, Lamberton Middle School.
There, the Manufacturing and Design Class set up stations where students traced a template onto boards, handing the boards off to others who cut out the doves on a scroll saw.
From there, the doves were sanded, holes were filled and they were sanded again, said student Dakotah Holder.
All the students helped to paint the more than 80 doves white, although that color is only temporary.
Monroy said the doves will be delivered to local businesses who will then decorate them with their own special flair to represent a mission or to highlight a theme. Carlisle Thai Cuisine, for example, might decide to decorate a dove with a Thailand theme, while Georgie Lou’s Retro Candy might go for a sweets theme.
“I’m excited to see how other people decorate them after us,” said Kennedy Mullen, a student who helped make the doves.
The doves will be on display at businesses, which may also offer special deals during the week leading up to the event.
Holder can’t wait to see her class’s work out in public.
“It’s exciting that you get to see your own work that you did, just like being a fashion designer and seeing your clothes out in stores and society,” she said.
On the day of the festival, the doves will flock together for the festival where visitors will be able to use spare change to vote for their favorite dove. The doves will also be up for sale in a silent auction.
Proceeds from event go to Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry Counties and Amani Festival.