Unfortunately, the effort to form the world’s largest human peace sign with 6,000 participants was unsuccessful. There were just 1,983 people in attendance, said lead organizer Jessie Blowers, founder of the KSU Peace Project.
But Blowers, a KSU senior, said she was pleased with the amount of people who did show up on a sunny, spring day to support the effort to bring attention to the topic of peace.
“Everything truly went according to the vision I had dreamed up a year-and-a-half ago,” said Blowers, 24.
Saturday’s event was held on the university’s Campus Green in front of Kennesaw Hall. It included live musical performances and nonprofit vendors. Participants were counted at a single entrance on the Campus Green, which was roped off with yellow caution tape. Security was present throughout the area.
“It was definitely festive,” Blowers said of the event’s atmosphere.
“We had people playing games, people throwing pies in the face to raise money, there was face painting going on and lots of great bands playing. Everybody seemed to be having a great time. The crowd was really enthusiastic and just so patient.”
Bobby and Jennifer Stockard of Marietta, have three children who attended KSU and decided to participate in the peace event to support their son-in-law, who was a volunteer.
“It definitely gives kids the right idea,” said Bobby, 55, of the event. “I think there are people that will think a little bit more about what it means.”
KSU sophomore Allison Greene said she decided to participate with her family as a way to celebrate her 20th birthday on Saturday. The early childhood education major said she was impressed when Blowers made a presentation to her Catholic worship group on campus while promoting the event.
“It was really something I thought would be a good thing to support,” said Greene.
Among the various organizations present was KSU’s newly formed Students for Sensible Drug Policy, which aims to bring attention to what it calls failures of the nation’s war on drugs.
“This past year, there’s been more prisons built than schools,” said Cameron Blomquist, a KSU freshman. “Addiction is a disease and people should be treated for it.”
If she could redo the event, Blowers said she’d be less incline to have it on a college campus, where she said official policy prohibited outside vendors on campus and certain advertising practices, among other things that may have attracted more participants.
But Blowers didn’t rule out giving the world record another shot.
“I would love to do it again,” she said. “If there is another group or vendor that would be interested in letting me put it all together, I will get the vendors, sponsors, volunteers and the people.”