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Peace celebration kicks off Ceasefire Anniversary

Posted at 11:31 PM, Aug 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-03 23:31:07-04

We're going strong, 24 hours into the one-year anniversary of the first Baltimore Ceasefire weekend. 

RELATED: A year of ceasefires, yet Baltimore still plagued with crime

Nobody kills anybody, instead celebrations of life all across the city.

It was a small group of people handing out fliers a year ago.

Erricka Bridgeford the founder of the movement would be the first to tell you no one really believed it would work.

“In the beginning, people said it wasn’t something we could do together. That it wasn’t really going to do anything good for this city.”

That didn't matter they were tired of their city being known for murder before anything else.

Bridgeford has made her life mission to bring peace to Baltimore.

“What we’ve seen is it has helped families to heal,” Bridgeford said. “It has given people in this city something to do about the violence in their communities.”

The last two quarterly calls for peace brought two weekends without a homicide.

That included a 12-day stretch that started on a Ceasefire weekend.

Ceasefire spreads sage across the city, and before their kickoff party, they took time for the people who may feel forgotten by society.

“People inside the prison are our community too,” Bridgeford said. “We’re coming to sage to cleanse the negative energy. To pour love into this space and to let them know that they matter to us.”

They've reached the children.

 “Yeah I be seeing the violence I ain’t trying to get in it,“ said a teen who was sitting on a stoop down the street from the celebration.

The sound of gunshots replaced with car horns.

The unofficial kickoff of the one-year anniversary brought joy to the corner of Edmondson and Edgewood.

 “Baltimore deserves this win,” Ceasefire member Letrice Gant said. “I’m excited about just getting out here and reminding people that they deserve a win.”

Chef Lawrence Manning lost his son.

As he prepared hot dogs for all the neighborhood kids he talked glowingly about the importance of giving children hope.

“If they see something positive you know then they are more inclined to do some positive things,” Lawrence said. “We have some books out there and I gave them a challenge. I said if you read that book before you leave I got something for you. I got some cookies some fresh baked cookies.”

The group giving resources for a future where Baltimore is known for something other than murder.

 “We understand pain we’re familiar with pain,” Bridgeford said. “We deserve the joy. The amount of joy this gives every three months it’s just beautiful to see.”

There will be a big concert over at the Downtown Cultural Arts Center on Howard Street Saturday, August 4.

Click here for more on events going on across the city.