OWEGO (WBNG) – A local business owner says he spent months mowing the lawn behind his antique store to spread a message of peace and love and possibly break a world record too with help from the community.
Leonard Hilldale is the owner of Owego Schoolhouse Antiques at 100 Elm Street. He says he had the idea to mow a former school football field behind his business with a giant peace sign.
“The largest peace sign that I found on the internet is about an acre and a half. This is three and a half football fields. So, it’s by in-large the largest peace sign in the world,” said Hilldale. “I just made a peace sign for passerby’s and planes to see. It is organic, I used no chemicals to make it. It’s just me and a mower and about 500 hours.”
Hilldale says it took him three months to finish the peace sign.
“People are impressed and find it to be mind-boggling. This is truly a grassroots effort,” said Hilldale.
Hilldale’s message doesn’t stop there. He is also planning to bring an International Day of Peace Festival to Owego for the very first time in September.
“It’s an international holiday that the United Nations formed in the mid-80’s,” said Hilldale.
The event, also called ‘Stand for Peace’, will also attempt to break the world record for the largest human peace sign ever.
“When my friends and family saw a shot of it they said, you got to fill it with people. Currently the world record is 18,000 people for the world’s largest human peace sign. This peace sign can hold about 70,000 people,” said Hilldale.
Hilldale adds that as much as he would like the community to help break the record, the message of peace and unity is what matters most to him.
“I feel like people are like me, they feel they have no voice. This is a voice. This peace sign is a megaphone to the planet. We can tell the world we want peace here and we want it now,” said Hilldale.
The first ‘Stand for Peace’ event will be held at Owego Schoolhouse Antiques on September 21 from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.
There will be live music and food at the festival.
An attempt to break the record for biggest human peace sign will be during the event at 2 p.m.