Blessing of the Animals Jan 1Now with 20% improved Blessing Power!Imagine the Burning Man festival crossed with a Native American ritual, add in a puppet show, drum circle and a bonfire — and then dozens of companion animals like dogs, cats, ferrets, birds, rodents — plus over 200 rescued farm animal — and you have our 2010 BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS.Companions welcomeEach year — this will be our 5th — WFAS celebrates World Farm Animal Day, St. Francis of Assisi Day, as well as Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday. This year our celebration will be held on Sunday, Oct. 3rd, and this is the one day we welcome well-behaved companion animals like dogs and cats (on leashes or in carriers).Elke Duerr will officiateThe noted environmentalist and wild wolf activist, Elke Duerr, will officiate the ceremony. German-born, she now resides in New Mexico and will bring a Native American perspective to the Blessing, as we honor all the world’s indigenous as well as domesticated animals.The event will be held at the sanctuary – home to over 200 rescued farmed animals.As a special treat this year we’re thrilled that the Redwing Blackbird Theater will perform their alternative version of the traditional PETER AND THE WOLF tale. Like all good stories, this one begins in the forest and asks where we are going. Geared for children and adults, this puppet adaptation is updated from the 1936 original by Sergei Prokofiev, as narrated by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1950 in Poughkeepsie. The Full Spectrum Dominance Orchestra provides unusual instrumentation and improvisation. Amy Trompetter designs and directs and Kesii MacKaye co-directs.PLUS! The Elder Drum Circle will provide rhythms, drums, and percussion instruments for all who want to participate (you are also welcome to bring your own instruments, please consider animal-free drums if you are buying new ones).Veggie Sausages by Field RoastYou are welcome as always to bring your well-behaved companion animals but please note that some parts will be a noisy affair and may not suit all critters!COST: Pay-what-you-will donation ($10 suggested a person). Food and drinks will be for saleDATE: Sunday, Oct. 3rd, 3:00 – Rain or ShineUPDATE! If this event weren’t already cool enough, our good buddies at the Ulster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (UCSPCA) will be there with information about adoptions at their Kingston shelter. Brian Shapiro, the Executive Director of the UCSPCA is a longtime friend and supporter of us, and we love to return the favor!About Elke DuerrMs. Duerr is the founder of Wild Wolf Film and a bi-national teacher, filmmaker, storyteller, writer and conservationist. Born and raised on an organic farm in Germany, she holds a degree in Communicative Disorders from the Policlinic Department of the University of Munich, where she got involved in filmmaking.During her extensive travels around the globe Ms. Duerr acquired a first-hand impression of the state of our natural world and its vanishing habitats and species. She decided to dedicate her time and skills to raising public awareness in this matter, drawing from her background in biology.After returning to Berlin she reconnected with the film industry and extensively apprenticed and worked in the art of film making, co-producing high-interest pieces for Associated Press, Image Films and video content and studying the art of documentary filmmaking. Upon her return to the US she combined her skills of teaching, story telling and filmmaking by giving wolf recovery and environmental outreach talks in schools, institutions and public places, and producing a documentary on the reintroduction of the Mexican Gray Wolf.Elke Duerr is the recipient of a New Mexico Film Office contract and a Panavision Film Equipment Usage Grant to aid in the production of the documentary. She is a contributor to the German Wolf Magazine “Rudelnachrichten” and has given wolf outreach and awareness talks in Germany to foster international collaboration in aiding the preservation of nature and endangered species. When not traveling in wolf country or internationally she dedicates her time to the cultivation of the old skills of knitting, gardening, and story telling, passed down to her by her farmer ancestors.Please visit her website for more information.