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8th Annual ‘Put the Guns Down Festival’ held in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE -- Neighbors in Milwaukee are joining forces to combat violence. They gathered Sunday, September 2nd for the 8th Annual "Put the Guns Down Festival" at King Park in Milwaukee. The hope is to spread the message of peace, and put and end to gun violence.

"A lot of folks were just dealing with the loss of their family and friends, and wanted to do something to promote peace," festival organizer Jayme Montgomery Baker said.

This year's festival comes on the heels of shootings in the city of Milwaukee. Just this weekend alone, Milwaukee police responded to at least six shooting incidents within an eight-hour period between Friday and Saturday.

Romero Davis told FOX6 News he lost a couple of family members because of gun violence. 

"It just hurt me to see young youth picking up guns, and if they have mentors, they should teach them how to pick up pencils and notebooks and read," Davis said.

Adults and children joined hands promoting unity and solidarity.  They marched for those who were killed.  Organizers say having positive role models is important. 

"We have to endorse the good, positive role models," Phil Martin, who attended the event said.

College student Michael Dandridge says he's working to reach out to youth.

"I always talk to youth -- tell them there's more stuff out here, not just the negative. Put the guns down. You don't need to be wrapped up in that type of stuff because there's so much more opportunity to open up to you once you begin on the positive road to a better life," Dandridge said.

The "Put the Guns Down Festival" is sponsored by the League of Young Voters.

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