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Arts & Culture Bars & Nightlife Family Music & Events Spotlight Fara Illich March 13, 2014

Peace Pi First Fling
Imagine an event that joins color, pie, beer and a staggering 70,000 watts of music all into a worldwide celebration of peace and joy.
The Peace Pi Festival will do exactly that this Saturday, March 15, inspiring peace with the world’s largest pie fight at Walter Studios, which recently opened on Seventh Avenue and Roosevelt Street.
The event features appearances by Walter the Bus, Kalliope and Big Red—a trio of refurbished vehicles and trailers called the Walter Project, which combined create the ultimate, synchronized music and light show.
Along with the pie fight and beat-dropping entertainment, the event features a beer garden by Angel Trumpet Ale House, live performances, a kid’s zone and more.
Guests are encouraged to dress festively or wear white for the party, which is sure to be one colorful mess thanks to six different colored pies, each representative of a different cause.
How does a pie fight inspire peace and what does it have to do with pi? I met with the man behind the Pi, founder Robert Farthing, to ask.
The idea for a simple pie fight came to Farthing in a dream, he said, and as he began to get feedback from the community, the idea transformed to include a variety of peace giving elements.
The Walter Project is one of those elements. In 2009, Walter the Bus was created under the 10 principles of Burning Man, a weeklong event wherein attendees dedicate themselves to the spirit of community, art, self-expression and self-reliance in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. After its month-long excursion north, Walter the Bus came back to Phoenix and was joined by Kalliope and Big Red.
“The Walter Project is an organic project with no mission statement and that’s by design,” said Ryan Tucknott, general manager of the project, “because it allows the project to grow and embrace new ideas.”
Walter the Bus is on record as the world’s largest VW bus; Kalliope is a massive old trailer that was modified and outfitted with a high-end stereo system and light show; and Big Red is a VW bug that joined the act when Walter the Bus blew its engine and needed some replacement parts.
Together, the three bring happiness and peace wherever they go, which includes special appearances at Burning Man, Tempe block parties and even elementary schools.
“If you stand and watch the people, they are awed by (Walter the Bus, Kalliope and Big Red),” Farthing said. “You can just see their whole brain and soul expand.”

It’s difficult to put the Walter Project experience into words, but you can get a taste of the novelty that is Kalliope from this video:

Hosting the event on Pi weekend began as a coincidence, but Farthing said the more he thought about it, the more he realized that pi is a mystical number that can’t be solved, just like peace is something we can’t seem to solve.
Farthing hopes that Peace Pi Festival will promote constant, random acts of goodwill whether that’s through hosting a pie fight, baking pie and sharing with friends, creating art or whatever you can think of–so long as its in the name of peace.
This year is just the beginning. Farthing said next year will be the ultimate pi day, eerily dated March 14, 2015–or 3.1415. He said the vision for 2015 is to have a huge music festival in Phoenix with Peace Pi related events taking place all over the world.
The Peace Pi Festival is this Saturday, March 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Walter Studios (834 N. Seventh Avenue). Admission is $10 and includes two pies for the pie fight.