On 27 December the dates and first outline of the celebration appeared in the Gazette:
Sunday, February 14
Reverend William J. Campbell, pastor of the First Congregational Church, was to organize programs in the churches throughout the county.
Monday, February 15 – Education Day
Prof. Dwight Waldo, Prof. E. N. Worth, Prof. Mark Bailey, Sheridan F. Mapes, and Prof. P.H. Smith were to organize a program at the new State Armory on Water St. for students from Kalamazoo College, Western State Normal School, Nazareth Academy, high schools of the county, and Holland parochial schools.
J. H. Starkweather, Father Vizmara, George Bos, Mrs. W.E. Praeger, Miss Zoe C. Shaw, Miss Mary Mulholland and Arthur De Long were to organize a program for the grade schools throughout the county.
Tuesday, February 16 – Main Day
Dr. Herbert Stetson, as chair, with the help of Right Rev. Mgr. F.A. O’Brien, Prof. S.O. Hartwell, Dr. Frank Roudenbush, Miss Alice McDufee, H.B. Colman, and former United States Senator J.C. Burrows were to organize a program at the Armory that would include addresses from prominent men from both the U.S. and Canada.
Who will speak at the Peace Fete?
After the New Year holiday, Stetson reported that the committees were making progress. Invitations to “several men of note” had gone out. Stetson did not want to give out any names until he had a confirmation. When there was definite information to share, he would make an announcement. This was on 5 January. On 20 January, a frustrated Stetson stated “after using up a good portion of the postage stamp supply of the nation” he was unable to get a response from a person of the quality he desired. He added that suitable speakers were “either a very rare commodity, or else men in public life are afraid. They are well supplied with excuses at any rate.” At that time the only committee with a plan in place was the county grade school group.
A change in the program
Ten days later changes appeared to have taken place. Credit for the Peace Fete still went to Stetson, but credit for the educational program went to the local teachers. The dates of the Peace Fete were still 14-16 February. There was no description of the county church or school programs, but Tuesday, the main day, became the opening for the Kalamazoo County Teachers Association meeting. The program’s focus on the 100 years of peace and the advantages it gave to the U.S. and Great Britain shifted to represent a national peace movement that worked to urge President Wilson to restore peace among the warring nations in Europe. The speakers for Tuesday were Professor W.J. Hudson of the Massachusetts Peace Association and Professor A.E. Bestor of Chautauqua, New York. The former was an instructor at Harvard University, but neither Kalamazoo newspaper clearly defined Bestor. Stetson received high praise for his efforts, but it is doubtful the event that people attended on 16 February was anything like what he hoped to bring to Kalamazoo.
The Peace Fete program
The peace conference took place with great fanfare. Forgetting that Stetson had a grander plan, the Telegraph-Press and the Gazette wrote of the pride he must have felt when he saw the standing-room only crowd in the Armory. Hundreds of students and educators from Kalamazoo College, Western State Normal School, all the city high schools, many schools in the county villages and hundreds of the general public attended the event. Dr. Stetson opened the ceremonies and introduced newly elected mayor, A.B. Connable. Connable spoke “with grace and dignity” and with a bit of humor as he joked about the Armory’s use to promote peace during the afternoon, while in the evening it was to serve the military. Reverend William J. Campbell of the Congregational Church provided the invocation which led into the speeches from Professors Hudson and Bestor.