Local ministers will hold a memorial service in downtown Lexington on Saturday for the 28 children and adults shot in Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.
The memorial in Triangle Park will take place at the same time as the Lexington Gun and Knife Show across the street in the Lexington Convention Center, said Rev. Woody Berry, pastor of Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church.
"To have in downtown Lexington at a city-owned center this gun and knife show in the midst of this season, seemed like somebody should say something," Berry said Tuesday.
But he said the event is a memorial, not a protest.
Never miss a local story.
"What I want to do is have something that says there is a way of peace to go from here," he said.
Berry sent invitations to a variety of religious figures in Central Kentucky last week asking if they would be willing to read the name of a victim, light a candle and speak for "two minutes from your heart about light and hope and peace."
So far at least 15 have accepted and more are expected, he said.
Berry said that many people have expressed a desire to honor the schoolchildren, teachers and school personnel killed by Adam Lanza in Connecticut as well as other recent victims of gun violence.
Saturday's event is about gun violence, not gun rights, he said.
"We're not anti-gun but there are proper responses we can do related to gun violence," Berry said. He said he would welcome speakers from the gun show as well.
Berry favors restrictions on the availability of automatic weapons such as the Bushmaster XM-15 rifle used to kill 20 first- and second-graders and six adults. Two other adults reportedly were also injured. Lanza also killed his mother and himself.
Lexington Gun and Knife Show promoter, R.K. Shows Inc., did not respond to a phone call or email for comment Tuesday.