St. Louis Earth Day Spells F-U-N in Forest Park This Weekend

Thursday April 24, 2014

If ever there was a year to celebrate Earth Day, this is it (remember that unending winter?)! Not only does St. Louis have the country’s second largest Earth Day celebration, “Earth Day Eve” offers an evening of fun, food and music the day before the festival.

With an All-Species Parade, lots of great music, food, art, entertainment, activities and fun, one of St. Louis’ biggest and best festivals happens this weekend in Forest Park.

It’s the country’s second largest Earth Day celebration—Dallas beat us out with 41,000 attendee’s last years vs. our 40,000.

This year’s St. Louis Earth Day Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday on the Muny grounds. The event is free and open to the public. It’s family and dog friendly and goes on rain or shine!

If you’ve been to the St. Louis Earth Day Festival in the past, you know how much fun it is. If you’ve never been, don’t expect a boring display of exhibits. St. Louis Earth Day is a true party where people come together to celebrate the Earth we live on, learn ways we can preserve it and connect with each other in the beauty of nature in Forest Park.

But be forewarned: The St. Louis Earth Day Festival is so big you may not be able to see and do everything in one day!

We asked St. Louis Earth Day Executive Director Cassandra P. Hage to give us the top five reasons to attend the Earth Day Festival in St. Louis this year. Here they are – in no particular order:

  1. It’s fun and it’s free. We have entertainment and programming that draws a lot of people.
  2. It’s great people watching. We have fairies that come out. We have people who dress up for the All Species Parade. It’s really fun.
  3. The food is great, too. We have a really nice Earth Day Café with many restaurants that have been through our Green Dining Alliance program which means they’ve committed to a number of sustainable business practices year-round.
  4. It’s a great opportunity to engage with a variety of nonprofit organizations to learn about how you can get involved and give back to the community and also become informed about resources that are available throughout the community.
  5. Lots of local businesses are represented so you can learn about what businesses are doing or how you can purchase specific products or services that can help you live a more sustainable lifestyle around all year around.

To help plan your experience, visit the St. Louis Earth Day Website before you go. You’ll even find a Family Guide to use if you have kids in tow so you won’t miss any of the special programming.

The opening ceremony will be held and the Earth Day Action Grant Awards
 presented at 12:15 p.m. at the Main Stage. The Joia World Percussion Ensemble performs and the All Species Parade
 kicks off there at 1 p.m.

There’s so much entertainment, it takes three stages to hold it all. Plus, don’t miss the “Peace Circle: where you can “get centered, connect with the Earth, reflect, meditate, or connect with others.”

You can see the entire schedule of entertainment on the Festival’s website but here’s a look at who’ll be performing:

Main Stage performers include:

The Café Stage will feature:

On the “Community Stage” you will find:

From Kaldi’s Coffee to Traveling Tea and Your Town Kombucha Co., and from the Falafel Hut and Govinda’s to Tango Argentina, you won’t be thirsty or go hungry. You can even enjoy Schafly beer or opt for spirits at the Blind Tiger. Check out all the food/drink options.

There’ll also be plenty of vendors and representatives of community groups on hand to answer your recycling questions and introduce you to earth-friendly products.

You can get in an Earth Day Festival mood early—at a kick-off event on the evening before the festival — the family-friendly “Earth Day Eve” celebration. The event begins at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 26 at the festival grounds in the Earth Day café neighborhood on the lower west side of the Muny.  (Note: the festival grounds will be closed for the evening.)

Music will be provided by T&A of the Geyer Street Sheiks 
and Miss Jubilee & The Humdingers.

A suggested donation of $5 is requested for admission. Kids 12 and under get in free. Enjoy the bands and purchase food from the food trucks—or pack a picnic and bring it with you.

Tip: Park at the Visitor’s Center twin lots or the Upper Muny Lot.

You can get an Earth Day Eve VIP experience for $35. The “experience” includes food catered by Whole Foods, beer provided by Schlafly and cocktails and wine donated by Major Brands and served by Atomic Cowboys.

Organizers say100 percent of ticket sales and donations support year-round St. Louis Earth Day programs.

Although the very first Earth Day celebration was held in 1970 in Washington, D.C., St. Louis didn’t get its own Earth Day celebration until 1989.

But since then, with enthusiastic support from the community, the celebration quickly grew to the major event it is today.

Although the Earth Day Festival happens only once a year, Earth Day St. Louis is a non-profit organization that touches over a million individuals through its year-round programming like the Green Dining Alliance and Recycling On the Go, a program where St. Louis Earth Day Festival organizers share event-greening strategies they learned over the years with leaders of other events to help them reduce the negative environmental impact of their own events.

Just for fun, check your Mother Earth awareness by taking the Earth Day Challenge.

See you in the park on Sunday for a great Earth Day in St. Louis!

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