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Earth Day Festival 2014 Announced by Community Environmental Council

Community Environmental Council to name 2014 Environmental Hero Award recipients on Monday, March 17


Originally published 5:33 p.m., February 20, 2014
Updated 5:33 p.m., February 20, 2014

The Community Environmental Council (CEC) will host its 2014 Earth Day Festival at Alameda Park Saturday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The 2014 festival – which is free for attendees – will promote the power of grassroots action in protecting the environment, with specific resources around CEC’s five core issue areas: “drive less,” “go solar,” “choose electric,” “ditch plastic” and “eat local.”

In the days leading up the festival, CEC and its partners will host a series of Earth Month events. The first of these will be an Earth Day Green Drinks hosted by LoaTree at the Lobero Theater Courtyard, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. in Santa Barbara, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1. Other Earth Month events will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

CEC will announce significant highlights of the event — including the recipient of CEC’s Environmental Hero Award – on Monday, March 17. Some highlights will include:

· A Homegrown Roots zone, where attendees can learn about, taste and explore our local food movement by connecting with local farmers, food and beverage artisans, and organizations that work to promote the bounty of Santa Barbara.

· A pop-up Farm-To-Table Dinner, nestled in the heart of the park on Saturday evening, featuring a springtime menu prepared by Jeff Olsson, Executive Chef and owner of New West Catering and Industrial Eats.

· A Meet Your Maker zone, where attendees can meet and learn about regionally-based artists, artisans, designers, crafters and other small creative businesses that engage in sustainable, socially and environmentally responsible practices.

· A Bike Valet, with free bike tune-ups and free valet bike parking. (Over 1,000 bikes were valeted and an estimated 2,000 people biked to the festival in 2013).

· The annual Green Car Show – featuring the largest collection of efficient and alternative fueled vehicles between Los Angeles and San Francisco and the longest-running show of its kind in the country. In addition, festival goers can participate in free Ride & Drives in the latest electric vehicles and hybrids. (More than 600 people participated in a Ride & Drive in 2013).

· Two full days of music on the Main Stage, organized by New Noise Media Group.

· An array of food vendors offering local, sustainable, and organic menus in the Food Court, as well as beer from Firestone Brewery and local wine in the Beer & Wine Garden, located in the middle of the festival next to the Main Stage.

· A Kid’s Corner organized by LearningDen Preschool and Sprout Up, with arts & crafts, musical performances, storytelling, face painting, and eco-activities.

· A Sports and Recreation zone, where participants can take part in fitness activities and find regional businesses that promote a healthy and environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

· Celebrity appearances. Recent festivals have included stage appearances by activist Van Jones, scientist and TV host Bill Nye, Director James Cameron, actress Daryl Hannah, and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk – all of whom were awarded the annual Environmental Hero award.

The community-organized festival is one of the longest-running and consistently held Earth Day celebrations in the country – and is believed to be one of the largest Earth Day festivals on the West Coast. Santa Barbara’s environmental reputation attracts national media, celebrity attention, and local crowds; the 2013 festival drew over 35,000 visitors. The Community Environmental Council has hosted and organized the event since its beginning in 1970.

“Earth Day continues to play an important role in our community, as people look for ways to connect with each other to share stories directly,” said Sigrid Wright, Associate Director of CEC and the festival’s director. “Both the environmental challenges we face today and some of their solutions are increasingly sophisticated, and Earth Day is one way to make space in our lives to for this. This year, we will particularly give attention to solutions that are rooted in local action.”

Widely acknowledged as the birthplace of Earth Day, Santa Barbara’s involvement began with

the devastating 1969 oil spill off its coast. This led a local group of concerned citizens to begin discussing a different way of looking at environmental systems. Over the next few years, the environmental movement was born across the country – including CEC, which was incorporated in the spring of 1970. During that time, Senator Gaylord Nelson visited Santa Barbara to view the oil spill damage. When he returned to Washington, D.C., he introduced a bill designating April 22 as a national day to celebrate the earth. In CEC’s initial act as a new non-profit, it hosted one of the first Earth Day celebrations in the country.

CEC is partnering with LoaTree, New Noise Media Group, Oniracom, Plus One Events, to produce the festival. Exhibitor registration is available at www.SBEarthDay.org. Keep current by following Santa Barbara Earth Day on Facebook and Twitter. For more information about Earth Day: go to www.SBEarthDay.org, email info@cecmail.org or call 963-0583 ext. 112.

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