The Community Environmental Council (CEC) will host the 2011 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival at Alameda Park on Saturday, April 16, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 17 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This year’s theme is “Powered by the People,” and is in line with the CEC’s Fossil Free by ’33 campaign, which emphasizes the power of daily choices in making Santa Barbara one of the first fossil-fuel-free communities in the nation. The Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival is FREE to all those who wish to attend.

Exhibitor registration is now open for businesses and nonprofit organizations wishing to participate. Registration fees increase by $100 per registrant as of Friday, April 1. To register, exhibitors should go to and click on “Register as an Exhibitor or Sponsor. Exhibitor space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Booths spaces are expected to sell out.

“Earth Day is classic Santa Barbara. It began here in 1970, and it continues to thrive as one of the strongest community-building events in our region,” said Sigrid Wright, Associate Director of the Community Environmental Council. “More than 31,000 people attended last year – one of the most highly-attended Earth Day events in Santa Barbara in 40 years — at a time when the national news pundits were claiming that environmentalism was dead.”

“We chose the theme, Powered by the People, because we wanted to show that each one of us makes dozens of decisions every day in which we can opt for a healthy environment and strong economy. This is one of the few large community gatherings where you come out feeling inspired and connected. Inspired to make your home greener, or to eat more locally-grown food, or to drive less, or to buy a more fuel-efficient car. Connected to your neighbors, and willing to say ‘Yes in my backyard’ to things like wind energy or solar energy.”

As details are announced, the best way to get the most updated information on the 2011 Earth Day Festival will be on Twitter (@SBEarthday,, Facebook (Santa Barbara Earth Day, and CEC’s festival website (

Advance events leading up to the two-day festival include:

* Kick-off party with Green Drinks at Soho on Tuesday, March 15, hosted by Earth Day production partner LoaTree. Details coming to

* Opening Night Reception on Wednesday, April 13 at the Savoy in Santa Barbara, hosted by Earth Day production partner Plus One Events. Details coming to .

* Green Shorts Film Festival screening and awards event at the Lobero Theater Thursday, April 14. Now in its third year, Green Shorts showcases one- to two-minute films on the Earth Day theme, “Powered by the People,” and is a partnership between the Community Environmental Council, Traffic Solutions and other local non-profits. Film submissions deadline is Friday, March 18. Details at .

Highlights of the Community Environmental Council’s 2011 Earth Day Festival:

* Green Car Show, featuring FIRST Ride & Drives at Earth Day: The 12th Annual Santa Barbara Green Car Show hosts the largest assembly of efficient and alternative-fueled vehicles between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is the longest-running public Green Car Show in the United States. The collection features the latest all-electric vehicles (such as the Nissan Leaf) and plug-in gas/electric hybrids (such as the Chevy Volt) and other vehicles that run on hydrogen, ethanol, biodiesel and compressed natural gas. Free “Ride & Drives” will be available both days to potential customers interested in getting behind the wheel of an advanced fueled vehicle.

* Bike World: A large bike culture hub, which includes art installations, bike vendors, and free bike check-ups by the Bicycle Coalition and Santa Barbara Middle School’s Bike Monkeys. Bike World will also include a large, secured, free bike valet zone capable of parking up to 1,000 bikes. A small stage will be powered by ‘pedal power’ by the audience itself.

* Environmental Hero Award: Stay tuned for announcements about the 2011 award recipient. Recent Environmental Hero Award recipients making appearances on stage at the festival include Director James Cameron (2010) and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk (2009).

* Power House: A life-size home that demonstrates all aspects of home energy and allows visitors to visualize energy saving measures in a new way. Talk with home energy professionals and get the latest information on financing a home energy upgrade.

* Eco Marketplace: A new area within the festival that focuses on linking eco-conscious businesses and customers. The Eco-Marketplace profiles the growing legion of green businesses on the central coast.

* Harvest to Home Area: Back by popular demand, this section of the festival features organizations and businesses providing support to the local food movement. Mini-workshops on this small stage all weekend will include topics such as composting, backyard poultry, canning, seed propagation, vermiculture, and beneficial insects. Workshop schedule to be announced the week of the event at and in the Earth Day Festival Guide (published in the Independent on Thursday, April 15).

* Earth Day Main Stage Entertainment: On the solar and bio-diesel powered Main Stage, Earth Day production partner New Noise Foundation will present a stellar array of musical talent. Stage schedule to be announced the week of the event at and in the Earth Day Festival Guide (published in the Independent on Thursday, April 15).

* Earth Day Theater at Alameda Park: Go to the (eco) movies at 2011 Earth Day. A specially constructed Earth Day Theater within the park features two full days of both short and long films that touch on some of the most interesting environmental topics of our day. FREE. Film schedule to be announced the week of the event at and in the Earth Day Festival Guide (published in the Independent on Thursday, April 15).

* Enchanted Forest for Children: Now in a new, quieter location at the festival, the Children’s Enchanted Forest features activities, art, workshops and storytelling. In addition, kids can pick up an Earth Day Passport, which provides a tour of a dozen exhibitors throughout the festival offering special activities for children. Activity schedule to be announced the week of the event at and in the Earth Day Festival Guide (published in the Independent on Thursday, April 15).

How to Get There: Earth Day organizers work closely with the Bicycle Coalition, MTD, Amtrak, Santa Barbara Car Free and other partners to inspire attendees to come to the event “car-free” by offering guided bike rides to the festival, bus maps, free bike valet parking, and other incentives. Stay tuned to the Facebook or for details.

Santa Barbara Earth Day History: In the wake of the devastating 1969 oil spill off Santa Barbara’s shores, a group of local concerned citizens began talking about a different way of looking at environmental systems. Over the next few years, around the country the environmental movement was born – including the Community Environmental Council, which was incorporated in the spring of 1970. During that time, Senator Gaylord Nelson visited Santa Barbara to view the damage from the oil spill. 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 first act as a newly established non-profit, it hosted one of the first Earth Day celebrations in the country in 1970.

About the Community Environmental Council

Since 1970, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) has led the Santa Barbara region – and at times California and the nation – in creative solutions to some of the toughest environmental problems. Today CEC is focused on eliminating the use of fossil fuels in the Central Coast region in one generation – Fossil Free by ’33. Find the CEC on the web at on Twitter @CECSB and on Facebook, Community Environmental Council (CEC).

For more information on Earth Day: go to follow the event on Twitter @SBEarthday, “Like” “Santa Barbara Earth Day” on Facebook or call 963-0583 ext. 100.


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