If you’re thinking green this spring, the 10th annual MI Earth Day Fest is the place to be. Taking place April 24-26 in downtown Rochester, the event promises a full weekend of education and entertainment to mark the 45th anniversary of Earth Day.
Kicking off at 4 p.m. Friday, April 24 and continuing through 4 p.m. Sunday, April 26, MI Earth Day Fest moves this year from the downtown streets to the beautiful, natural and spacious setting of Rochester Municipal Park/City Center, near the Paint Creek and Trail.
Nonstop entertainment, expanded educational programming, more than 150 exhibits and presentations, more kids’ activities, a 5K run, drive ‘n drop recycling and Earth Day evening festivities can be found at this year’s event. SMART shuttle buses will run from multiple parking sites all weekend.
“MI Earth Day Fest is one of the largest Earth Day celebrations on the planet,” says event manager John Batdorf of MI Green Team. “We’re expecting as many as 50,000 people to come out, enjoy the event and take home some great tips and tools for living a little lighter on the earth.”
Earth Day, April 22, marks its 45th anniversary this year and is widely considered the birth of the modern environmental movement. MI Earth Day Fest, which first took place in 2005 on the campus of Oakland University, aims to highlight environmental and wellness issues and solutions through education, innovative product and service offerings and community building.
Highlights of the free event follow; find all the details under the categories of Shop, Learn, Celebrate!, Play and Recycle at www.miEDF.com.
All-natural dog treats, recycled plastic wearables, fallen tree-limb furniture and organic edibles are just a few of the intriguing booths to shop at the MI Earth Day Fest. More than 100 exhibitors in areas such as Auto Alley, Green Home, Local Lot and Wellness Way offer products and services that promote green and healthy living, many offering free samples, show specials and door prizes.
The weekend-long slate of presentations, activities and community networking offers something for everyone, including:
– Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash on climate change, fracking and local implications (noon Sat.)
– “America’s Holistic Heart Doc” Joel Kahn M.D. on living longer with a green lifestyle (3 p.m. Sat.)
– Raising Rochester, a “community garden without borders” (6 p.m. Fri.)
– Edible landscape design and permaculture (5 p.m. Sat.)
– The global Transition Town movement to use less fossil fuel, protect our environment, build stronger communities and live richer lives (1 p.m. Sunday)
– The Lawrence Tech University Pioneer Material Renewal project, which deconstructs a blighted home in Detroit and constructs a new building from the salvaged material (3 pm Sun.)
– …and many more thought-provoking presentations; plus health screenings, community-building and non-commercial displays in the Connect Café.
Local efforts to promote green and healthy living are not only worth sharing, but also worth celebrating! Continuous music, food and fun includes the MI Green Hall of Fame awards ceremony (7 p.m. Fri.); an exciting entertainment lineup featuring 2014 Super Singer winner Kenny Nelson (6 p.m. Fri.), the School of Rock (3-6 p.m. Sat.), Jennifer Kincer & Friends (noon Sat. & 2 p.m. Sun.) and other acts; the Rochester Area Recreation Authority (RARA) Earth Day 5K Fun Run (8 a.m. Sat.) and more. Just added: Come celebrate Earth Day, Weds., April 22, at the Earth Day Evening Party starting at 5 p.m. at the new Rochester Tap Room, 6870 N. Rochester Rd. in Rochester.
The fun for kids kicks off Friday night with the USGBC My Green School Kids’ Art Contest and Raising Rochester School Garden awards and continues all weekend with a recycled-costume parade (11 a.m. Sat.), straw bale and Majic Tower climbing (Sat. & Sun.), and fun with mud and other arts and crafts in the Whole Kids Korner.
Throughout the weekend, drive ‘n drop recycling will be offered at no charge. Rochester PTA Green Schools will recycle/repurpose a wide variety of electronic, household, handheld, office, A/V, computer and personal items. World Medical Relief will collect used durable medical equipment. Check the event’s “Recycle” webpage for details.
The 10th Annual MI Earth Day Fest is organized by MI Green Team L3C. Event sponsors and partners include Majic Window, The Palace Sports & Entertainment, Whole Foods Market, Irene’s Myomassology Institute, SMART Bus, Earth Day Network, Fox 2 Detroit, The Oakland Press, 100.3 WNIC, WWJ Newsradio 950 and CMNtv.
Be sure to Like MI Earth Day Fest on Facebook. For details, directions, to register for special events and to exhibit or sponsor, visit www.miEDF.com.