The 2013 festival will promote the power of grassroots action in protecting and preserving the environment, with specific resources for reducing the use of fossil fuels.
The CEC will announce significant highlights of the event — including the recipient of CEC’s Environmental Hero Award — on Feb. 20.
In the 30 days leading up to the festival, the 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 Carr Winery, 414 N. Salsipuedes St. in Santa Barbara, from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 19. Other Earth Month events will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
The CEC’s Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival is free for attendees. The festival will feature about 250 exhibitors — some selling goods and services in the EcoMarketplace, others promoting their cause in the Public Square. (See below for instructions for exhibitors).
Highlights of the Community Environmental Council’s 2013 Earth Day Festival:
» A bike valet, with free bike tune-ups and free valet bike parking. (More than 1,500 people arrived by bike in 2012.)
» 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 900 people participated in a Ride & Drive in 2012.)
» A Clean Tech Pavilion offering products, services and processes that rely on renewable materials and energy to reduce or eliminate emissions and waste.
» Two full days of music on the Main Stage, organized by New Noise Media Group.
» Local, organic food booths and a Beer & Wine Garden.
» A Kid’s Corner organized by LearningDen Preschool and Sprout Up, with arts and crafts, musical performances, storytelling, face painting and a marine touch tank.
» 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 director James Cameron, actress Daryl Hannah and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk — all who 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 the largest Earth Day festival on the West Coast. Santa Barbara’s environmental reputation attracts national media, celebrity attention and local crowds; the 2012 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival drew more than 35,000 visitors.
Since its beginning in 1970, the Community Environmental Council has overseen the Santa Barbara festival, growing it into the premier exhibition of new green technology and lifestyle solutions for environmentally savvy residents of California’s Central Coast.
“At its heart, Earth Day has always been about people and how they interact with the environment,” said Sigrid Wright, associate director of the CEC and the festival’s director. “We emphasize story-sharing throughout the event, and social media now allows us to extend our reach and capture more of these stories.
“More people are attending now than ever before, and the solutions that people are talking about are increasingly sophisticated. Earth Day is the only local festival that showcases a wide range of emerging green technologies all at once. The Green Car Show is an excellent example of this. If you’re in the market for a highly efficient car, or want to see how some locals are driving on sunshine, this is place to go.”
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 the CEC, which was incorporated in the spring of 1970. During that time, Sen. 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 the CEC’s initial act as new nonprofit, it hosted one of the first Earth Day celebrations in the country.
The CEC is partnering with LoaTree, the New Noise Media Group, Oniracom and Plus One Events to produce the festival. Exhibitor registration is available by clicking here. Keep current by following Santa Barbara Earth Day on Facebook and Twitter.
— Danielle Deltorchio is a publicist representing the Community Environmental Council.