Tuesday, August 21 , 2018, 3:19 pm | A Few Clouds 76º


Earth Day Festival Has Everything Under the Sun

Community Environmental Council's celebration grows in size and diversity ... and moves to a new home at Alameda Park on Sunday

It’s time to celebrate all things environmental as the Community Environmental Council holds its annual Earth Day Festival on Sunday.

It’s an event that promises to be bigger and better than before. So big, in fact, that it’s outgrown its usual digs at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden.

“It’s just been steadily growing,” CEC assistant director Sigrid Wright said of the festival that had its start in 1970 as an offshoot of the environmental movement that began in the wake of the 1969 Santa Barbara Channel oil spill. After last year’s festival it became apparent that the event would need some room to spread out, and Alameda Park, 1400 Santa Barbara St., became the obvious choice, she said.

This year’s theme is “Life After Oil,” to turn attention to the need to wean society off petroleum and to get a jump on using renewable sources of energy and ultimately, a different kind of lifestyle.

According to Wright, this year’s festivities are a combination of tried-and-true favorites — like the ever more popular green car exhibit (one of the reasons why the festival needs more space), family-friendly activities and live music — and one-time only deals that should not be missed.

Among this year’s highlights are a green, fire-resistant model house that will demonstrate the latest in earth-friendly design and materials. The result of a collaboration between the CEC, Allen Associates and Wade Davis Design, the small home got the added benefit of fire-resistance when the designers saw the need to customize a dwelling for high-fire risk areas like Santa Barbara. After the festivital, the house will be transported to the Coyote Road neighborhood for the benefit of a family that lost its home in last year’s Tea Fire.

Headlining the green car show will be the Tesla Roadster, a new high-performance electric car. This car isn’t one of your cruise-around-the-neighborhood type vehicles. It goes from 0-60 mph in about 3.9 seconds, and can go almost 250 miles on a single charge. The CEC will be honoring the man behind the car — 37-year-old entrepreneur Elon Musk — as this year’s CEC Environmental Hero.

To get people thinking about how they can live a more sustainable lifestyle, the Green Shorts Video competition will be screening its picks in a series of two-minute films made by locals exploring the possibilities in a life free of fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, movers and shakers in local alternative energy, ACCIONA Wind Energy, will be on hand to promote renewable energy sources, answer questions and gather input from the community on ways to take advantage of emerging technologies.

“People will be interested in what’s happening with the Lompoc Wind Farm,” David Hastings, ACCIONA’s vice president of development, said of the county’s first-ever wind energy project that recently received a green light from the Board of Supervisors. “We’ll be able to provide more specific updates of the process that we’re going through to address the numerous conditions that the county has set.”

This year’s event, which includes more than 250 vendors, has a wide variety of sponsors from throughout the community, including Noozhawk, Built Green Santa Barbara, Cox Communications, The Fund for Santa Barbara, Granite Construction, Green Star Coffee, MarBorg Industries, Rincon Landscapes, San Marcos Growers, the city of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust and many others.

Visitors to Noozhawk’s booth, which is co-hosted by Kids Speaking Up, can enter a drawing for a camera from Samy’s Camera and other prizes.

The CEC Earth Day Celebration begins at 10 a.m. and lasts until 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Santa Barbara MTD will be offering free bus and shuttle rides all day, to every stop. Click here for more information.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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