Entertainment & Events

Earth Day 2014

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EarthDay12014 marks the 44th Earth Day. Forty-four years ago, in 1970, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin, spearheaded the first observation of a day dedicated to directing everyone’s attention to the environment. That sounds normal and commonplace now, but in 1970 it was unusual.

Back then, people in the developed, first-world nations drove vehicles that gulped down gasoline as if it were less than a dollar a gallon. And it was. Cars were big and bad. Especially bad for the air. Air pollution was a proud sign of industrial and economic progress. It wasn’t anything to worry about. Not any more than the cigarettes we all smoked, our individual, private smokestacks of industrial pride and poison.

Back in the 60’s concern for the environment was not a topic heard in school classrooms, government meetings, or popular literature. Until, of course, Rachel Carson’s stunning book “Silent Spring”. Published in 1962, the eventual best-seller was one of the first popularly read accounts of how we were destroying the environment we all depended on. To live. To breathe. Ms. Caron’s wonderful book sold half a million copies in 24 different countries. In the early sixties, that was viral. The attention given by the book and later by those who read it, to the other denizens of this small planet, and to aspects of its environment previously taken for granted, such as the air, the ozone layer, the rain forests, etc., led to Senator Nelson’s proclamation of that first Earth Day.EarthDay2

This Earth Day, those of us in San Diego can enjoy the annual EarthFair in Balboa Park. EarthFair is the most extensive, most visited, free yearly exhibition concerned with the environment anywhere on the planet. Expecting to be visited by more than 65,000 folks, with 400 workers volunteering, this year’s event is sure to please the environmentally-conscious visitor.

EarthDay3The following activities will run from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m:

  • Children’s Earth Parade: Begining at 10:30 a.m at the Spanish Village. Everyone is encouraged to don costumes and parade as an animal on the endangered list.
  • Cleaner Car Concourse: Autos of many types, all of which use alternative means of power
  • eARTh Gallery: Presenting art made with materials that have been recycled, and/or art featuring San Diego County’s endangered critters.
  • eHome Area: An exhibit of more ecologically-friendly devices for the home and  household goods and cleaning products.
  • Entertainment: Three different stages for listening to environmentally safe music. Modern contemporary, folk, and children’s music are included.
  • Exhibitors: 350+ showcases of displays ranging from ecologically-sound tourism to many diverse wares manufactured from natural and organic sources, to organic food, to still more alternatively powered autos.
  • fareKids Area: Stories being told, crafts being crafted, games being played, faces being painting for all kids.
  • Food Pavilion: Vegetarian fare for everyone.

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