Looking for some outdoor fun for the whole family this spring that’s active and relaxing, a little educational and very inspiring?
Then Earth Day is for you. Along with good food, games and music, Earth Day festivals around southwestern Virginia offer the chance to learn more about ways that everybody can help the earth, including by going solar.
And Earth Day is not just for hippie tree huggers. It’s for everybody, whatever your age or political persuasion. Main Street Solar will even be at the Earth Day in Roanoke this Saturday, April 22.
Started in 1970 by a bipartisan team of conservation-minded legislators, Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin and Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey of California, the first Earth Day was meant to raise Americans’ awareness of the challenges facing the environment and highlight the many positive solutions available. As the Earth Day website explains, the new holiday had an immediate impact:
Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. “It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.”
Today, Earth Day has expanded to thousands of events around the world. In southwestern Virginia, you can choose from half a dozen family-friendly festivals around Earth Day this weekend. Check out a sampling of events below.
1. Earth Day Roanoke
Saturday, April 22
Come join Main Street Solar at this year’s fun family festival to celebrate the earth with exhibits, music, food, crafts, and children’s activities. Learn about renewable resources, with solar panels and electric car displays. We’ll have some neat solar gadgets on display and will be ready to answer all your burning questions about solar power. Also meet farmers, bee keepers, and community gardeners. Find resources for tree care, recycling, water projects and energy saving tips.
Located at River’s Edge North sports fields on Reserve Ave. near Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Celebrate all we share and care for on planet Earth! Plan to carpool, bus, walk or bike on the Green Way. Plenty of parking for all. Get more information.
2. Animals and Agriculture in Blacksburg
Sunday, April 23
Celebrate Earth Day with a fun family friendly event! Winterfrost Farm will be bringing their Ride-A-Rescue Program for trail rides around the property. Other animal vendors will be joining us as well!
Hear lavender talks and vineyard talks through out the day. Wine and Design Christiansburg will offer a fun themed painting class starting at 1:30 pm- tickets are sold though Wine and Design Christiansburg.
Live music will be provided by Brandon Roth from 2-5pm. Get more information.
3. Earth Day at Peaks of Otter Lodge Near Bedford
Saturday, April 22
An Earth Day celebration including free shuttle rides to a special Sharp Top clean up event, environmental education, and a special Earth Day Dinner menu! Get more information.
4. Earth Day in Martinsville
Saturday, April 22
Get up. Get out. Enjoy the great outdoors! Join the Virginia Museum of Natural History for the 2017 Earth Day Festival on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at J. Frank Wilson Park in Martinsville. Enjoy a plethora of games, crafts, face painting, temporary tattoos, and live music by Kim and Jimbo Cary and their all natural instruments. The event is absolutely free to attend! The festival is provided by the Virginia Museum of Natural History and Martinsville Parks and Recreation. Get more information.
We hope you and your family get out and enjoy some fresh air on Earth Day this year. We encourage you to learn more about solar power and how it can help the environment while saving you money. And if you’re in Roanoke, please stop by and see us on Saturday.
— Andrew Brenner, Main Street Solar