Arrive by Bark -- er, Bike -- at SB Earth Day | NBC Southern California
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Arrive by Bark -- er, Bike -- at SB Earth Day

Santa Barbara's spring, planet-nice soiree has a cycle-sweet contest attached.

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    Santa Barbara Earth Day
    Santa Barbara's spring, planet-nice soiree has a cycle-sweet contest attached.

    MAKING A MEMORABLE ENTRANCE: When we ponder how best to make a splashy, noteworthy, event-specific entrance, it is wise for us to first consider the nature of the soiree. Is it the Oscars? We might want to don a shiny gown and look for the start of the red carpet. Is it a wedding and we're a wee bit late? We'll want to gussy up, then hush up as we quietly slip in the back and find our seat. Is the to-do one of the titans of Earth Day, the biggest of the biggest of the bashes when it comes to celebrating our home planet? There are a few ways to go, but one of the most enduring, and most lauded, is arriving by bicycle. Santa Barbara's roots are very much tendril'd around the April occasion, due in part to an oil spill at the close of the 1960s, which inspired many to take action on behalf of our planet and its vital interests. Thus the city has become one of the centers for honoring the day, in many ways, and its long-running festival, a two-day affair, is the center of the center. The 2016 dates are...

    SATURDAY, APRIL 16 AND SUNDAY, APRIL 17, and Alameda Park will once again be the heart of the recycling, energy-saving fun times. If you arrive by bike on either day -- or on foot, or by Pogo Stick, or on a skateboard -- you can enter a contest that includes a trip aboard the Amtrak Coast Starlight alllll the way up to Portland or Seattle, and back, in no less than your own private "roomette." Are meals gratis, too, on the train? You bet. The deal with the contest, which is hosted by the Santa Barbara Car Free Project, is you'll need to arrive at the fest in a not-car, so if that is on a bike, a unicycle, or by jogging in, well, that's a-okay. Just be sure to enter while there. There are other goodies, too, to win via your non-car arrival, including Amtrak Surfliner tickets, Santa Barbara Trolley Company tour passes, or a tour of Butterfly Beach, for two, via Segways. To eye all, and plot your grand, auto-less entrance to one of the majorest of the Earth Day festivals, pop a wheelie over here.