Earth Day in Santa Barbara

The city's long-running celebration has a starry name or two.

YOU'RE ON EARTH: At least we expect you are, if you're reading this right now (we can't say where the internet and its articles will fly to far in the future). And being on the planet naturally makes you interested in issues regarding the planet and its well-being, or at least we hope. Your status as an earthling may even make you want to do something special to mark Earth Day, that late April moment when we all should take pause and think about the world we love so. But what is that something special? And where do you go? Two simple tips: Make for one of the cities that has the strongest ties to the holiday, because the history is deep. And two? Follow Van Jones and Bill Nye.

NOW... One can't always see the brilliant science maven in person, but if one of our country's innovation pioneers and the Science Guy are headed to a particular Earth Day celebration, it is probably one of the hoedowns to be at. And so it is: Santa Barbara's Earth Day Festival is one of the most venerable and multi-faceted of all the planetary parties. That has much to do with the city's role in the founding of Earth Day (an oil spill in 1969 helped bring people together to work for environmental change) and to the current commitment of its eco-minded residents.

THE DETAILS: The Earth Day Festival blossoms at Alameda Park on Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21. Van Jones, a leader in green and economic innovation and growth, will receive the festival's environmental hero award on April 20. Bill Nye will be there on April 21 to pick up his hero award.

AT THE FESTIVAL ITSELF: Information booths, an eco-marketplace, and green car show are some of the highlights. If you've ever wanted to do Earth Day in a festival-type situation, this is definitely one to visit, both for its historic ties to the day and its plethora of activities.

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