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EarthFair 2012 in Balboa Park

A quick guide to what to see and do at this landmark event on April 22

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EarthFair 2012 is San Diego EarthWorks’ 23rd annual event. EarthFair in Balboa Park has become the largest free annual environmental fair and Earth Day celebration in the world.

Produced by 400 volunteers, EarthFair 2012 will feature more than 350 exhibitors, theme areas, a food pavilion, a special Kids’ Activity Area, four entertainment venues, the Children’s Earth Parade, and the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Show.

Earth Day is a “big tent” celebration, encompassing everyone and everything that concerns the care and preservation of our environment. EarthFair mirrors this broad view.

Exhibitors

The exhibitors are the heart of EarthFair. They represent every type of environmental organization, governmental program and commercial enterprise with goods, services, and causes that address our environment and quality of life. EarthFair exhibitor fees are graduated to allow everyone to participate, from the smallest club to the largest corporation.

It’s impossible to list everything you’ll find at EarthFair: traditional conservation organizations; wildlife preservation groups; green building; products made from natural and organically grown crops; organic gardening information; alternative energy vehicles; eco-tourism opportunities; many alternative and traditional health care products and services; pet adoption services; clean air and clean water products; habitat preservation group — the list goes on and on.

If your organization, club, or company is interested in exhibiting at EarthFair, please earthdayWeb.org.

Special for kids

In our Children’s’ Activity Area you’ll find crafts, games, face painting, story-telling, and a hands-on activities for children of all ages. Activities are designed to educate, entertain, and inspire youth in the spirit of Earth Day.

This year, participants can take part in a number of eco-friendly projects and crafts. Our Children’s Stage features performances throughout the day. This year we are privileged to have the Big Mama Earth organization join us to cohost the Children’s Area. They will be providing our state, and their Eco-Earth Kids will perform throughout the day.

Children’s Earth Parade

The Children’s Earth Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. From the Spanish Village, it marches through the park to the Children’s Area in the Pan American Plaza (close to the Auto Museum). Participants are invited to dress up as endangered species or present their favorite Earth-friendly messages. To find out more about the parade, to see photos of previous parades, or to register, please visit earthParade.org.

eARTH Gallery



The eARTh Gallery features crafts and artwork made from recycled, discarded or waste materials; or depicting “Endangered Spaces” in San Diego County. The artwork will be presented next to the Children’s Area in the Pan American Plaza (close to the Houses of International Relations).

For information about displaying or selling your eco-art or crafts, please visit sdearthGallery.org.

Green building

Exhibits in the Pan American Plaza showcase products and technologies that can make your home more environmentally sustainable and healthy. Find out about energy- and resource-saving products and materials, such

as energy-efficient appliances and low-E windows. A wide variety of solar-electric systems can help you get “off the grid.”

Cleaner Car Concourse

The Cleaner Car Concourse features alternative-fuel and high-efficiency vehicles of all descriptions (hybrids included). This isn’t just “someday” – these are vehicles being used on the road today. The vehicles will be on display in the Pan American Plaza. Do you have a vehicle that belongs in the show? Visit earthdayWeb.org for more information and to register.

First, you have to get there

EarthFair attracts around 60,000 visitors. That’s a lot. It you plan on arriving at EarthFair after 11:00 a.m., there will be little or no car parking close to the park. Instead of sitting in your car looking for that one needle-in-a-haystack parking place, try one of these alternatives: bike, use transit, or use off-site parking with a free shuttle ride.

Ride a bike

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will offer free, guarded bike parking in two locations:

• On Village Place (off of Park Blvd., south of the Zoo) behind the Natural History Museum;

• In the Alcazar Garden parking lot (from the Laurel Street bridge, turn right into the Alcazar Garden, just past the Museum of Man).

If you don’t want to ride the entire way to the park, drive part way, park in a convenient spot, and ride the rest of the way.

Ride public transportation

Trolley and free shuttle

Take the free shuttle service from City College. From the trolley stop on Park Boulevard, cross to the east side of Park Boulevard and walk up to Russ Boulevard. The shuttle stop is close to the corner of Russ and Park Boulevards.

Try transit for Earth Day!

Take any Blue or Orange Trolley Line to the City College Station in downtown San Diego. The station is located between 11th Ave. and Park Blvd., and C St. and Broadway.

The Route 7 bus stop is just steps away at the corner of 11th Avenue and C Street. Remember to get a Day Pass when you start your trip on the trolley.

Use the Transit Trip Planner on-line at transit.511sd.com. For automated schedule info, call: 619-685-4900. Remember, riding MTS buses and trolleys make every day “EARTH DAY.” When you use transit instead of driving a car you reduce greenhouse gases, slow global warming, and improve our air quality. Saving just one gallon of gas can eliminate 19 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

EarthFair 2012 off-site parking and free shuttles

Free shuttle services will take you between the fair and two free off-site parking locations: at City College, and at the County administration Building on Pacific highway. The shuttles will run from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. NOTE: EarthFair shuttle buses cannot accommodate bicycles.

-Reprinted with permission from EarthWorks.

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