â€œGive a round of applause for our mother earth for bestowing the sunshine upon us on this beautiful day to celebrate her,â€ the leader of the Danza Yankuikuitl Aztec Dancers at the Earth And Arts Festival said.
The dance demonstration by the traditional Aztec dancers reminded everyone that without the elements of Mother earthâ€”air and waterâ€”we could not survive, a perfect reason for celebrating.
Marking its 11th anniversary as one of the biggest Earth Day events in Southern California, Pasadena Earth and Arts Festival at Armory Center and Memorial Park featured activities, exhibits and entertainment for all ages.
This yearâ€™s master of ceremonies was noted author, performer and KPCC radio commentator Sandra Tsing Loh. The other featured performers included Pasadena Folk Dance Coop, Pasadena Drums, Folklorico Sol y Luna, RT & the 44â€™s and DJ Trolley Parker, who were especially enjoyed by visitors to the Sustainable Beer and Wine Garden featuring artisan lagers and ales. From learning how to recycle milk cartons, to earth bingo, to a compost bin raffle or crafting stations that could involve anyoneâ€™s creative thinking cap, everyone at the free family festival found something to bring a smile to his or her face.
Six-year old Senay Buyrucu made a volcano with hot lava destroying her buildings at the Cottage Co-op Nursery booth allowing kids and parents to let the creative juices flow with recycled materials. The Armory for the Arts, who sponsored the event, also provided several crafting opportunities.
The event featured a huge eco-marketplace where local businesses and non-profit groups promoted green living, energy and water efficiency, composting, organic foods, green building design, alternative transportation and renewable energy. Attendees were intrigued by the solar panel model display by Pasadena Water and Power that was in full working condition. â€œWe have several booths set up today that teach people how they can save energy and water and live a more sustainable life. The city of Pasadena has adopted very specific goals in terms of water and all of our programs we have are designed to help meet those goals of saving around 13,000 megawatt hours of energy each year,â€ Public Benefits Program Manager John Hoffman with Pasadena Water and Power said.
Hoffman encourages all energy users to learn more about the rebate programs available for installing energy efficient devices like a new refrigerator or solar panels.
The giant white structure in the middle of the festivities at earth day was designed specifically for the Pasadena Earth and Arts Festival by Peter Tolkin. Torus, as the art piece is called, is an interactive sculptural installation 30 feet in diameter, 15 feet tall, and made up of 90 dunnage bags. Parents and children alike delighted in climbing all over this creative artwork.
One aspect of the Festival was recognizing individuals and businesses who made outstanding contributions to making Pasadena more environmentalist friendly through the Green City Awards. The Green City Awards, presented by Vice Mayor Margaret McAustin, had several categorical winners. Repair CafÃ© Pasadena and Anew received the award for waste reduction. Anewâ€™s work has successfully diverted ten million pounds of waste from domestic landfills.
â€œWere very pleased to win the Green City Award for Repair CafÃ©. Weâ€™ve been doing this for about one year and over 240 items have been repaired. I think that our city has a growing consciousness about less consumerism, sending less waste to the landfill, and we have already decreased our landfill contributions by 50% over the last six years. Weâ€™re very proud to have contributed to that and look forward to a year of more repairs linking up people one repair at a time,â€ Therese Brummel of Repair CafÃ© said.
Urban Design winners included La Loma Development Company in the Business category who uses recycled concrete and plants various vegetation, in the education institutional category California Institute of Technology won for the energy efficient laboratories they utilize, the nonprofit category went to Union Station Homeless Services for the rehabilitation project that installed energy-saving utilities, and finally the individual award went to Felicia Williams for her backyard landscaping job that used recycled concrete and an irrigation system.
Throop Universalist Church and Nela Transitions as well as Hotchkin Community Garden Project received Green City Awards for Urban Nature. The garden project turned 5400 square feet of land into a public garden.
C.I.C.L.E. received a Green City Award in the area of non-profit transportation.Â The award for Innovation went to KidSpace Children’s Museum. And finally, the Green City Award for Energy Conservation went to CalStart for powering the Pasadena headquarters with 84.5 kilowatt made in the USA rooftop solar ray and supplying five electric charge stations through green electricity.