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Earth Day to Spread Green Vibes at Alameda Park

Event Saturday and Sunday will feature a variety of eco-friendly exhibits and activities

There will be lots for kids — and adults — to do Saturday and Sunday at Santa Barbara’s 43nd annual Earth Day Festival at Alameda Park. (Robert Bernstein / Noozhawk file photo)

By Kelsey Gripenstraw, Noozhawk Intern | @NoozhawkNews | Published on 04.17.2013 10:43 p.m.

Alameda Park will be bustling with environmentally friendly cheer Saturday and Sunday as the Community Environmental Council demonstrates the various ways to live greenly and sustainably via help from more than 250 community contributors for its annual Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival.

From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Earth Day guests will have a choice of seven zones, which will aim to educate guests on topics ranging from green technology and automobiles to sports and exercise, according to the festival’s website.

Parents can drop off the little ones at the Kid’s Corner, which features arts and crafts to keep children busy.

The Community Environmental Council encourages Santa Barbarans to abandon gas-guzzling automobiles in favor of bicycles — the festival will accommodate cyclists with a free bike valet service for secure bike parking.

An eco-marketplace will present tents from 45 groups and vendors, making available plenty of eco-friendly products.

Van Jones and Bill Nye will be honored on Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, respectively, as recipients of the 2013 Environmental Hero Award.

Jones is the author of two bestsellers: one about green careers and another on progressive living.

Nye, better known as The Science Guy, hosts a show about environmentally responsible choices on Planet Green entitled “Stuff Happens.”

Catch Jones at 2:45 p.m. Saturday at the main stage, and Nye at 2 p.m. on the main stage on Sunday.

Visitors will find plenty of refreshments with help from the festival’s Beer and Wine Garden and Food Court, both slated to be chock-full of local options for food and drink.

The Earth Day Festival was born in 1970 out of community outrage over a massive oil spill in 1969 off of the Santa Barbara coast.

The spill slaughtered thousands of dolphins, elephant seals, sea lions and sea birds. What started as a 5,000-attendee gathering eventually turned into the convening of around 40,000 guests of Earth Day festivals during this decade.

The festival will kick off at 11 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, closing up at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday.

— Noozhawk intern Kelsey Gripenstraw can be reached at[email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk,@NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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