ROCHESTER (WWJ) — The Michigan Earth Day Fest is taking over the streets of downtown Rochester April 25-27.
The ninth annual event is one of the planet’s largest Earth Day celebrations. Organizers expect more than 50,000 to attend the free event.
Showcasing the green and healthy-living efforts and offerings of area businesses and community groups, the festival will feature more than 150 exhibits, displays and presentations as well as entertainment, awards, recycling drop-off, food and family fun. The event aims to highlight environmental and wellness issues and solutions through education, innovative product and service offerings and community building.
The festival will be held along Walnut Boulevard and Fourth Street starting at 4 p.m. Friday, April 25 and ending at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 27.
“It’s the biggest Earth Day celebration around,” said event manager John Batdorf, of the Michigan Green Team, which presents the event. “We’re excited to move from a grass lot to the downtown streets for better access and parking, and a lot less mud — more celebrating the Earth, and less getting it in your shoes.”
All events are free and open to the public. Highlights include:
* Awards Ceremony, 7-8 p.m. Friday: 2014 Michigan Green Hall of Fame awards and My Green School Art Contest winners, in conjunction with the United States Green Building Council Detroit Chapter.
* Entertainment featuring American Idol Hollywood Week contestant Abbie Lane, 6 p.m. Friday; Pep Rally, 11 a.m. Saturday; Earth Day Talent Showcase, 11:30 a.m. Saturday, emceed by 100.3 WNIC’s Doni Flynn; Radio Disney kids’ performance, 3 p.m. Sunday; and many other acts;
* Presentations: A town hall meeting on fracking with Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash, 6:30 p.m. Friday; cardiologist and author of “The Holistic Heart Book” Joel Kahn, M.D., 2 p.m. Saturday; and other thought-provoking presentations, plus health screenings, networking and community-building roundtables in the Connect Café;
* Exhibits: Displays of vehicles and renewable energy systems; home improvement, gardening, apparel, food, farm and other eco-friendly and healthy offerings; great show specials and free samples;
* Recycling: Used electronics, clothing, shoes and other items can be dropped off on Walnut just south of University;
* Food Trucks: Shimmy Shack, metro Detroit’s only all-vegan food truck; plus Different Twist mobile pretzel bakery, Time2Chill Detroit Gelato and other tasty offerings will be on site;
* Fun for Kids: Crafts, climbing tower, pep rally, Radio Disney performance, Disney Junior “Doc McStuffins Toy Check-Up” and a full schedule of kids’ activities.
“There’s a reason Earth Day is the world’s largest secular celebration, and that’s because everyone can do something to help solve today’s environmental problems,” Batdorf said. “This event aims to entertain, educate and celebrate how we can work together to make every day Earth Day.”
Event sponsors and media partners include DTE Energy, Oakland County, FOX 2 Detroit, The Oakland Press, The Macomb Daily, the Royal Oak Daily Tribune, 100.3 WNIC, WWJ Newsradio 950 and GreeningDetroit.com.
For directions, schedules, lists of participants and to exhibit or sponsor, visit http://www.migreenteam.com/miedf.