Something for Everyone at an Earth Day Celebration That is Uniquely St. Louis!

St. Louis Earth Day 2016

It’s springtime in St. Louis! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and we’re ready to head outdoors. The warmer months are when St. Louis is most alive. Whether you enjoy an active lifestyle or art fairs and concerts in the park are more your scene, from spring to fall, you will find plenty of fresh-air activities in St. Louis.

One seasonal tradition unofficially marks the kick-off of St. Louis’ outdoor event season – The Annual St. Louis Earth Day Festival. Now in its 27th year, the festival, which began as a small, grassroots gathering, is the second largest Earth Day celebration in the country. Today, the St. Louis Earth Day Festival welcomes tens of thousands of guests each year.

Each April, visitors of all ages and walks of life come together in St. Louis’ beautiful Forest Park to celebrate the spirit of Earth Day and our vibrant St. Louis community in this non-political, fun, and family-friendly event. Admission is free.

Guests have the opportunity to participate in a variety of hands-on educational activities, meet area non-profits that share the mission of Earth Day, learn about sustainable products and services offered by local businesses, and shop unique wares from local and global artisans committed to sustainability and fair trade.

This year’s event will include three stages of musical entertainment and programming. Other special features this year include free yoga classes all day for both adults and children courtesy of Yoga Buzz, a rock climbing wall provided by Upper Limits, and a Nature’s Variety® Instinct® pet adoption area.

Visitors can explore the following themed experience areas: Alternative Transportation and Fuels; Arts and Crafts; the Earth Day Café; Energy and Green Building; the Farmers Market; Home and Pets; Nature, Recreation and Wildlife; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; Social Sustainability (New!); Wellness and Spirituality; and the Youth Corner.

Over twenty food and beverage vendors will be serving up diverse, local cuisine and drinks. Schlafly will have a selection of local brews on tap, including their Organic IPA, which is brewed in honor of Earth Day. Nearby, Chipotle’s engaging visual experience will contrast the difference between fresh and processed foods – a difference you can taste at the hand-picked Earth Day Cafe booths and the new 2016 Pit Stop booths.

All Festival food vendors are required to participate in the event’s Zero Waste initiative, serving on only recyclable and compostable serviceware. All event waste will be collected and sorted for recycling and composting by St. Louis Earth Day’s Recycling On the Go program, with special support from sponsor, Subaru.

Seventeen of the restaurants and food trucks featured in this year’s Earth Day Café are have been formally certified for sustainable operations by The Green Dining Alliance, a program of the St. Louis Earth Day organization. (Visit www.greendiningalliance.org for more information.)

The Festival will open this year with a Kick-Off ceremony on the Y98 Earth Day Stage, conducted by Interfaith Power and Light and local clergy. Immediately following, free yoga led by Yoga Buzz will begin in the west pavilion and continue all day. After the JOIA All-Species Jamboree parade, which will begin at the Cafe Stage and flow through the Festival grounds, Mayor Francis G. Slay will give a brief speech on the Y98 Earth Day Stage.

The Y98 Earth Day Stage and Cafe Stage will feature original regional artists, including CaveofswordS, DJ Needles, Tortuga, Bruiser Queen, Arson for Candy and more! The St. Louis Children’s Hospital Community Stage, located in the Youth Corner, boasts a full lineup of programming, including a sustainable fashion show, a visit from Circus Flora and a live bird show by the World Bird Sanctuary. The new Youth Corner will include a variety of hands-on art and science activities for kids of all ages.

In order to reduce the environmental footprint of the festival, visitors are encouraged to carpool, walk, or ride a bicycle and use free bike valet stations. Biodiesel and compressed natural gas (CNG) buses provided by St. Louis Lambert International Airport will serve as parking shuttles for those who prefer to drive. Shuttles will run every 15 minutes.

Festival-goers can also take the “Earth Day Challenge” by bringing a reusable bag, refillable water bottle and using low-impact transportation to get to Forest Park. Visitors who accomplish two of the three challenges receive an eco-friendly prize. An organized ride to the Festival will be organized this year by Trailnet and Big Shark from each of the Schlafly brew pubs. Join the Schlafly “Slow Roll” to the Festival and receive an extra prize!

Want to start the party early with even more Earth Day fun? Head to the festival grounds on Saturday afternoon for Earth Day Eve, a benefit celebration to support the St. Louis Earth Day organization.
Like the Festival, Earth Day Eve is also family friendly and open to the public. All are welcome to enjoy a special selection of festival food and kick back to the music of Jake’s Leg, who performed 27 years ago at the very first St. Louis Earth Day celebration. Earth Day Eve guests can take part in a silent auction and 50/50 raffle. Special activities including face painting and t-shirt tie-dying will be offered for a nominal donation.

General admission tickets to Earth Day Eve are just $5.00 (kids 12 and under are free.) Special admission tickets to the VIP ‘Friends of Earth Day Tent,’ which include free food and beverage catered by Bailey’s Restaurants and Schlafly, are just $45.00 for adults, and $20.00 for kids 12 and under. All proceeds from Earth Day Eve directly support the programming of St. Louis Earth Day, including the annual Festival, and year-round local services like Recycling on the Go, Earth Day Action Grants and The Green Dining Alliance.

Both Earth Day Eve and the St. Louis Earth Day Festival will take place ‘rain or shine’ at the Muny Grounds in Forest Park.

Earth Day Eve
Saturday, April 23rd
4 -7 p.m.

The St. Louis Earth Day Festival
Sunday, April 24th
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Think Global, Act STL.’ The St. Louis Earth Day Festival is a welcoming place where all are invited for celebration and learning. Dogs on leashes are welcome, too – so bring the WHOLE family and head to Forest Park for St. Louis Earth Day!

The St. Louis Earth Day Festival is a service of the St. Louis Earth Day organization, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

For more information on the organization or events, or to purchase advance tickets to Earth Day Eve, visit www.stlouisearthday.org.