When Trammell Crow, Jr. launched his first Earth Day festival in Dallas, it seemed like a sweet idea: Take the kids downtown, check out some activities, visit some booths. Attending that day in 2011, I never expected that I would meet heavy hitters like Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe and “Dallas” icon Larry Hagman. From that first splash, the weekend event, now called Earth Day Texas, has become a 365-day a year non-profit organization that seeks to influence the way Texans think, live and work by elevating environmental awareness.
Hosting the world’s largest Earth Day celebration this year on April 26 and 27 at Fair Park, Earth Day Texas proves that our state’s claim to doing everything bigger actually extends to sustainability, too. Spanning about 500,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, the free indoor/outdoor event will offer 60,000 anticipated attendees entertainment, exhibits, and environmental education.
EDTx 2014 should make another big splash by focusing on water, one of the most critical issues facing our state, our nation and the world.
“It’s going to be bigger, better, and wetter than ever,” said Michael Cain, executive director of EDTx. “The weekend is full of festivities that will bring everyone, from businesses to families, together to celebrate the planet and learn how they can make every day their Earth Day.”
Earth Day Texas will provide endless opportunities for Texan families to see why being eco-friendly has never been so fun, including:
• Eco Expo – The EDTx Eco Expo is the largest of its kind. Approximately 800 engaging exhibits including over 160 businesses, 85 nonprofits, 70 academic institutions, and 50 government organizations will share their best greenpractices and motivate attendees to incorporate green ideas into their everyday lives.
• The Polyphonic Spree – The Polyphonic Spree will perform a free concert at 6 p.m. on April 27. Free wristbands for the show will be available at the EDTx indoor information booths from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 26 and 27.
• Green Speaker Series – The educational speaker series features presentations from CNN’s 2013 Hero of the Year, Chad Pregracke; actor Ed Begley, Jr.; and TV personality David Mizejewski.
• Electric and Hybrid Vehicles – Electric and hybrid vehicles will be on display, including the Tesla Coupe and Roadster, Fisker, and Nissan Leaf. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ride in a Tesla and test-drive the BMWi3.
• Radio Disney Family Zone – The Radio Disney AM 620 Team Green will provide all-day entertainment and activities for kids and families.
• Global Inheritance Energy Playground – The energy-fueled playground features seesaws, a human hamster wheel, a swing, and other rides that capture the motion of participants and convert it into 12-volt energy.
• Tree Climbing – Tree Climbing International will provide training and safety gear for festival attendees over the age of five to climb to the top of historic live oak trees.
• Mayors Panels – The mayors of Addison, Denton, Garland, Arlington, Cedar Hill, Farmers Branch and Irving will share their views on statewide water issues at panel discussions on both Saturday and Sunday.
“What makes Earth Day Texas unique is the immense variety of things to see, do and learn at the event,” said Cain. “We invite everyone to the table to discuss environmental issues with the goal of sparking a conversation and keeping a healthy dialogue going throughout the year.”
For the latest updates about the 2014 event, download the Earth Day Texas app, now available in the iTunes Apple Store.