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Internationally known solar-energy expert featured speaker at Earth Day Texoma on April 26
By Marion Hill
Apr 26, 2014
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Internationally known solar-energy expert Dan Lepinski will keynote the sixth annual Earth Day Texoma on April 26 at the Sherman Municipal Grounds, 405 N. Rusk in Sherman.

“Building Green” is the theme for this year’s festival, and Lepinski’s keynote address is titled “Building Green Isn’t Just for Experts.”

The festival runs 8:30-5:00, and he will speak at 11 a.m.

Lepinski lived “off-grid” with his family in Wisconsin for eight years, with solar and wind energy their only sources of electricity.  The 2400-square-foot all-electric home they currently own in Fort Worth uses solar electricity and hot water, plus numerous energy-efficient practices, yielding a monthly utility bill of only $48.

A former broadcaster and editor of a magazine focused on renewable energy, Lepinski is known for his ability to explain complex aspects of solar energy and energy conservation in plain, understandable English.

Registration for sponsors and vendors is now open for the event, which brings together local citizens interested in preserving the earth with organizations and businesses that help in that effort.

Festival activities are planned for the entire family, including informative workshops, a recycled-fashion show, a variety of musical entertainment, and two art shows, one for children and another for teens and adults.

Registration forms are available on the festival’s website http://earthdaytexoma.org for both sponsors and vendors, as well as for entrants in the art shows, for entertainers, and for ecology-related workshop proposals.

Six levels of sponsorship are available, from Recycler at $150 to Stewardship at $5,000.  Other levels are Preservationist$250, Ecologist $500, Environmentalist $1,000, and Conservationist $3,000.

Food vendors and other regular sellers may rent a 12’x12’ space for $50 until April 1.  Booths are available for non-profit groups (offering information only) for $25 before April 1.

After April 1, prices for booth rental rise to $75 for food and other regular vendors, $50 for non-profits.

Sponsors and vendors are listed on the http://earthdaytexoma.org website, as well as in the festival program.

This year, the festival is partnering with Earth Day Network, a national organization that promotes activities to preserve and benefit the environment.  As in previous years, Earth Day Texoma is an outreach of Red River Unitarian Universalist Church in Denison, the event’s main sponsor.

“Earth Day Texoma couldn’t happen without our generous sponsors, the vendors and workshop presenters who provide information and services, and the participation of families from towns all over this area,” says Amy Hoffman-Shehan, coordinator for the festival.

Previous Earth Day Texoma festivals have drawn crowds of up to 4,000, and she expects 2014 to be even bigger.

The annual event is a time when “ordinary people will learn practical things to improve the health of the planet, their children and themselves,” the festival’s website states.

Questions regarding sponsorship or booth rental may be directed to Amy Hoffman-Shehan, amychs@cableone.net or 903-821-8198.

Other contacts are: Jan Fletcher for entertainment, jans_melodies@msn.com or 972-897-5796; Marla Loturco for workshops, marla.ll@suddenlink.net or 903-551-0563; Barbara Powell for children’s art show, ba_powell@earthlink.net or 903-819-4213; and Steve Black for teens and adult art show, blackst@grayson.edu or 903-463-8662.

Volunteers are needed for many tasks, including setting up and taking down booths, manning the information booth, announcing at workshops, providing water to entertainers and others, and otherwise assisting with the running of the festival.  Marla Loturco, marla.ll@suddenlink.net or 903-551-0563, is the contact for volunteers.

Entertainers booked so far include Emily Claire Shlesinger, 16-year-old singer-songwriter from Dallas, who will perform her original music; the Little Goddess Trybe from Denison, who will perform their American Tribal Style bellydancing; the Chrystal Music Circle Group of musicians from Denison, who will interact with festival attendees in the children’s tent; and the S&S After School Choir, elementary-school singers whose previous performances at Earth Day Texoma have been very popular.