The free festival has grown in popularity and attendance each year since it began six years ago with the goal of helping ordinary people learn practical ways to improve the health of the planet, their children and themselves.
Last week, Earth Day Texoma’s organizers received word of its selection by Interfaith Power & Light, a national organization of religious groups concerned about global warming, as IPL’s “Community Inspiration” winner for the year.
The organization’s notification cited the Texoma event for “helping to inspire the surrounding community to save energy and live more sustainably…in an area where oil drills are a much more common sight than Earth Day festivals.”
The award includes a $1,000 check that will help fund future Earth Day events.
The theme of this year’s festival, “Building Green,” is evident in offerings by vendors (from solar-energy companies to farmers using traditional growing methods); informative workshops (on topics from a “green diet,” to geothermal HVAC units, to recycling “found objects” into useful and/or decorative items); and a keynote address titled “Building Green Isn’t Just for Experts.”
The festival isn’t all serious. Fun and entertainment are a big part of the day. Attendees will be treated to a varied roster of acts in two venues: the main (gazebo) stage and a children’s tent (new this year). Musical presentations range from bluegrass bands and dulcimer music to choirs and vocal soloists.
This year’s headliner is 17-year-old singer/songwriter Emily Claire Shlesinger from Dallas, who has appeared at such venues as South by Southwest, Six Flags Over Texas, The Palladium, House of Blues, and Hard Rock Café.
Besides the musical performers, acts include a cowboy poet/storyteller; demonstrations of Tai Chi, karate, and belly-dancing; and “Trashion” (a fashion show of recycled garments).
Two art shows, one for children and one for adults and teens, will be part of the activities as well. The Friends of the Sherman Public Library will again have their annual used-book sale in coordination with the festival.
Recycling is a big part of Earth Day Texoma, with trucks and drop-off points for various used items located in City Hall Parking Lot (Pecan at Elm St.). Choctaw Recycling will be accepting cardboard, paper, printer and toner cartridges, Styrofoam, and plastic bottles (#1, #2, #5, and medicine bottles). Commodity Recycling Solutions will accept e-waste (anything that has operated with a plug or batteries), clothing, shoes, belts, and batteries. Mobile Shred It will shred documents, up to 10 copier-size boxes per vehicle.
The Sherman Police, as part of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) National Prescription Take-Back Day, will accept expired or unused pills, cough syrup and other medications—even controlled substances such as ADHD drugs.
Other recycling opportunities include: used musical instruments in any condition by Grayson College Music Dept.; baseball caps and sunglasses for field workers in Central America by Red River Unitarian Universalist Church; used eyeglasses and sunglasses by the Sherman Lions Club.
The Sherman Animal Shelter will be offering Adopt-A-Pet from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Food vendors will include Girasole’s, Lowe’s BBQ, and Tacos Hondumex.
More information about all festival activities is at www.EarthDayTexoma.org.