On April 22, historic Williams Park will be filled with lively music, engaging conversation, delicious food, and the sound of children playing in one of our most beautiful public spaces. It’s a great time to learn how small changes in our lives can make a big difference for our planet.
This beautiful and relaxing day in the Florida sunshine began with an environmental nightmare nearly 50 years ago. In 1969, a huge oil spill off the California coast near Santa Barbara fouled beaches and killed thousands of birds and sea creatures. This awful event also started a movement to protect our air and water, clean up our rivers and streams, and make some dramatic changes in our country. It also led to the birth of the first Earth Day.
On April 22, 1970 twenty million people took to the streets, parks, and community centers to demonstrate for a healthy and clean environment. By the end of that year, this national movement led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air and Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. President Richard Nixon said, “Santa Barbara… has frankly touched the conscience of the American people.”
This year, Earth Day will be celebrated by more than one billion people in virtually every country on Earth, making it the largest secular observance in the world.
Earth Day in Williams Park is uniquely “St. Pete” – a city that works hard, tries new ideas, and chills out in the evening with some great music, tasty food, and a favorite beverage.
It all starts at 10 AM with environmental exhibits, artists and makers, live stage events, demonstrations on sustainable living, an electric vehicle show, and dozens of other activities. Featured exhibits include a “Go Outside and Play” area with the Tampa Bay Rays, Great Explorations Museum, Tampa Bay Lightning, and good old fashioned playground games. You can also visit with birds of prey and assorted creepy crawlies from Boyd Hill Nature Center, learn how to protect and preserve our pollinators, get over your fear of bats, and come to respect coyotes.
You can check out Planet Health, the source for natural wellness; The Future of Energy, including solar energy displays; Water is Life, a call to action to save our waterways; and TRASHED, small steps to solve a big problem and Electric Avenue where you can preview, for the first time in the Tampa Bay Area, the new Chevy Bolt, a game changer in affordable electric cars.
There are musical performances throughout the day, including appearances by the “Happy Hands,” signing chorus and Jeff Blake, a well known local artist whose songs celebrate character, commitment and compassion.
Food and beverages will be plentiful, but you won’t see any Styrofoam, straws, or single use plastic bottles. The Earth Day vendors commit to doing business in a sustainable way!
As the festival winds down, a free Concert for the Earth will fill the park with the sounds of Uncle John’s Band, Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, Apple Butter Express, The John Clark Band, Moon Mammoth, and Trenchfoot Shindig. It’s the biggest free music extravaganza of the year!
Food and craft beer sales continue throughout the evening, and you can refill your water bottle for free at any time.
St. Pete Earth Day is cosponsored by The City of St. Petersburg and Chart 411, a local 501(c)3 focused on building a more sustainable community. For more information, visit our website at www.earthdaysp.com or look for us on Facebook. Join us to celebrate the beauty of this planet and our commitment to preserve and protect her.
About the Cover Artist
Lesli Pringle-Burke is a storyteller painting in the style of Magical Realism. She was born in Minnesota, the youngest of four siblings, Lesli found a love for art and nature at a young age.