Organizers from Concord, Kannapolis and Cabarrus County are hosting the inaugural Viva Verde Earth Fest, a free Earth Day celebration for residents.
Mandy Smith-Thompson, an organizer from the City of Concord and environmental educator, is excited about the event. She says there will be several groups participating, including service groups and local bands.
"We have some very interesting exhibitors on the roster. The Carolina Raptor Center will be attending with live birds. Beholdance, a local service group for youth, will be providing children's activities," she said. Beholdance will offer children's games, crafts, face painting and more. Other participants include the Northeast Medical Center, which is teaming up with the Catawba College Center for the Environment, to share information on air quality and asthma.
The Viva Verde Earth Fest also promises to have music for everyone. "Visitors certainly do not want to miss the music. We've got the bluesy Jo Gore and the Alternative from Durham, The Joe Davis Band, southern rockers from Kannapolis, funk pop rocker Zack Fowler from Charlotte, folk rockers Old Rusty Mandolin from Concord," Smith-Thompson said. Jeff Whittington from Concord will be the MC and join in with John Culbreath for some Bluegrass music as well.
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Free environmental classes will be offered. Classes offered include "Composting 101, Weatherize Your Home, Yards Are More Than Grass and Local Food." Smith-Thompson says the collaboration between the two cities and the county to pull this event together has one main objective. "The overall goal is to provide an event that is fun, entertaining and educational, so we can work to create environmentally beneficial behavioral changes through education. As Maya Angelou says, 'When we know better, we do better'," she said.
Other attractions at the event include geocaching, art contests, nature walks, a plant and book swap and unique recycling opportunities. Participants will have the chance to recycle prescription medication, photo film, disposable cameras, eyeglasses, cell phones, batteries, athletic shoes, electronics and many other items. "There will be something for everyone at the Viva Verde Earth Fest," Smith-Thompson said. Visitors are encouraged to bring plants and books to swap and items to recycle.