The local Viva Verde Earth Fest on Saturday will have all kinds of activities related to the observance of Earth Day.
It will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at North Cabarrus Park, on Orphanage Road. Contests, activities and classes are planned all day.
"The Carolina Raptor Center will be there with live birds," said Mandy Smith-Thompson, Concord's environmental educator. Beholdance, a local service group for young people, will provide the children's activities, including games, crafts and face painting.
Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast and the Center for the Environment at Catawba College will share information on air quality and asthma. Winning entries in the photo contest and the recycled art contest (which involved students in the Cabarrus County and Kannapolis City school systems) will be on display.
A rain barrel and other prizes will be given away in drawings.
Earth Day is actually Thursday. The first Earth Day was in 1970, so this is its 40th anniversary. Founded by U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson, it was intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the environment. This year, more than 1billion people in 190 countries will observe the day.
At Viva Verde, these free classes are scheduled:
10 a.m. - Composting 101.
11 a.m. - Weatherize Your Home.
Noon - Yards Are More Than Grass.
1 p.m. - Local Food.
Bring a book or a plant you don't want. You can swap it for a different one. "Bring a book, take a book. Bring a plant, take a plant," Smith-Thompson said.
Live entertainment will include "the bluesy Jo Gore and the Alternative from Durham, Southern rockers The Joe Davis Band from Kannapolis, funk pop rocker Zach Fowler from Charlotte, folk rockers Old Rusty Mandolin from Concord, and our emcee, Jeff Whittington, will team up with John Culbreath for some bluegrass, too," Smith-Thompson said.
There will be nature walks, geocaching, paper shredding lots of recycling, and information booths. The recycling list is long and includes such items as athletic shoes, medications, electronics, eyeglasses and disposable cameras, to name a few. A free shuttle bus will take festival-goers to and from the Piedmont Farmers Market.
Smith-Thompson said it will be the first event of its kind in Cabarrus County.
"Our event will mirror the 40-year-old goal of Earth Day, which is to create positive behavior change through environmental education," she said. "We want visitors to have fun, to be entertained and to walk away with a new understanding about how to be better stewards of our planet and its resources."