Despite a rainy setup day and a muddy Earth Day Eve party, an estimated 50,000 people joined in celebrating Earth Day, Every Day…for Everyone at the 26th annual St. Louis Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 26th in Forest Park at the Muny grounds. People from all across the St. Louis region converged on Forest Park to celebrate, taste, listen and learn from a record 250 vendors and exhibitors, making this the largest one-day Earth Day celebration yet!
Our full 2015 Festival Report is now available online. Take a look!
The Festival opened one hour earlier this year, with a ceremony conducted by Interfaith Power and Light, allowing attendees more time to participate in free yoga, listen to an incredible local music, and visit with all of exhibitors. Ray Hartman emceed the main stage, 26 years after he emceed the very first Earth Day Celebration in St. Louis, promising to return in another 26 years. Mayor Slay announced he signed Executive Order 52, furthering his sustainability agenda for the City of St. Louis.
The Festival was preceded on Saturday evening by the Earth Day Eve celebration and fundraiser. Jake’s Leg, a Grateful Dead cover band, played (also 26 years after playing at the first Earth Day celebration in St. Louis) to a hearty crowd of several hundred who would not let a little rain ruin the event. Earth Day Action Grant awards were presented, a SOLD OUT “Friends of St. Louis Earth Day” tent kept many dry and fed, limited-edition t-shirts were tie-dyed, and fun was had by all.
‘Eve attendees also witnessed the James S. McDonnell Planetarium illuminated green for Earth Day on their way out of the park.
2015 Festival highlights included…
- Three stages of entertainment featuring local bands, regional talent, Circus Flora performers, live birds of prey from the World Bird Sanctuary and community dance troupes;
- Diverse cuisine from local vendors, showcasing vegetarian, locally-sourced and organic options including 17 members of the Green Dining Alliance;
- Earth Day Challenge recognizing and rewarding visitors who bring their own water bottle or shopping bag and use low-impact transportation to arrive;
Free bike valet by Trailnet;
- A climbing wall brought in by Upper Limits;
- MetroBus painting activity with artist Genevieve Esson;
- Peace Garden area for reflective communion through activities like meditation and ceremonial drum circle;
- Free yoga all day courtesy of Yoga Buzz
- Joia All Species Jamboree for pedestrians to unite in celebrating the interdependence of all species, led by Joia World Percussion Ensemble; and,
- Recycling Extravaganza collection event for hard-to-recycle items on the St. Louis Community College-Forest Park campus.
Around 264 volunteers donated 867 hours toward making the weekend’s events a success – this included support of the Recycling Extravaganza. Volunteers were properly honored at a reception at Schlafly Bottleworks in May.
By applying our Recycling On the Go program strategies onsite at the Festival, we kept the majority of waste produced out of area landfills – 93% of all waste by weight was recycled and composted! Many thanks to our vendors for banning Styrofoam and #6 plastic.
1,325 people claimed prizes for completing the Earth Day Challenge – using low-impact transportation and bringing their own water bottle or shopping bag. You can read more about the event’s sustainability efforts, like fueling our generators with clean burning propane or purchasing organic cotton t-shirts.
We are incredibly grateful for the many contributions of so many individuals, businesses and organizations that made this year’s Earth Day celebration another meaningful experience for the community. Thank you.
See Festival media coverage:
Yoga Buzz at St. Louis Earth Day – Fox 2 News at 9
Green Dining Alliance featured in Earth Day Cafe – Fox 2 News at 9
Herb’n Maid at Earth Day Festival – KSDK Channel 5
Recycling Extravaganza – Fox 2 News at 9
Pet Adoption at Earth Day Festival – Fox 2 News at 9
Lenore the Recycling Raven at St. Louis Earth Day – Fox 2 News Saturday Morning
Crowds come out for St. Louis Earth Day Festival – St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Earth Day in Forest Park – News 4 at 10
Thousands enjoy Earth Day in Forest Park – Fox 2 News
Mark Your Calendar
The 27th annual St. Louis Earth Day Festival is Sunday, April 17, 2016. Don’t miss out:
- Sign up to receive email updates about the Festival.
- Watch for big announcements on Earth Day Half Birthday – October 22, 2015