By DREW HOWARD
Upwards of 30,000 people are anticipated to attend the 13th Annual Earth Day Festival, held at Rochester Municipal Park from April 20-22.
Coordinated by the MI Green Team, the weekend-long Earth Day Festival celebrates all-things green with an extensive showcase of locally-sourced food and products, educational presentations and special programming.
“This is one of the largest Earth Day events in the world, and it’s right here in Rochester,” John Batdorf, general and events manager with MI Green Team, said. “It’s a free event to shop, learn and celebrate – there’s something for everybody here.”
MI Green Team is green/wellness network and event producer committed to promoting green living, business and community. Notable vendors at the 2018 Earth Day Festival include Whole Foods Market, Mystic Kettle, DTE MIGreenPower, Emagine Entertainment, and Hungry Harvest, among close to 100 others.
Batdorf said the festival provides an opportunity for attendees to try free food samples and learn about earth-friendly products directly from vendors. A popular exhibit from last year returning to the 2018 festival is Irene’s Myomassology Institute, which demonstrates its holistic approach to massage therapy with free 10-minute massages for both attendees and volunteers.
Visitors can also learn about home improvement opportunities that conserve energy and shrink an individual’s environmental footprint. Businesses like Homezone Improvements, All-Weather Seal and Renewal by Andersen will have representatives on hand to showcase energy efficient windows, roofing and siding, while the Aurora Fairy Garden is set to offer a tour of a lived-in tiny home sized at just 98 square feet.
Batdorf adds that local mom and pop shops will also have a strong presence at the festival. “The festival will have a local lot – farmers, artists and people who make their own products like soap and essential oils will be there,” Baldorf said. “You can find honey providers and people who produce clothing, foods, chocolate and jewelry – anybody who produces something locally.”
The 13th Earth Festival also boasts a wide-ranging list of live entertainment, including the Baldwin Choir, the Stoney Creek High School Musical Theatre, the Cruisin’ USA Line Dancers, and the School of Rock House Band, to name just a handful. Performances are scheduled for all three days at the festival’s “Entertainment Stage.”
Two additional “special events” are scheduled to take place around the festival: the MI Earth Day Parade and Pep Rally, which begins at the festival’s main stage, as well as the RARA Earth Day 5k Fun Run at 600 Pine St.
Batdorf says attendees should also be on the lookout for free giveaways as well as educational roundtable discussions on healthy living. Due to the large expected turnout, Batdorf encourages people to park for free at northwest lot of Rochester High School where a shuttle will be running back and forth from the festival.
The 2018 Earth Day Festival will run Friday 4 – 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information on festival vendors, entertainment and presentations, visit migreenteam.com.