It was a perfect day to love the earth.
Earth Day Celebration and Green Fest Saturday in Marietta welcomed 450 to the front lawn of the armory on Front Street.
"It's my first time here and I love it," said Kyle Gouvas, 12, of Bowling Green, Ky. "It's really fun - the best. I especially like the solar people (exhibit). Solar power is better than any other alternative."
CONNIE CARTMELL The Marietta Times
McKenzie Cameron, 8, of Belpre, makes bead craft with recycled materials in Pioneer Ladies Civitan booth.
CONNIE CARTMELL The Marietta Times
Joe Waller, 2, of Marietta catches bubbles.
Along with others who filled the lawn and spilled onto the sidewalk from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Gouvas basked in warm temperatures under a blue sky.
He came there with his dad, who heard about Marietta's Earth Day through a friend and exhibitor. It was the 10th anniversary of the local celebration.
"It's a pretty good time," Ernie Gouvas, 55, said. "I especially like all the hands-on, interactive things to do. My favorite is the fish and game display."
Ways to recycle newspapers
- Protect your car seats from muddy or wet clothing.
- Crumple and place in a suitcase for several weeks (or your shoes overnight) to remove stale odors.
- Use to dry and polish windows after washing.
- Protect your table when children are coloring or painting.
- Make papier mache handicrafts, kites, and party hats.
- Wrap around ice cream to keep frozen. Put inside a coat for emergency warmth. Roll around a baby bottle to insulate.
More than 50 exhibitors from throughout the region brought everything from snakes and rabbits (live) to a working model of a Muskingum River lock and worm compost for your kitchen. There was a bubble machine for the little ones and a Simply Green house for dad and mom to check out.
The event was a first-time marriage of Marietta's Earth Day Celebration and newcomer "Green Fest." Organizers hope the combination is a "keeper."
"Being together with Green Fest brings in new ideas, more exhibitors, and offers neat information and things to do for parents while their children are enjoying Earth Day hands-on activities," said Connie Grimes, Earth Day committee member.
The concept of "Green Fest" was to bring more adult "earth-friendly" displays and activities to the community, Betsy Cook, a coordinator, said earlier.
"We definitely are seeing big growth of Earth Day this year with Green Fest joining us," said Teresa Stone, a coordinator. "And we certainly lucked out with this weather."
Jessica Fox, 25, of Marietta, brought her younger sister, Missy Fox, 14, a student at Marietta Middle School, to the event. It was a "first" for both.
"I think there was an excellent amount of information and games for the kids," Jessica Fox said.
Her sister was excited about the activities. Both did pretty well identifying native wildflowers at naturalist Marilyn Ortt's station.
"I liked that you could actually get involved and do things," Missy Fox said.
Jennifer Bennett, with Washington Electric Cooperative Inc. in Marietta, distributed small Scotch pine seedlings.
"Don't plant your tree under a power line," she warned. "Plant it some place where there is lots of room for it to get tall."
One child told her all he wanted for his birthday was a tree and now he had one.
"Kids seem especially interested in trees and tree planting and that's a good thing," Bennett said.
Along with her three children, 7, 5, and 2 years old, Erin Haynes of Cincinnati visited nearly every display and exhibit at the event.
"I love Earth Day," Haynes said eagerly. "It's amazing that people took so much time, talent, and effort to put these displays together. I've always been an earth lover."
Haynes, who is principal investigator with Communities Actively Researching Exposure Study (CARES), split her time between the University of Cincinnati's exhibit, a study looking at the health impact of air pollution on children's health, and the other Earth Day displays.
The research, in partnership with Marietta College, will include children 7 to 9 years in Marietta and Cambridge.