Happy Earth Day!

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Anne and I bicycled to the Saint Louis Earth Day Festival in Forest Park. It is held every year on the Muny’s grounds. It is the third largest Earth Day celebration in the country. This year the Earth Mother must be unhappy, because she was crying off and on all day. At least, it watered her plants.

I wrote earlier this week about my need for a time machine. Going to the Earth Day Festival is like stepping out of one. This year is the forty-second Earth Day. Visiting this festival is like revisiting my first Earth Day, except that many of the participants are much older now. There may no longer be free love, but there are still free hugs available.

I can’t get over the feeling that attending the Earth Day Festival is akin to shopping. Cruising the booths at the Earth Day Festival, you can lump them into one of several categories. The festival even does this itself, but I like my categories better. First there are the food concessions. Drawn from local restaurants, these are my top draw. Then there are the musical groups. Capoeira Lunada, a Brazilian combination martial art form and dance form is an example of this category. Then there are the local corporations showing how responsible they are. The water, sewer, gas and electric companies all fall into this category.

Now my categories gets a little fuzzy. This is because one way or another, they are all trying to sell something. There are the booths that sell scented candles, arts and crafts and other stuff, like new gutters. These are all tangible products, but for some of them, their connection to Earth Day is nebulous. Then there are the more metaphysical sales pitches. These include all of the non-profits. Most have an environmental connection, but not all. What is the connection of the Saint Louis chapter of the University of Michigan alumni organization to Earth Day? Is it that in their heart of hearts, they want to go green? Go white!

We met Joanie and Pat at the festival. Pat was the Grand Marshall and led the All Species Parade. Anne hung out with them, while I explored alone. I ran through the festival faster than they did and made my own way home. Anne followed later. Anne and I got 9 and 13 miles respectively. Our Earth Day was a car free day.

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