Prompting residents to get “outside in the sweet spring sunshine,” the Newtown Earth Day is encouraging visitors to “Discover the wonders of nature” at the 7th Annual Earth Day celebration. Scheduled for Saturday, April 26, between 10 am and 4 pm, at Newtown Middle School, the upcoming Earth Day Festival promises “tons of kids’ activities,” including the Sharon Audubon’s birds of prey exhibit, where live birds will be present.
Live music, a silent auction, “tasty food,” a vendors’ fair and more await guests at the annual spring festival that is aimed at helping the community “learn how to become a bit more green,” also according to the website.
Earth Day Committee member Bill Buchler is “proud,” he said, that the day, growing in popularity each year, has become a “bona fide” event.
“We have become known as an annual festival” that people look forward to attending,” he said.
He is anticipating as many as 4,000 guests throughout the day this year. Mr Buchler is also pleased that “bit by bit people are starting to recognize the different [green and environmental-minded] organizations in our town.” Newtown’s Earth Day festival is an opportunity for visitors to learn about groups such as Newtown Forest Association, which is a private land trust that owns more than 1,000 acres in town, and the local Trout Unlimited chapter, and other environmentally friendly groups.
The day’s proceeds are also high on his priority list.
“We are taking proceeds, and year after year we contribute to the Newtown Scholarship Fund,” Mr Buchler said. To date, the Earth Day event has contributed $4,000. Through a silent auction, sponsors, and vendors’ fees, the Earth Day Committee is able to provide funding to a graduating Newtown High School student.
“We are doing this to help students who are having challenges paying for college,” he said. The intent is to support environmental-,agricultural-, and ecology-minded students “pay some of their bills.”
Earth Day events and proceeds help “raise awareness about being friendly to the environment,” and helps the committee “give back to students working in those fields to pursue those dreams. Those scholarships mean a lot to us.”
Regarding the festival overall, he said, “Threading it all together, at least for me is — this is a group effort — a lot of people lending a little help to make this happen.” Everybody “lends a hand, and that’s great,” he said. “We are very much grassroots with a lot of people doing this together.” Not only the festival volunteers, but the Parks and Recreation Department, Public Works, and others, all work to make the day a success.
Mr Buchler said, “That’s what Newtown is all about: people working for the greater good.”
Noting the many activities and groups involved in the upcoming celebration, he said, “We are proud to showcase green businesses and town organizations that support the environment.”
Live Music Lineup
Starting just after 10 am and running through 4 that afternoon will be a host of local musicians. First up at 10:15 am and strumming their acoustic folk rock will be John Voket and Kevin Spooner. Newtown trio Vintage Farewell, a rock/pop punk band, will play starting at 11:15 am.
The father and son team Sundad will kick off the afternoon with their jam band music. Outfunked, a jazz-funk-fusion mix, will play beginning at 1:15 pm. Between 2:15 and 3 pm, a high-energy Danbury-based Split Decision will bring rock and pop covers to the stage. The afternoon will end with Newtown guitarist Mark Barden & Friends and his band Alternative Universe bringing tunes, and a few surprise guests, to the festival between 3:15 and 4 pm.
As the music plays, guests can also find a bite to eat, visit vendors and exhibits, participate in children’s crafts and activities, and more. A silent auction will include packages from local restaurants, local artists, numerous businesses, and more.