Fun for the Whole Family at the Piedmont Earth Day Fair

Families are invited to a community celebration—the annual Piedmont Earth Day Fair—on Saturday, April 22nd from 10am–5pm at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds. The festival, hosted by local non-profit organization Piedmont Environmental Alliance, is packed with family-friendly activities and programs, great food and music, and interesting exhibits—all free to the public.

This year, many of the Fair’s featured activities will focus on our most vital resource—water—with the theme “Every Drop Counts.” “Water is the basis for life, yet one in 10 people lack access to clean, safe drinking water,” said Piedmont Environmental Alliance Executive Director Jamie Maier. “Our goal at the 2017 Piedmont Earth Day Fair is to educate the community about ways to keep our water clean and minimize our water consumption.”

The Fair’s top-notch children’s activities will include water play, arts and crafts, animals and insects, face painting and yoga. Don’t miss the Children’s Corner, which features special activities hosted by Kaleideum (formerly SciWorks Science Center), Imagination Installations, Art for Art’s Sake and other community partners.

“Kaleideum is thrilled to partner with Piedmont Environmental Alliance on the Earth Day Fair this year,” said Kelli Isenhour, director of education at Kaleideum. “We love being part of this great event that promotes environmental awareness and community involvement for people of all ages.”

School-aged children also have the opportunity to participate in this year’s “Earth Day Fair Art Contest.” Students may bring artwork to the fair that expresses what water means to them, and have their artwork seen by thousands of fairgoers. A panel of community judges will award prizes (by age group) in the afternoon. Sign up online to reserve a spot in the contest.

Adult fairgoers will enjoy free environmentally themed demonstrations, focused on practical tips for conserving water at home and in the garden. Learn what plants can resist drought, what new technologies can reduce your water bill and more. Experts will also present information about local creeks and ponds, answering questions such as: “Why are urban creeks important?” and “How can I help prevent soil erosion?” Leave the fair with useful skills and knowledge that can immediately be put into action to positively impact the environment.

Families will have fun tapping their feet to music throughout the Fair. North Carolina bands “Farewell Friend” and “Love & Valor” will play Americana-flavored indie rock. Singer-songwriters Sarah Howell, Carries Paz and Laura Jane Vincent will perform folk music, and Barrie Howard will get people moving to boogie, blues and Americana.

Fairgoers will have the chance to see Piedmont Environmental Alliance’s (PEA) programs in action at this year’s Fair. Since launching the Piedmont Earth Day Fair in 2005, PEA has become a leader in local environmental education for students in grades K–12, with programs that build skills in science, math and leadership, and teach kids and teens to make environmentally sustainable and socially responsible lifestyle choices. PEA’s environmental education programs—“Energy Explorers,” “Every Drop Counts” and “Environmental Debate”—engaged more than 3,500 students in the 2016–2017 school year, promoting academic achievement, environmental stewardship and civic engagement.

PEA’s Environmental Debate Program is featured at the “Live Debate” tent at the Fair. High school students from across the region will participate in the final round of the 2nd Annual Environmental Debate Tournament, hosted by Piedmont Environmental Alliance and Wake Debate. Mayor Allen Joines will join a panel of judges for the debate, in which students will determine whether we should re-use wastewater as drinking water. The Environmental Debate Tournament is the culmination of PEA’s Environmental Debate Program, which provides local high school and college students the opportunity to engage in competitive, academic debate on newsworthy environmental issues.

“Debate is a fun and powerful way for students to develop their critical thinking skills, question the status quo and deepen their understanding of environmental issues,” said Piedmont Environmental Alliance’s Education Program Coordinator Allison Pulley. “That’s why we are so excited to feature our new debate program at the 2017 Earth Day Fair.

PEA will also present the organization’s hands-on learning programs Energy Explorers and Every Drop Counts at the Fair. These in-classroom presentations use hands-on resources and dynamic discussions to teach students about energy and water. Students get a taste for environmental stewardship and leave the program motivated to change their daily habits to save money and protect the environment.

With more than 100 Earth-friendly vendors and exhibitors, fun and interactive programming, and live music, the Piedmont Earth Day Fair has something for everyone.