At this point, Earth Day 2011 already feels like it was forever ago, even though it actually shared its birthday with Good Friday this year. Manhattan, never a stranger to street fairs and celebrating causes that require the attention of our collective social consciousness, merged the two together for a two day outdoor festival called EarthFair Outdoors over the weekend, just around the corner from Grand Central Station. The diminutive Vanderbilt Avenue played host to the small event, from 42nd to 45th Street featuring art and music, bringing attention to all things Mother Earth in a fun, free festival for New Yorkers.
The festival was lined with white tents leading uptown to the music stage where performances by environmentally conscious artists took place throughout both days. Artists like Soular Light, Didge Project, Optimus Tribe, and Dynasty Electric played music, while food trucks and free water fountains with fresh New York Water satiated the hungry crowd. Meanwhile, street displays like electric sports cars, a full-sized Bio Bus, and energy solutions like Wind Power became highly sought after informative pieces for those interested in alternative energy. Perhaps most interesting however was the Eco-Friendly Ice exhibit, which featured a small sheet of ice equipped with an ice-skater in full garb, performing skating routines in front of a cavalcade of onlookers.
Moreover, environmentally conscious and organic vendors were also on hand- like NibMor, purveyor of organic dark chocolates, handing out the savory sweets. While the rain would fall intermittently over the weekend, EarthFair Outdoors was a free, informative way to learn about the future of environmental initiatives coming down the pike to our city. As we strive to move away from international resources as sources of our energy, the festival may have been a precursor for the future of how our city is powered. Only time will tell which ones are realistic and which are a proverbial pipe dream, but speculation that these can be used is certainly cause for optimism.
For more information, be sure to check out Earthdayny.org.
- Jane Van Arsdale