The 17th Annual Tucson Earth Day Festival and Parade will be held on Saturday, April 16 at Reid Park. The theme for the family-friendly festival is Conserve Today, Preserve Tomorrow. 

The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970 as a way of inspiring awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. Established in the United States, Earth Day is now celebrated internationally in nearly 200 countries.

The focal point of the Tucson event is the informational and engaging exhibits related to the environment that also include “hands-on” activities for children of all ages. Information will be available on a wide variety of environmental issues including eco products, water conservation/quality, air quality, sustainability, household hazardous waste, wildlife, nature preserves, and much more.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. It will include environmentally-themed floats and participants dressed up sharing messages about what people can do now to ensure that Earth’s resources are protected for future generations. Youth groups, families, businesses, government agencies, clubs and nonprofit and professional organizations are expected to participate.

Participants are making their costumes and float from recycled materials reflecting this year’s theme: Conserve Today, Preserve Tomorrow. Their messages reflect endangered or threatened species, water protection, air quality, greenhouse gasses, recycling, energy conservation, alternative modes of transportation, climate change, or other eco-related topics.

For more information about the national celebration, visit www.earthday2011.org.

If you go

What: Earth Day festival and parade

When: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. April 16; parade begins at 10 a.m.

Where: Reid Park, DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center Concert Place. Enter on east side of Country Club Road, north of 22nd Street.

Cost: Free

For more information, visit www.tucsonearthday.org or call 206-8814.

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