It’s not always easy to be green. That’s why Shoals Earth Month would like you to plug into its Earth Day festival on Saturday.
The fifth annual Shoals Earth Day Fest will be from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Colbert County Courthouse in Tuscumbia.
There will be musicians, magicians and booths, and presentations from local businesses and groups, all centered around being green for Earth Day.
“(Earth Day) is the one time to think about the one thing that everyone on this planet has in common, and that would be our home, the Earth,” said Nancy Muse, president of Shoals Earth Month. “That is the one thing that people cannot deny that we all have in common. ... We all breathe air, drink water and have to have clean, safe sources of food production. That is why it is important for us to have a time to take in all the information about how we’re treating the Earth.”
Earth Day was created in 1970, and the Shoals Earth Day Fest was created as a way to unify all the various celebrations and events under one umbrella.
The event will be headlined by the bluegrass and Americana group The Claire Lynch Band.
“She’s a perfect fit for the festival,” Muse said. “She has a huge following, and she fits with Earth Month very well.”
Ninon Parker, of the Colbert County Tourism office, said they are delighted to have the Shoals Earth Month in Tuscumbia.
“The courthouse lawn is a fitting spot for it,” said Parker. “Because it not only showcases the beauty of green space within a community but also showcases preservation of cultural recourses as well because the Colbert County Courthouse is a beautiful example of that.”
Steve Trash will perform at the festivities. Trash is a well-known street magician whose act includes children’s comedy, illusions and a message about recycling.
Other performers include folk band the Cane Creek Cliff Dwellers, singer-songwriter David Walton, blues musician Max Russell, vocal duo Derrick Coffman and Mitch Man, a University of North Alabama string trio ensemble and musician Dillon Hodges.
“Steve Trash will be doing three shows,” Muse said. “The message he brings, the children totally understand it. It’s a shame that the adults don’t understand it as well as the children do. He brings the message of taking care of the Earth and recycling and not trashing the Earth.”
In addition to musicians, several businesses will sponsor booths and will be available to talk to attendees about their products.
Larry Bradford, president of Southern Solar Systems in Huntsville, said his business will have a booth and conduct a demonstration at 1 p.m. at the Hellen Keller Library.
“We’re going to have some simple solar panels with some literature and photographs,” Bradford said. “We’ve got two different types of solar panels, and we’ll have a couple of them for display and demonstration.”
Muse said one of the focuses of Shoals Earth Month is to draw attention to the benefits of solar power and the TVA Generation Partners where partners get paid to generate power using eligible power resources including solar, wind, low-impact hydropower and biomass.
“We have emphasized putting out information in experts in the field of solar energy,” Muse said. “With the technologies here, it is getting less expensive all the time, and it is something we can all be plugging into right now. The sun is free energy that falls down on us every day. If every roof had solar panels, we would greatly reduce our reliance on huge power plants.”
According to its website, TVA will buy output at 12 cents per kilowatt-hour above the retail rate for solar energy and partners new to the program are eligible for $1,000 to offset the initial costs.
Another business involved with the festival is flooring manufacturer Centiva, which will be sponsoring the event for the third year.
Erin Dempsey, who is over public relations, environment and strategy at Centiva, said they plan to have a booth that will feature Earth Day puzzles made from the tile they manufacture and will show the winners of the litter critter contest the business sponsored in local elementary schools along with the city of Florence.
“At Centiva, we have a program of environmental initiatives that we call the Centiva green way,” Dempsey said. “That involves recycling, it involves resource stewardship, it involves using better raw materials and sustainablility. We feel that Earth Day is one time during the year that we can really make a positive impact in the local community by participating in community events but also highlighting what we’re doing as a company in the green way.”
Jackie Posey, vice president of Shoals Earth Month, said educating the children is an important step in creating environmental awareness.
“Hopefully, with educating the children, they can educate their parents on conservation and taking care of what we have,” Posey said.
A free Earth Day Concert begins at 5 p.m. and continudes until sunset Sunday at Riverfront Park on Alabama Avenue in Sheffield. Sponsored by the Sheffield Parks and Recreation Department, the concert will feature Felicia Rose and David Walton.
“It’s just about celebrating Earth Day,” Walton said. “I think celebrating Earth Day pretty much sums it up. ... It’ll be songs about taking care of our planet.”
Songwriters in the Round for Earth Day begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at the Dish Gourmet Cafe. Featured songwriters include Donnie Fritts, Donny Lowery, Walt Aldridge and Mark Irwin. An Earth-friendly gourmet dinner will be served and a silent auction to benefit the educational outreach for Shoals Earth Month will be held. Keep the Shoals Beautiful will provide information for keeping the Shoals litter- free.
Tickets are $40 per person and are available at Billy Reid and the Dish Gourmet Cafe, both in downtown Florence.
Bobby Bozeman can be reached at 256-740-5722 or bobby.bozeman@ TimesDaily.com