Mother (Earth)-lovin' good times: Tampa Bay Earth Day events

Posted by Katie Machol Simon on Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 7:30 AM

Start off Earth Day Weekend at the Largo Green Expo, which will feature environmentally friendly businesses and organizations touting recycled products and providing environmental education and green living solutions. In addition, there will be organic food vendors, electric cars and interactive solar energy exhibits on display. For more information, visit LargoRecycles.com or call 727-586-7424. Free event; Fri., April 22, 5-7 p.m. 120 Central Park Drive, Largo.

One man’s (or woman’s) trash is another’s fashion accessory. That’s certainly true with the 4th Annual Trashy Fashion Show at the Largo Cultural Center. This unique “trashion” show will feature more than 30 innovative fashions by amateur eco-designers that were created using at least 75-percent reused or recycled materials. Designs will be donned by models who will strut down a 30-foot catwalk and will be judged by a panel which will include environmentalists, fashion editors and designers (including myself). Each designer is also required to submit an environmental fact which is read on stage as their design is modeled. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event or at the Largo Cultural Center by calling 727-587-6793 or visiting LargoArts.com. $10. Fri., April 22; 7-9 p.m. 120 Central Park Drive, Largo. For more information, visit LargoRecycles.com or call 727-586-7424.

Spend Earth Day by learning about the amazing animals that share the planet with us and the importance of conservation at Lowry Park Zoo’s Party for the Planet. The special Earth Day activities will include a variety of animal enrichment activities, educational displays and exhibits throughout the zoo and is sure be a day of fun and discovery for the entire family. Sat., April 23; 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa. lowryparkzoo.com.

Earth Day Tampa Bay is even bigger and better this year, as the Tampa Bay Sierra Club has partnered with USF’s Office of Sustainability to present the event at the picturesque USF Botanical Gardens. This means even more exhibitors, demonstrations and activities promoting a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. This year’s theme is “pride of place” which aims to promote community pride in the local environment. Even more exhibitors will be in attendance this year, including local eco-friendly businesses, community groups, government and non-profit organizations, organic farms and food purveyors, green builders, renewable energy demos, hybrid and alternative energy vehicles on display, live music, organic foods and activities for the kids. Plus, it’s a great excuse to see the botanical gardens which is one of Tampa Bay’s natural wonders. Admission and parking are free. Sat., April 23; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa. Visit usfweb2.usf.edu/Sustainability/earthday for more information.

Easter goes green at the McGough Nature Park Spring Ecofest and Arbor Day Celebration in Largo. This Earth Day event will make learning about the environment even more exciting for the kids as even the Easter Bunny is getting involved in the celebration this year. In addition to the environmental exhibits and food vendors, there will also be a tree giveaway, activities and an Easter Egg hunt for the kids. The guest of honor — the fuzzy guy with the floppy ears — will also make a special appearance. All ages welcome to attend and the Easter Egg Hunt is $2 per child. Free admission. Saturday, April 23; 11 a.m.-2 p.m. McGough Nature Park: 11901 146th St. N, Largo. For more information, call 727-518-3047 or visit LargoNature.com.

For an artsier take on Earth Day, head over to Whole Foods Market in Tampa for EcoExpression: Recycled Art Exhibit and Craft Show. This event will showcase works by local artists who create treasures from trash in the form of recycled crafts, jewelry, sculptures, pottery and then some. Guests can enjoy complimentary wine and appetizers and can cast a vote for their favorite piece of art, the winning artist receiving a permanent home at Whole Foods Market. Free event. Sat., April 23; 5-8 p.m. 1548 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa. 813-874-9435, wholefoodsmarket.com.

Casa Tina’s family of restaurants in Downtown Dunedin is partnering up with he Dunedin Harvest Food & Garden Co-op for the Dunedin Life & Light Lantern Parade and Festival in Pioneer Park to raise funds for the Planting Seeds workshop series and the 1% Food Project. Planting Seeds is a free organic gardening workshop series that’s open to the public and he Dunedin 1% Food Project is a project that encouraged one perfent of all households in Dunedin to pledge a small part of their land and their time to grow food. Saturday night will offer the Life & Lantern Festival with live music, paper lantern-making workshops, gardening and sustainability demonstrations and food. On Sunday, the same events will take place as well as the Light & Lantern Parade, which all participants are welcome to join. Free events. Sat., April 23, 2-7 p.m.; Sun., April 24, 12-8:30 p.m. Douglas Avenue and Main Street, Dunedin. Visit dunedinharvest.com for event time and more information.

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