Environmental Protection

Texas (Yes, Texas) Hosts One of the Biggest Earth Day Festivals in the U.S.

With more than 200 Earth Day festivals annually logged by the Earth Day Network – the leading organization that mobilizes the green movement across the world – across the country on April 22, the second largest was in Dallas. Earth Day Dallas, a nonprofit organization led by environmentalist Trammell S. Crow and other community leaders, drew in 48,000 people for its inaugural celebration, with more than 280 environment-related booths, music and arts performances, kids' activities and even a "green" beer garden.

"We are very proud that Dallas leaders chose Earth Day to focus their community's attention on how people can take care of the environment," said Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. "We love tools like the ability to calculate your carbon footprint that help educate as well as entertain. With crowd estimates in the range of 50,000, Dallas was one of the largest Earth Day events in the country."

Earth Day Dallas was launched in 2010 to catalyze the green movement in North Texas – to encourage people to live and work in a sustainable way – and specifically, to help increase awareness about the need for recycling and eco-friendly living in a city that only recently embarked on efforts to increase environmentally conscious living.

"We're thrilled to say Dallas was home to one of the biggest Earth Day festivals in the country," Crow said . "It surprised a lot of people to know that Texans are so 'green,' but the attendance at Earth Day Dallas speaks volumes. We're proud."

The two-day festival drew the likes of Larry Hagman (known to many as JR Ewing from Dallas), who spoke on owning and living in one of the country's largest solar homes; featured a world-renowned speaker and original founder of Earth Day; and featured award-winning films, including Sebastian Copeland's Into the Cold.

The expo portion included local, regional and national environmental organizations that promoted their green initiatives. Major exhibitors Chevrolet, Half-Price Books and Green Mountain Energy provided festival-goers with educational information and even interactive opportunities, such as the Chevy Volt Test Drive Experience rolled out on-site, giving attendees an opportunity to drive the new electric car.

According to Crow, planning for next year's festival is already underway, and organizers are taking cues from the inaugural event to produce an even bigger, greener festival in 2012. For more information about the 2011 festival and updates on the 2012 festival, visit EarthDayDallas.org.

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