2016 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival Announced by Community Environmental Council

In wake of Paris climate conference, festival theme “One World” evokes solidarity in fight to keep global warming well below two degrees.

January 18, 2016, Santa Barbara, CA – The Community Environmental Council (CEC) will host its 2016 Earth Day Festival at Alameda Park Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 17 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The 2016 festival is themed “One World,” underscoring the reality that we must work together as individuals, communities, and nations to keep global warming well below two degrees, the level at which scientists say climate change will have seriously detrimental effects on the human population. This includes severe droughts and heat waves leading to food shortages, and raised sea levels that will cause mass migrations of people whose homes will be covered in water.

Leading up to the festival, CEC and its partners will host a series of Earth Month events, including the annual Earth Day Green Drinks hosted by LoaTree in March. Details for Earth Month events will be announced in upcoming weeks.

The festival is free to attend and includes a variety of highlights:

  • A free Bike Valet, with complimentary bike tune-ups and secure all-day parking. (Bike use nearly doubled in 2015 with over 1,900 bikes valeted and another 1,000 self-parked).
  • The annual Green Car Show – featuring the largest collection of efficient and alternative fueled vehicles on the West Coast and the longest-running show of its kind in the country. Over 2,300 people have taken advantage of the show’s free Ride & Drive experience to test out the latest in electric and hybrids vehicles.
  • A Homegrown Roots zone that connects attendees with local farmers, food and beverage artisans, and organizations working to promote sustainable food on the Central Coast.
  • Two full days of music on the Main Stage, organized by New Noise Music Foundation, as well as music and expert speakers on three mini-stages.
  • A Food Court with local, sustainable, and organic menus, clearly labeled for preferences such as vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and more.
  • A Beer & Wine Garden with local brews and vintages, located in the middle of the festival within clear sight of the Main Stage.
  • A Kids Corner organized by Loa Tree, LearningDen Preschool, Explore Ecology and Sprout Up, with presentations by Snook the Eco-Sloth, arts & crafts, musical performances, storytelling, face painting, and eco-activities, along with a Family Passport that lists all kid-friendly activities throughout the park.
  • A Public Square with opportunities to speak one-on-one with public officials.
  • A Sports and Recreation zone where attendees can take part in fitness activities including a climbing wall, and discover regional businesses advocating healthy, eco-friendly lifestyles.
  • Celebrity appearances. Recent festivals have included stage appearances by activist Van Jones, scientist and TV host Bill Nye, director James Cameron, actress Daryl Hannah, and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk – all of whom were awarded the annual Environmental Hero Award.

Now in its 46th year, the community-organized festival is one of the longest-running and consistently held Earth Day celebrations in the country – and is believed to be one of the largest Earth Day festivals on the West Coast. Santa Barbara’s environmental reputation attracts national media, celebrity attention, and local crowds; the 2015 festival drew over 29,000 visitors. The Community Environmental Council has hosted and organized the event since its beginning in 1970.

“As the U.N. conference in Paris made clear, we are all in the fight against climate change together,” said Sigrid Wright, Executive Director/CEO of CEC. “This year’s festival theme of ‘One World’ reminds us not only that our local actions are working toward a larger, global goal, but that we have a responsibility to take immediate, personal action on behalf of the environment.”

Widely acknowledged as the birthplace of Earth Day, Santa Barbara’s involvement began with the devastating 1969 oil spill off its coast. This led a local group of concerned citizens to begin discussing a different way of looking at environmental systems. Over the next few years, the environmental movement was born across the country – including CEC. In the spring of 1970, CEC incorporated and, in its initial act as a new non-profit, hosted Santa Barbara’s Earth Day, one of the first celebrations of its kind in the country. During that time, Senator Gaylord Nelson visited Santa Barbara to view the oil spill damage. When he returned to Washington, D.C., he introduced a bill designating April 22 as a national day to celebrate the earth. Last year’s Plains All American oil spill off the Refugio Coast and the United Nations Paris Climate Agreement are vivid reminders that the need to celebrate and protect the earth is more pressing now than ever.

CEC is partnering with LoaTree, WA Event Management, New Noise Music Foundation, Cultivate Events, and Oniracom to produce the festival. Exhibitor registration will be available at www.SBEarthDay.org in early February. Keep current by following Santa Barbara Earth Day on Facebook.com/SBEarthDay and Twitter @SBEarthDay. For more information about Earth Day go to www.SBEarthDay.org, email info@cecmail.org or call 805-963-0583 ext. 100.  

About the Community Environmental Council (CEC)

Since 1970, CEC has been at the forefront of the environmental movement, leading the Santa Barbara region – and at times California and the nation – in creatively solving some of the toughest environmental problems. Today, CEC pioneers real life solutions in areas with the biggest impact on climate change –most notably energy, transportation and food systems.


For more information on CEC:

  • Find CEC on the web at cecsb.org
  • Like CEC on Facebook at facebook.com/cecsb
  • Follow CEC on Twitter @CECSB and on Instagram @CEC_SB
  • Call CEC at 805-963-0583 ext.100


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