Now in its eighth year, the Pasadena Earth & Arts Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Park and the nearby Armory Center for the Arts.
This year’s festival features a wide array of ways to show concern for the planet both locally and globally. Among its many attractions are an eco-marketplace, a public art bicycle tour, live music and dancing, kids’ art workshops, and a sustainable beer and wine garden — all factors that appear certain to help attendance grow past the all-time record of 7,500 participants last year.
The festival has a pre-event kickoff on Friday, when Conscientious Projector presents the newly released film “Occupy Love” at 7:30 p.m. at the Levitt Pavilion in Memorial Park, preceded by a performance by the band The Subs at 6:45 p.m.
Also, Moving Image Art (MIA) will be presenting a special pop-up exhibition in the mezzanine gallery inside the Armory with a selection of works investigating pollution, ecology and landscape by video artists Chris Adler, Ellie Irons, Silvia Rigon and Tahir Ün.
Scheduled to perform Saturday on the Levitt Pavilion outdoor stage are the Pasadena Folk Dance Coop, Pasadena Drums, Danza Yankuikuitl, RT & the 44’s and DJ Trolley Parker. Scheduled on the indoor stage at the Armory are the Jasper Dickson Revue, Skeleton Crew Pirate Band, Apple Brains and Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang. Comedian, author and KPCC radio commentator Sandra Tsing Loh will assume her annual role as emcee of the event.
Yet, this year’s most unique festival element is actually one that is being built especially for the occasion.
“This year, the Armory has asked Peter Tolkin Architecture to design and install a variation of their Dunnage Ball Series at the upcoming festival,” Calvin Phelps, communications manager for the Armory, writes in an email. They have designed Torus, an interactive sculptural installation, that is 30 feet in diameter, 15 feet tall, and is made up of 90 dunnage [or air cushion] bags. Torus promises to inspire adults and children alike at this one-day celebration of the earth and the arts.”
At Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge, a full slate of events will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gardening author Debra Prinzing will present two programs on floral design, with a workshop on “slow flowers” for $75 in addition to Descanso admission.
In addition, there are plenty of hands-on family activities, plus a concert at 2 p.m. by the country band Mobile Homeboys. The California Shakespeare Ensemble presents an “Earth Day Salute to Love,” with scenes from The Bard’s most romantic works performed at 3 p.m. in the beautiful outdoor setting.
Finally, Kidspace Museum will offer local children the chance to take part in its 17th Annual Grand Butterfly Release on both Saturday and Sunday. In this program, kids can adopt a caterpillar and watch it transform into a butterfly, which they’ll then personally release into flight. For $4 (in addition to admission fees), participants will receive a caterpillar, caterpillar food and a care guide that teaches them how to help the caterpillar survive and thrive in its transformation process. For $18.99, kids can receive a large cup of five caterpillars.
Kidspace members can also enjoy a members-only exclusive kickoff event on Friday night, with early caterpillar adoptions and butterfly wing- and antennae-making included in the free fun.
The Pasadena Earth & Arts Festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Park, located between Walnut and Holly streets and Raymond and Marengo avenues, Pasadena. Indoor events are at the Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. Admission is free. Visit cityofpasadena.net/earthday and facebook.com/earthandarts.
Descanso Gardens hosts its Earth Day Celebration from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on its grounds, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge. Admission is $6 to $8. Visit descansogardens.org or call (818) 949-4200.
Kidspace Museum is at 480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena. Admission is $10. Visit kidspacemuseum.org or call (626) 449-9144