oxbow commonsBefore it ever carries floodwaters, Downtown Napa’s Oxbow Commons will get a chance to fulfill its other important role - recreation area!  The new park will hosts its first large public event on Saturday, April 23rd as Napa’s annual Earth Day Celebration returns, bigger and better than ever.  Presented by the Environmental Education Coalition of Napa County (EECNC), this year’s festival runs from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and features dozens of exhibitor booths displaying environmental products, services, games, and giveaways.  Earth Day 2016 is a fun, educational event for the entire family, offering information on a host of important topics - alternative energy, local agriculture, watershed health, pollution prevention, recycling, and more.  Expanded children’s activities and a special electric vehicle exhibit are just a few of the enhancements afforded by the new festival site.   

Festival attendees will also be entertained by an amazing lineup of local and regional talent.  Folk, roots, blues, and indie rock music, booked by our friends at BottleRock Napa Valley, will be interspersed with expressive dance performances.  The day will culminate with a rollicking set by San Francisco’s The Stone Foxes at 3:00 pm. 

Earth Day 2016 is free of course, but attendees are encouraged to purchase the tasty food, wine, and beer offered by local vendors.  Event beverage sales fund field trip bus grants offered by EECNC.  These grants enable local students to visit sites such as Connolly Ranch, Bothe State Park, and the Napa River Ecological Reserve where they can gain appreciation for our local environment.  Beverage sales proceeds also support the Darcy Aston Environmental Advocacy Scholarship, awarded by EECNC to a local student pursuing a career in the sciences. 

One beverage that will not be available for sale is bottled water.  Attendees are encouraged to fill up their own reusable bottle or grab a souvenir bottle at the “Water Bar” filling station.  Earth Day 2016 also strives to minimize transportation impacts, so take the VINE, walk, or ride your bike if possible.  The Napa County Bicycle Coalition will even provide free valet bike parking! 

Napa’s annual Earth Day Celebration would not be possible without the generous support of its sponsors.  Special thanks go out to Sustaining Sponsors – BottleRock (Latitude 38 Entertainment), Healthy Buildings, and Napa Valley Vintners' Napa Green Certified Winery and Certified Land programs.  For a complete list of sponsors, exhibitors, vendors, and entertainment, please visit the festival web site at www.EarthDayNapa.com

For those who want to start their Earth Day early, the 11th annual Spring Clean provides an opportunity.  Immediately preceding the Festival, volunteers will join the Napa County Resource Conservation District from 8:00 to 10:00 am to clean up the Napa River, downtown streets, and beyond.  Visit naparcd.org for details on how to participate. 

The fun doesn’t stop when the Earth Day Celebration ends at Oxbow Commons either.  Save some energy for the afterparty.  Earth Night at Connolly Ranch runs from 5:00 to 10:00 pm and features music, dance, food and wine, recycled art, moonlit hikes, stargazing, and even aerial and fire spinning performances!  Visit connollyranch.org for more information and to purchase tickets for that event.