BOONSBORO, Md. (May 14, 2012) – Mix together 142 eager Eco-friendly vendors with plenty of inquisitive spectators, a multitude of recycling opportunities, a generous amount of fun and music, and what do you get? A successful Green Fest, that’s what.
Well, it wouldn’t hurt to have perfect weather, lots of tasty food, homemade ice cream and lemonade, and 100 volunteers, either.
The fourth annual Boonsboro Green Fest went off without a hitch on Saturday, May 12, in beautiful Shafer Park, according to Green Fest Committee co-Chairs Janeen Solberg and Barbara Wetzel.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony emceed by local broadcaster and weatherman Lou Scally launched the event and was attended by local, state and federal officials, as well as the committee members, some sponsors, local school administrators, and a group of Brownie Scouts, who helped school superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox cut the ribbon.
The Boonsboro Recycling Task Force is the general sponsor of the Fest. There were also 55 sponsoring partners who contributed funds and in-kind services, and were underwriters for the printed materials, lamp-post banners, entertainment, the paper shredding service, and the trailer and tent that formed the new stage.
“Every year we are amazed by the number of sponsors who come forward to help us with operational and promotional expenses,” said Wetzel, adding that the number of sponsors has increased from 12 the first year to 55 this year. More than 70 businesses, vendors, organizations and individuals also contributed door prizes.
‘I love Green Fest’ label count
Estimated attendance was close to 3,500 for the seven-hour event, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last year 2,200 attended. The festival used the lapel sticker method again this year, whereby each attendee received an “I love Green Fest” sticker and then the remaining stickers were counted to determine the attendance figure.
“We couldn’t be happier,” said Solberg. “It was terrific to see the turnout. It just goes to show how much people are trying to do the right thing where our environment is concerned. I was especially impressed with how many families are getting in the habit of saving things all year to be recycled at the Green Fest.”
A wide variety of recyclable items were collected in the drive-thru loop, including electronics, sneakers, TVs, bicycles, sewing machines, unwanted prescription drugs, eyeglasses, block Styrofoam, flower pots, medical equipment, books, cell phones, ink cartridges and denim.
Swaps were big hit
The St. James Catholic Church gathered clothing during the week preceding the Fest for their Gently Used Clothing Swap and Sale. The tables in a large pavilion were piled high with clothing and accessories. Nearby, the Boonsboro Athletic Boosters were collecting and distributing sports equipment and clothing during their own swap and sale. In addition, the Boonsboro Band Boosters collected used instruments to be used the school’s music program.
Vendors were selling herbs, vegetable plants and shrubs, solar and geothermal systems, garden sheds, original art bird houses on weather-worn barn wood, handcrafted wooden ballpoint pens, jewelry made from sea glass and old silverware, refurbished wooden trunks of all sizes, handbags made from recycled materials, food co-op memberships, rain barrels, and fair trade coffee, among hundreds of items.
People staffing informational booths talked about land preservation, saving waterways, forests and tree planting, composting and recycling.
New stage popular
A new covered stage – using a 48-foot flatbed trailer and a similarly-sized white tent – was home to two musical acts, the Yardslippers of Frederick, and Ray Owen, a one-man musical act from York, Pa. Spectators could listen to music as they had a bite to eat. The PA system carried the music throughout the park.
During the day, five featured speakers made presentations about composting, Boonsboro’s new curbside recycling program, careers in alternative energy, stink bugs and getting motivated to do good works in the community. More than 70 door prizes were also given out after each presentation.
The food vendors were extremely busy in the middle of the day when attendees were looking for lunch or a snack. Lines were 30 people long at times. Food choices included Greek salads and pita sandwiches, hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, pizza, fried Cajun catfish, cupcakes and soft ice cream.
Kids stay busy all day
With only bottle caps, children created a huge mosaic of “The Scream,” the famous painting by Edvard Munch, which sold at auction this month for $119 million. An outline of the painting was drawn on a large bulletin board by the Boonsboro High School art students of Todd Geiman, and the kids glued on hundreds of brilliantly colored bottle caps.
Kids of all ages were drawn to the puppet shows put on by the Boonsboro Middle School students of Sabrina Blair, and to The Twister game on the lawn near the Kids Zone pavilion. Children and adults alike were entertained by West Virginia singer-songwriter Tony M. Music, who performed throughout the day at the pavilion.
Admission was free to all. The First Hose Fire Company opened its lot behind the gas station for free parking.