Idyllwild Earth Fair on the way back

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After two years, Earth Fair is preparing to emerge from “hibernation,” according to head Holly Owens. The Idyllwild Earth Fair Committee has been talking with various individuals and groups in town in an effort to gauge interest and recruit volunteers to help in this effort. It now has a number of committed and knowledgeable people who will help make the Idyllwild Earth Fair a reality once again.

The Idyllwild Earth Fair was founded in 1990 by a group of community members. Its mission is to balance festivity and education, celebrate the diversity of the natural world, and motivate people to be actively involved in its preservation.

Idyllwild’s Earth Day celebration is a tradition that grew to be one of the town’s longest-standing community events, featuring entertainment, organic ethnic food and interactive exhibits with information on a range of conservation issues. Over the years, it also organized and sponsored a variety of programs and workshops for students at Idyllwild School, and hosted numerous community presentations on wildland conservation, endangered and local species, climate change, composting, and more.

The Earth Fair Committee annually recognizes an individual or group for outstanding achievement in the region with the Greenwood Award, named after the couple, Richard and Karin Greenwood, whose efforts brought recycling to the community.

Throughout its history, Earth Fair has remained autonomous, with a team of volunteers planning and carrying out events. Fundraising activities — such as benefit concerts, dances, yard sales, special catered dinners and more — enabled the committee to produce Earth Fair at no cost to the public.

Much has changed since the first Idyllwild Earth Fair was held. The costs of permits, insurance, rental equipment and other associated fees became prohibitive, particularly with the desire to move the event from Town Hall (which it outgrew), to the Idyllwild Community Center. The only way to apply for viable financial assistance and grants is to establish the Idyllwild Earth Fair as an official non-profit organization.

There are several ways people can volunteer to help Earth Fair continue in its mission and evolve to the next phase. Anyone interested in being a part of Earth Fair, may email Holly Owens at earthfair.holly@gmail.com.

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