The 2012 Earth Fair. File photo

NOTE: The Friday night dessert reception has been cancelled.

“Back to the Garden” is the theme for the 24th iteration of the Idyllwild Earth Fair.

The Earth Fair has the same small town friendliness long associated with other traditional Idyllwild events, the Fourth of July Parade, the Lemon Lily Festival and the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

It takes place from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturday, May 18, at Idyllwild Town Hall. Admission is free and fair goers can enjoy multiple attractions including live musical performances, tasty food and activities for both adults and children.

Organizer Holly Owens promises attendees a wonderful mix of interactive booths featuring recycled art, solar energy, earth-friendly products, composting, wildlife education, henna painting and more. Returning is the very popular Butterfly Pavilion offering the chance to experience and get to know the Western Monarch butterfly. Also available for meet and greets are a variety of reptiles, insects, a goat and some chickens.

Emceeing the entertainment is avuncular Doug Austin. Performers include the Celtic-influenced sounds of Swift Pony and the Idyllwild Arts Jazz Trio of award-winning musicians Luca Jacaruso on piano, Randy Plummer on sax and Mary Dufy on bass.

Concluding the day’s entertainment are the Idyllwild All Stars, featuring Barnaby and Anne Finch, Don Reed, Lily McCabe, Robin Adler and Dave Blackburn.

The annual Greenwood Award, honoring contributions to the health of the mountain’s ecology, is being presented this year to the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council. This organization has done much to protect and to help the Hill through education programs and securing grant funding for property abatement and replacement of shake roofs. The Woodies, a MCFSC component, provide many services in town, including firewood for the HELP Center and inspection of local properties to determine if the Goldspotted oak borer has infected area black oaks.

The Idyllwild Earth Fair started in 1990. Community volunteers believed an annual celebration of the earth and stewardship of it would be an especially important event for this still pristine mountain town. It is a not-for-profit event.

“Twenty four years later, volunteers are still at the heart of this grassroots event,” Owens said. “Our mission remains the same — to balance festivity and education and to celebrate the diversity of the natural world while motivating people to be actively involved in its preservation.”