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A day to celebrate Earth

A day of music, kids' games and educational talks and tours will be part of the second annual Earth Fest, which this year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

The free event Saturday at Herman Hill Park and the Wichita Water Center has been organized by the Earth Spirit Kansas Coalition, which promotes a balance between humankind and the environment, says organizer Connie Pace-Adair.

"We're looking forward to a great Earth-centered day of fun for families and people who want to learn about the environment," she said. "Just being outside in the park with fresh air and sunshine is reason enough to be there."

But for those who are interested in learning more about their impact on the world around them, the festival will offer lectures, demonstrations, and vendors selling environmentally friendly products and services.

There will be no concessions, but visitors are urged to bring a picnic with portable chairs and blankets.

This year's theme is "Just Food," which basically means "food with a principle," says Pace-Adair, a longtime organizer of community gardens in the Wichita area.

There will be a solar cookout demonstration at 10 a.m. At noon, a keynote speech on "Food for All" will be given by Ken Warren, manager of The Land Institute in Salina, whose mission is to develop a sustainable agricultural system.

Local bands will play from 10:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. At 3 p.m., a fashion show will feature clothes and costumes made from recycled items, including zippers and bubble wrap, Pace-Adair said.

Various vendors will be giving away items such as plants, perennial flowers, seeds and even trees, she said.

One of the highlights of the day will be tours at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. of the Wichita Water Center, which is partly an environmental learning center in a scenic setting.

The day will end at 8:30 with an LED light show by Wichitan John Avett, followed by a closing ceremony.

Pace-Adair, an ordained minister, formed the Earth Spirit Kansas Coalition in 2007 with her husband, Jan Adair.

"We were challenged with doing something that would leave the world a better place, and we decided it made sense to put our energies into the environment," she said. "Both of us have farm backgrounds, so we have always been connected with the Earth."

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