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Earth Day celebrates all things green

By: Kathy Maynard, Loomis News Correspondent
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Go green, shop and eat locally, and learn to save money and the environment during the fifth annual Loomis Earth Day Celebration. The celebration will be held from noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, Apr. 21 at the Loomis Train Depot. The free, family-oriented event will feature more than 30 exhibits including wild, domestic and exotic animals; local green businesses; environmental displays; local farmers selling produce; information booths; and live music and entertainment. The first 1,000 people at the event can also pick up free companion fare coupons for Amtrak's Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner, and San Joaquin lines to use by May 18. “We’ve held this event for the last five years to highlight the community, honor the Earth and celebrate all things related,” said Pat Miller, Loomis Planning Commissioner and event volunteer. “In Loomis, it is important for us to have open spaces to enjoy the local wildlife as well as places we can enjoy our own animals and pets. Our Earth Day is a reflection of that.” Highlights of the event include several animal-related exhibits on display, including Never Cry Wolf, where participants can see live, rescued wolves. Star Eco Station will share an assortment of exotic amphibians, reptiles and insects, along with information about exotic animals and endangered species. Local animal shelters will have dogs and cats available for adoption and there will be tame hens for small children to mingle with. “Loomis now has an ordinance that allows families to keep up to four hens in their backyards. We’ll have some live hens here to be our ambassadors and a couple of people to answer questions about chicken keeping in the backyard,” Miller said. Environmentally friendly business participants include Magic Sun Solar, who installed the solar panels on the High Hand fruit sheds, as well as Sunworks, so attendees can learn the advantages of putting solar panels on their businesses or homes. The Green Tool Belt, which makes products from reclaimed materials and sells sustainable Earth First Products, packaged responsibly and easily composted or recycled, will celebrate their second anniversary at the event. Live entertainment will be provided by McLaughlin Studios, who will bring students to sing, dance and play live music from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. A city fire truck will also be onsite for viewing. Several local farmers will be selling produce during the event to promote the “Eat Healthy, Eat Local” movement, said Miller. “We deliberately don’t bring in food vendors, but offer an eatery flyer with discount coupons so people can go to the local restaurants. There are eight eateries around the Train Depot, including Wild Chicken, Taylors, Subway, The Blue Goose, Snowtopia, Pizza Factory and Mr. Pickles, so you can pretty much find anything you want to eat,” said Miller. Other events to enjoy in town that day include the Loomis Earth Day Yard Sale, which will be held in the depot parking lot from 8.a.m. to 4 p.m.; The Loomis Basin Education Foundation E-waste Drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Loomis Grammar School; and the Community Garage Sale tour, sponsored by Griffith Realty Group and the Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. “We generally have about 50 homes participate each year,” said Leslie Griffith. “People can register up to April 17 for $10, which includes all the signs, advertising, maps and a goody bag.” Maps will be available for the public on Friday, April 20 at the Chamber office and Wild Chicken. Loomis Earth Day Activities When: Saturday, April 21 Earth Day Celebration: Noon to 4 p.m., live entertainment 1 to 2:30 p.m., at Loomis Train Depot Yard Sale: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Loomis Train Depot. Free, for reservations call 652-0956. Community Garage Sale: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., $10 registration, by April 17, online at loomischamber.com, or call 899-0422. E-waste collection: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Loomis Grammar School. For more information, go to lbef.net.