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EcoFest gears up for green Earth Day

KINGSTON — Stillwaters Environmental Center volunteers and employees are pulling out their costumes, dusting them off and airing them out before April 21. It sounds remarkably like Halloween, but this holiday’s color is green and celebrates the whole Earth, not just jack-o’-lanterns and candy.

The center is preparing for its seventh annual EcoFest, a celebration of Earth Day and all its aspects, including promoting clean energy, protecting habitats and the Stillwaters workers dressing up like animals and amphibians. The festival will boast almost 40 booths, more than any previous year, and plenty of entertainment.

“The West Sound Wildlife Shelter is planning to bring their teaching owl,” said Stillwaters Administrative Director Naomi Maasberg. “They’ll be here sometime between noon and 2 p.m. The whole day would be too much for the animals.”

The famous Frog Chorus take the stage at 1:30 p.m., representing the best of the Stillwaters drama troupe. Members will be acting out some classic skits, and will also present new material for kids and adults of all ages.

“Another thing that’s new this year is we’ll have Spanish translators, high school students and adults will be helping,” Maasberg said. “Another new thing is Father Tim (Tim Iisetowanohpatakiiwa) will be doing Native American drumming. He’s from Canada, the Siksika Tribe. The way he does it is very involved with the kids, he brings them up on stage and they learn to drum with him.”

The celebration will spill into downtown Kingston, where the first Kingston Farmers Market of the season will kickoff with fresh winter produce, starter plants, arts, crafts, food and entertainment.

“We’ll have some of the first kiwis from the Kingston Kiwi Company, which is exciting,” said market manager Clint Dudley. “We’ll have lots of crafts and local artisans. For any kids that come down, we’ll have free dirt, free pots and free seeds for kids to plant, take home and watch them grow.”

Another aspect of the festival involves the invaluable knowledge books provide, found at the Kingston Friends of the Library Book Sale at the Kingston Community center. For just a few dollars, residents will be able to purchase their favorite authors’ work or find something new, said KFOL member Linda Morse. The sale will also include DVDs, CDs and VHS tapes.

And yet another event on Earth Day will be the Kingston Revitalization Association’s third annual art walk through downtown. Maps are available at the Kingston Community Center, or any of the businesses or homes featuring artwork, said KRA member Sally Christy.

“One of the new things we have this year is the children’s art, which is on display now,” she said, referring to Gordon Elementary School classes providing artwork for the event. “There are eight classrooms participating, and each location has one classroom’s art displayed there.”

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