Travelers have a special connection to the earth. After all, we delight in exploring it, soaking in amazing sights and wonders all over the world. So it’s fitting that travelers join in appreciating and caring for the planet this Earth Day, April 22.
Want to celebrate in true traveler fashion? Then head to any of these cities, which boast some of the best Earth Day celebrations around.
1. Columbus, OH
Columbus has set an ambitious goal for itself in the week leading up to Earth Day: It’s aiming to plant 20,000 trees throughout the city between April 16 and April 22. The effort is part of an even larger vision by Green Columbus (the nonprofit organization spearheading the challenge), which hopes to plant 300,000 trees by the year 2020. On Saturday, April 23, the city will come together to celebrate this effort specifically and Earth Day more generally. Live entertainment, great food, educational offerings, and kid-friendly activities make for a day that every member of the family won’t want to miss
2. Dallas, TX
It’s the largest Earth Day celebration in Texas and also one of the biggest in the country: Earth Day Texas expects a crowd of 70,000 people this year, and spectators won’t be disappointed. The free, three-day festival celebrates all things Planet Earth with more than 800 exhibits, hands-on learning opportunities (such as creating a sustainable garden or a rainwater harvesting system), family-friendly activities, tree climbing, and 3D video presentations exploring Earth’s history, among other exciting entertainment options.
When the Tennessee Valley Earth Partnership set out to design Knoxville’s Earth Day celebration 17 years ago, they settled on an ambitious goal: In keeping with the spirit of caring for the earth, they wanted the event to produce zero waste. Every year they come remarkably close to this goal, with an average of 5,000 attendees producing only 10 pounds of trash throughout the course of the celebration. In addition to its focus on reducing waste, the event features great food, live entertainment, and a variety of educational booths.
San Diego celebrates Earth Day all April long with a combination of ongoing and one-off events. Ongoing events include educational offerings pertaining to the Pacific Ocean and water conservation, nature walks, environmental films, and garden-themed arts and crafts sessions. The month’s climax is April 17’s EarthFair, one of the largest free environmental fairs in the world. The event features more than 300 exhibitions, a parade, live entertainment, a gallery of earth-themed arts and crafts, and more.
When it comes to celebrating Earth Day, Vancouver puts the emphasis on celebrate. The city’s biggest annual Earth Day event is hands-down the Party for the Planet, which takes place on April 23 outside of City Hall Plaza. Three separate stages feature live concerts and performances (including presentations with live raptors and turtles), while plenty of great food will be on hand. If you’d prefer to avoid the crowds, head to the smaller Earth Day Celebration, March & Festival on April 24. The student-led event features a short parade followed by speakers and live entertainment.
Celebrate the globe while traversing it by honoring Earth Day at any of these great events. And if you can’t make it this year? Go ahead and raise a glass of (locally-produced) vino to the earth on April 22, no matter where in the world you are.