Piedmont Environmental Alliance, the nonprofit organizer of the annual Piedmont Earth Day Fair, anticipates a record crowd of more than 10,000 visitors to the eleventh annual Piedmont Earth Day Fair to be held Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds. With the support of local sponsors and community partners, the event provides educational opportunities and family-friendly programming for the community, with 100+ exhibits, featuring a wide range of environmental topics, sustainable solutions, and local initiatives— all free to the public.
The Piedmont Earth Day Fair is the largest Earth Day celebration and one-day environmental education event in our region. This free event includes a robust program full of enrichment activities for children, environmental demonstrations and education for all ages, and live entertainment throughout the day. Program partners, including SciWorks, SECCA, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, and Art for Art’s Sake, provide activities that engage children and inspire all to learn about sustainability.
The theme of this year’s fair is “Eat. Drink. Think.” aimed at educating the public on the importance of sustainable food systems. “We can produce healthful food that’s good for our bodies and the planet, without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same,” said Piedmont Environmental Alliance’s Board President Valerie Lecoeur. “Our goal at the 2016 Piedmont Earth Day Fair is to educate the public about the ways we can support and enjoy the benefits of sustainable food in our everyday lives.”
New this year at the Fair, high school students from across Forsyth County will participate in the final round of the first annual Environmental Debate Tournament, hosted by Piedmont Environmental Alliance and Wake Debate. Mayor Allen Joines will join a panel of judges for the debate, in which students will argue the merits of large-scale industrial agriculture versus small-scale organic farming. Piedmont Environmental Alliance’s debate program, funded in part by grants from the Winston Salem Foundation, the James G. Hanes Memorial Fund, Wells Fargo, and Great Outdoor Provision Company, is inspiring the next generation of social change leaders by providing local high school and college students opportunities to engage in competitive, academic debate on leading environmental issues.
“Debate is a fun and powerful way for students to develop their critical thinking skills, question the status quo, and deepen their understanding of important issues. That’s why we are so excited to be part of bringing debate on environmental topics to students in Forsyth County,” said Piedmont Environmental Alliance’s Environmental Education Specialist Jamie Maier.
Piedmont Environmental Alliance will also display the organization’s hands-on learning program Energy Explorers, geared toward 4th through 9th grade students, at the 2016 Fair. The program, funded in part by grants from Wells Fargo and Great Outdoor Provision Company, provides interactive activities for children to better understand how energy is created and stored, clean renewable energy sources, and the importance of conserving energy. At the center of the presentation is Pedal Power — a human-powered energy bike that demonstrates how energy is generated and how much energy it takes to power various household items. Energy Explorers is available to schools throughout the Piedmont Triad — free of charge.
Earth Day Fair Green sponsors include Mack and Volvo Trucks, and the City of Winston Salem.