It's your turn to do something to save the world: to recycle, to eat a plant-based diet, to turn off the water when you brush your teeth, to donate money to a non-profit organization, to sign a petition to save an ancient redwood forest. At EarthFair '97 in Balboa Park on Sunday, April 20, from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. learn all about your environment and what you can do to make a difference.

"There is just so much to see here," EarthFair visitor, Daron Cook enthused last year. "Anything you would want to learn about. I've picked up information on vegetarianism, the Wolf Sanctuary and the EV-1 electric vehicle! I've been thinking about becoming a vegetarian and now I have more information to help me do the right thing."

San Diego's 7th annual EarthFair will feature close to 300 educational exhibits as well as plenty of entertainment and special activities. One of the highlights of EarthFair '97 is the All Species Parade which begins at 10:30 A.M. at the Organ Pavilion. Featuring parade marshal Michigan J Frog from television station KSWB, and representing scout troops, churches and many other groups, more than 400 children, animals and adults will celebrate the variety of life and the importance of preserving the natural world.

After the parade, everyone is invited to participate in the Passport to a Better World Scavenger Hunt, a fun-filled walk through the Earth Fair. Participants pick up sheets of environmental questions at one of the information booths and "scavenge" through the fair to find the correct answers. Completed Passports can be returned to a booth at the Organ Pavilion for a special prize pack.

Other "must-see" exhibits and events include the HumaniTree at the Organ Pavilion where individuals create and place "BE-Leafs" containing their names and individual promises toward improving the environment onto HumaniTrees; an on-site recycling center for glass, aluminum, newspaper, plastic and cardboard; the alternative vehicles display; an organic farmers' market and natural foods area; and a special children's area featuring llamas, facepainting and hands-on activities.

"There are many ways to save the planet," explains San Diego Earth Day Board member and organic farmer Scott Murray. "If each person who attends the EarthFair learns about one thing that they can do 8B and goes home and does it! 8B we can change the course that we are on now." His personal suggestion? "Eat locally-grown, fresh, organic produce, of course!"

Eight stages will present entertainment all day at EarthFair '97, including a children's stage, a rock stage presented by 103.7 The Planet, a folk stage presented by the San Diego Folk Heritage Society, dance and music performances at the Keeth Mahogan presents Zoro Gardens stage next to the Reuben H. Fleet Space theatre, a Global Party drumming circle in front of the botanical gardens at 3 P.M., a World Beat stage in Pepper Grove presented by World Beat Productions, and the 91X Earth Stage at the organ pavilion.

"With music, we can open the minds and the hearts of people," stage organizer Chuck Schiele asserts, "and you need an open mind to change your habits and learn new ways of doing things. Music is often a great conduit to awareness."

EarthFair '97 is free and open to the public and expected to attract a crowdof more than 60,000. Free secured bike parking will be provided all day at the Museum of Man and the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater. There will also be free natural gas shuttles to the Fair from a secured parking lot off Pershing Drive. Free parking is also available at City College off Park Blvd.

"This year we are really excited that San Diego Metropolitan Transit and Cloud 9 Shuttle will provide shuttle vehicles that run on compressed natural gas," EarthFair organizer Kari Gray explains, "Not only is using the bus an environmentally sound way to go to the EarthFair, but the natural gas vehicles are part of a cleaner future." San Diego Earth Day is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that works year-round to encourage people to take individual action for the future.

For more information on Earth-Fair '97, call (619) 496-6666.

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