Dallas Earth Day Review

The first attempt at an Annual Earth Day Festival in Dallas was a success. The weather was perfect and the attendance was high! Parking was readily available and the location in the newly renovated green spaces of downtown was perfect.  If you were not there in the first hour, skip the crammed parking lot and head straight to a $1.50/hr. meter that is enforced until 6pm. THERE WAS A LACK OF RECYCLING DROP STATIONS and FOOD Vendors DID NOT PROVIDE COMPOST BINS!

Vending booths were located in a central parking lot with a beer garden and entertainment stage #1 by the Art Museum. In this location there were shade umbrellas, green plants/flowers on the tables and plenty of seating.

The center park walkway was only 2 blocks long so they blocked off 1 extra block on both ends for a total of 4 blocks of events. Area #2 had great information booths, shady trees, clean park benches and performing Pirates!

Area #3 had a Live Theater on one side and an Opera House on the other with more information booths and a water fountain. The grass was fresh new sod and silky to the touch. It was an enjoyable bare foot walk and nap in this area for us. Playing in the fountain and then following our ears to some good live blues music. The stage was a permanent outdoor amphitheater with extractable speakers and weather proof sliding closures for the stage. There was a lack of shade and the freeway was hard to drown out on the other side of the wall. Fresh air flow had to be sacrificed for the sound proofing features.  😦  Sitting by the sound control booth or by the walls were the only shade options. On a hot day you will need to play in the water to cool down. You will find clean bathroom access in the Opera House and there are 20 port-o-pots in a dedicated lot as well in area #3.

Area #4 was the after party area. Volunteers gathered with the rest to party to the sounds of DJ LucyWrubel.com. The area was centered around another water feature and restaurant square offering 4 varieties of food and tv’s to watch the Mavs blow a 23 point fourth quarter lead! We laid on some rocks with our feet in the water while reading books, sipping margaritas and then ate some dinner.

The festival closed at 5pm but many vendors were caught breaking festival etiquette by taking down their booths hours earlier. Apparently this was another area of improvement for the festival rules committee. You always take a deposit and and enforce a clause for early departure stating that the deposit will not be returned in case of leaving early. When a booth tears down early they lower the morale of the festival not to mention that their workers get in the way of traffic flow by moving equipment around. The festival was 25% empty by 3pm and 40% by 4pm!!!

End your night with some big name concerts! We ended our night with a great George Thorogood concert at Billy Bob’s in historic downtown Ft. Worth! The standing room tickets were only $15! The location on the sides of the dance hall were worth $15 but don’t be surprised there is no dance section open in front of the stage. It was all assigned seating for the floor goers! Thumbs down.

Over all it was a great festival with minor areas of improvement.
1. GREEN festivals must operate on renewable energy and this was not the case for Dallas.
2. There was ONLY 1 demonstration of renewable energy offered by YourGreenPath.com. It was a bicycle generator powering a booth with a video/tv demo and loud speaker  of the unit. This was good but I was not offered info on the product quickly and thus have to search YourGreenPath.com for more info. It was great to see this small reminder that all workout gym’s should have bike generators running energy back into their grid. There needed to be solar, wind, bio-fuel and other misc. demos!!!
3. There was a major lack of recycling drops and compost bins.
4. THERE was no digital information solution in place! Digital information options saves TONS of paper waste, trash expenses and unneeded recycling. Well established Green Festivals use QR solutions! Vendors create their QR code with an app such as QR DROID and then have their QR code printed on booth displays so visitors can quickly scan their info. NO PAPER IS NEEDED other then the display this way. For those without a smart phone, vendors have a small business card to hand out with the code on it! Limited prints of visual flyers are printed for showing examples to those interested on site and then kept by the vendor for the next demo! FRENTZ’s Consulting (TJF.8k.com) can train your festival team how to use and setup this system. Email tim Frentz @ tfrentz@hotmail.com today for help!
5. There was a lack of attendance at the after hours party. More incentive needed to be offered then just the 25% of the tab being reinvested into sustainability solutions!
6. THERE was limited partnering. There was free entry into the museums which was great but there were some big shows in town and there was no use of their shows in advance advertising to draw more traffic to the Earth Day festival. We went to George Thorogood but only after finding out about the show from another lead!

THE TOP LINKS from Vendors:

BOB@ http://thegreenestlittlehouseintexas.org/
1003 Windsong Trail Richardson, TX 75081 – 469-233-6767

http://recycledplasticblockhouses.com/
email: Harvey@ HarveyLacey.com  –  Partners: Grisb.org

http://AtticBreeze.net
Home Cooling Solar Powered Vents

Robert@ http://CompostMania.com

Responsible Recyclers are listed on:
http://e-Stewards.org and http://BAN.org
http://TexasTakeBack.org and http://TexasRecyclesComputers.org

http://YourGreenPath.com
http://my.nature.org/forms/santa-cruz.html

Dallas GREEN Social Group
http://CarrotMob.org

Healthy Food Movement of North Texas
http://SlowMoneyDFW.org and http://BigBangTX.org

Good Info on World Food Movements
http://CoolYourDiet.com

Texas Energy Audit
http://www.txu.com/en/residential/energy-savings-solutions/pea-introduction.aspx

Take Care of Texas  (A great GREEN Internet Community)\
http://TakeCareOfTexas.org

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Comments
  1. lylaburns123 says:

    Thanks for sharing! My kids think it’s so cool that there is actually one day a year committed to earth day. A few years ago we celebrated by going to some of our local festivals and it was so fun. I think this summer we will try out a solar attic fan so the kids can learn how they work, and I can’t complain about saving a little bit of money! Thanks again, it looks like you had a great time!

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