How the US Does Earth Day

April 11, 2013

U.S. cities celebrate Earth Day 2013It’s almost here! The time of year to celebrate and advocate for a healthy planet Earth is just a few weeks away. Check out how these 10 cities in the U.S. will be participating on the 43rd annual Earth Day on April 22nd.

The Earth Day Network states over a billion people celebrate Earth Day around the world, making it the largest civic observance in the world. A tradition that began on April 22, 1970 in the U.S., Earth Day celebrations will take place from coast to coast, looking to continue, broaden, mobilize and diversify the environmental movement. The following are a few examples of how cities in the U.S. will partake.



1. Beantown

U.S. cities celebrate Earth Day 2013Boston, Mass. has come up with more than a dozen ways to celebrate Earth Day. The Franklin Park Zoo teamed up with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and the Cambridge Science Festival, hosting a full day of celebrations taking place on Sunday, April 21st. The New England Aquarium will present “Blue Discoveries Family Day: Earth Day Celebration,” with special exhibits about the blue planet. Running enthusiasts can participate in the Race Against Extinction 5K, at the DCR’s Artesani Park. Those wanting to become involved can take part in the 14th Annual Charles River Cleanup, just to name a few. There are many more activities to consider, so check out Boston’s event calendar for more information.

2. The Big Apple

U.S. cities celebrate Earth Day 2013New York, N.Y. does not believe one day is enough, so it’s dedicating three whole days of activities in Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall, from April 20th to the 22nd. Such activities include live performances, kid’s activities, sustainability talks and interactive displays. Also, Union Square will host its own celebration on April 21st from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., including live performances, their very own green-vehicle runway and exhibition, and exhibits and displays by environmental organizations, local businesses and corporate partners. For more information on New York’s celebration, visit

3. Live Music Capital of the World

U.S. cities celebrate Earth Day 2013Austin, Texas is no stranger to lively, educative and fun Earth Day celebrations. The city will be hosting the Austin Earth Day Festival 2013 on Saturday, April 20, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., featuring a series of guest speakers, including Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Chief Sustainability Officer Lucia Athens, author Jonathan Bloom, White House Advisor Sylvia Acevedo, among many others. The live music capital of the world will of course be featuring live music all day, and there will also be a designated “Kids Zone” packed with fun activities for the little ones, including Fry’s Fun Farm Petting Zoo. There will also be a number of great environmental presentations taking place, so be sure to check the schedule so you don’t miss anything. For more information on Austin’s festival, visit

4. The Red Stick

U.S. cities celebrate Earth Day 2013Baton Rouge, La. will be hosting a daylong festival downtown, including everything from live music to educational activities. With “Be the change you want in the world” as its slogan, the Baton Rouge celebration will commence Sunday, April 21 at noon, with educational activities until 5 p.m., and continuing with live music until 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit

5. Our Nation’s Capital

U.S. cities celebrate Earth Day 2013Washington, D,C., unlike past years when the Earth Day Network hosted “Earth Day on the National Mall,” the 2013 festivities have evolved into “Earth Month at Union Station,” a full month of special events in the city. The Environmental Protection Agency, however, will be using the Mall for their National Sustainable Design Expo, taking place Thursday, April 18 and Friday, April 19.  Make sure to check out all the events and activities happening throughout the city by visiting

6. The Big Easy

U.S. cities celebrate Earth Day 2013New Orleans, La. knows how to have fun. The Louisiana Bucket Brigade, a New Orleans based non-profit, organized this year’s “New Orleans Earth Day Festival & Green Business Expo,” an event taking place on April 21 from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Bayou St. John on Orleans Avenue. This fun festival will include  Green Scavenger Hunts: two showcase stages hosting local artists, green initiatives, theater acts, fashion shows, among others; and Art Installation: a progressive exhibition focusing this year on Mardi Gras beads, where they come from and what they are made of. For more information, visit

7. Fog City

U.S. cities celebrate Earth Day 2013San Francisco, Calif., often considered “the greenest city in North America,” will be hosting Earth Day SF, a free festival on Civic Center Plaza on April 20th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This fun festival will be packed with live music and performances; renown speakers including Stacy Malkan, Sophie Azouaou, Star Hawk, Kevin Connelly and others; green do-it-yourself projects and workshops; Eco Fashion Shows; the “Amazing Eco Art” exhibition, two children zones; sustainable and solar powered beer and wine gardens; over 80 earth friendly vendors; among many, many more! Be sure to check out to take full advantage of the festivities!

8. The Mile High City

U.S. cities celebrate Earth Day 2013Denver, Colo. celebrates Earth Day every year with a free and open fair to educate and engage its residents in environmentally conscious causes. The city especially encourages employees, teachers and students to attend. The Earth Day Fair features local businesses and organizations that provide sustainable services and products, and a display of the latest technology in near zero emission vehicles. The event is zero waste, and will be powered by renewable energy courtesy of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, according to the government’s website. For more information, be sure to visit

 9. Brew City

U.S. cities celebrate Earth Day 2013 Milwaukee, Wis. wants you to celebrate Earth Day outside. The city will be hosting a celebration from noon to 4 p.m., rain or shine, at the Wehr Nature Center, in Whitnall Park. The activities include a naturalist-led spring walk, arts and crafts with recycled materials, workshops on how to reduce your carbon footprint and how to live more sustainably, let the kids play at the childhood play space and adopt a tree or two to take home. There will also be a special performance, courtesy of Kohl’s Wild Theater, which will present a 40-minute interactive show featuring Wisconsin animals. You may also join the group ride bike to Wehr, called “Keep Pedalling: Oak Leaf Discovery Tour.” For more information on many other fun activities taking place in Milwaukee, please visit

 10. America’s Finest City

U.S. cities celebrate Earth Day 2013 San Diego, Calif. is home to the largest free annual environmental fair in the world welcoming around 70 thousand visitors, and working with more than 400 volunteers. The 2013 San Diego Earth Fair will take place on April 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Balboa Park, featuring two stages with live music, plus a third stage for children’s music and storytelling; more than 350 exhibitors from wildlife preservation groups, ecotourism and sustainable products; a kids area with crafts, games, face-painting, storytelling and hands on activities to educate and entertain young ones; an eHome area showcasing eco home products and technologies; and a Cleaner Car Concourse, showcasing vehicles that run on alternative fuels. Don’t miss a thing and visit to find out more!

Don’t miss out on these and many more festivities celebrating our favorite planet. Wherever you are, take a moment to commemorate the Earth, its living things and have fun at an Earth fair or fest near you! Visit to see what’s happening where you are.

-Alexandra Gyarfas

Photo Credit: LA Wad via Flickr, Allyson Koerner, Wikimedia/Ed Yourdon, Wikimedia/Stuart Seeger, Wikimedia/Elisa Rolle, Wikimedia/Andrew Bossi, Wikimedia, Wikimedia/Octagon, Wikimedia/Tom Lianza, Wikimedia/Steve, Wikimedia/1wan