NORWAY — The Town of Norway will celebrate Earth Day with a week of events that lead up to Earth Day on April 22.

Begun in 1970, Earth Day is celebrated in more than 192 countries around the globe. The day honors the planet, unity, peace and, of course, spring.

Norway native Rijah Newell started a local Earth Day festival in 2008 and the community has continued the tradition she began.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, April 16, Maine State Climatologist, Sean Birkel, will speak at The Commons, 477 Main Street in Norway. Sponsored by the Center for a Ecology-Based Economy (CEBE) and the Western Foothills Land Trust, Birkel will discuss climate change in Maine and how computer modeling can help communities in terms of adaptation and mitigation. A discussion about local efforts will follow.

On Sunday, April 19 at 2pm, Heather Pierson will host the seventh annual Earth Day Concert at the UU Church in Norway. She will be joined by Mary Hargreaves, Davy Sturtevant, Nate Towne, and the Norway UU Choir. The program will include songs and readings that celebrate and honor the Earth and the ideal of peace. Admission is $5 and will benefit the church’s Belfry Repair Project. There will also be a collection of nonperishable food items for the Oxford Hills Food Pantry.

As part of the spring ARK (Art Resources for Kids) series sponsored by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, there will be a workshop called “Create Needle Felted Masks and Earth Balls” from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, April 20. It will be in The Commons beside Fare Share Market. A $5 donation is requested. Call 743-6329 to register.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, on Earth Day Eve, members of the Mountain Poets Society will present a lively evening of poems to celebrate the Earth. Poets will include Eric Dibner and Nadia Hermos of Casco; Aleister Nobles, John Governale, Eyevn Green, and Becky Cheston of Norway; Rockie Graham of Waterford; Michalene Hague of Otisfield; Siiri Cressey of Lewiston; Mark Swiedom of Hebron; and Lisa Moore of Harrison. Light, earthy refreshments will be served.

All of this leads up to the big day. On Wednesday, April 22, festivities will begin at 9 a.m. with a workshop at CEBE in The Commons to make signs and prepare for the Earth Day Norway 2015 parade.

At 11 a.m., the second annual parade will begin at CEBE, march on the sidewalk to the Rowe School, cross the street and then parade back down Main Street to the Alan Day Community Garden on Whitman Street. Main Street businesses along the way are encouraged to participate. The parade is free, and all ages are welcome. Brings signs, wear costumes, decorate strollers and wagons, be creative, and have some fun.

From Noon until 2pm, the Alan Day Community Garden will offer food, music, kids’ activities, information about the Garden, a Garden blessing, and the chance for people to sign up for 2015 garden plots. Upon arrival at the Garden awards will be presented for creative costumes and parade signs.

Beginning at 2 p.m., an Earth Day Film Festival will begin at The Commons, co-sponsored by CEBE and Fare Share Co-op. Informal presentations about CEBE and Fare Share will punctuate videos and films throughout the day.

The feature film, “Chasing Ice.” will be screened at 7 p.m. “Chasing Ice” received the 2014 News and Documentary Emmy award for Outstanding Nature Programming. It is the story of a National Geographic photographer, James Balog, and his mission to document undeniable evidence of our changing planet. The film is 75 minutes long. A $5 donation will be accepted at the door to cover rental costs, but is not required for admission.

FMI call 739-2101. Earth Day Norway 2015 will be a week-long celebration with something for every Earthling to enjoy.


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