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Sunset Lantern Parade Launches Earth Day 2012 Festival in East Atlanta

By Kate Crosby
Celebrate, Educate, Participate: These sentiments are the mantra of East Atlanta Village’s inaugural Earth Day 2012 Festival coming this spring. The East Atlanta Community Association (EACA) is commemorating Earth Day with three days of themed festivities centered around recycling, freecycling, and the greener way to go.
The celebration begins on Thursday, April 19 with the opening of the East Atlanta Farmer’s Market as they kick off their seventh season. The market will be welcoming back everyone’s favorite farmers, bakers, cheese makers, and food producers—with a few new special surprises. The market is pleased to offer free cooking and gardening classes every week this season.  Local drink specials at the Midway Pub across the street will help support the market.
Expect special Earth Day activities, including a musical performance and kids’ crafts. The fun kicks off at 4:00pm at 561 Flat Shoals Avenue. See www.farmeav.com for more info.
Customize your own lantern for the night’s flickering festivities at the EACA Booth with a lantern-building workshop and launch fundraiser during market hours.  Or join us at the Brownwood Community Park Recreation Center the preceding week to get started on your lantern early!
As the farmer’s market closes at dusk, the gathering of the Lantern Parade begins.  Inspired by the Art on the Beltline series, the Sunset Lantern Parade and Launch, marks Earth Day as a reason to celebrate! Revel in the spring evening as lanterns, friends and families parade from the market through the streets of East Atlanta to land in Brownwood Park. At the park, entertainers from Atlanta’s own Imperial OPA circus will awe the crowd as they gather for the first “Brownwood Movies in the Park” series.  Take a look into the innovative minds of “Studio Outpost;” an artist-collective production facility based in the heart of East Atlanta as they host a series of short movies to finish out the night.
Saturday, April 21 from 12:00pm to 5:00pm marks the second event day of the Earth Day 2012 Festival.  Gather again at the East Atlanta Farmer’s Market site, but you won’t need your wallets this time. Here the EACA will host a series of free-cycle tables where you can finally drop off all that junk you’ve been meaning to get rid of, and pick up new junk!
It’s the ultimate Free Yard Sale! Remember, one man’s treasures are another man’s gold, so don’t miss out. Drop-off items include books, jewelry, toys, art, clothing, shoes, knick-knacks, clutter, and general bric-a-brac. All remaining items at the end of the day will be donated, recycled, and out of your life forever.  Also included are recycling drop-off points for tires, electronics, paint cans, eyeglasses, and cell phones.  It’s a one-stop spring cleaning shop!
While you are scrounging for treasure, listen up because EACA is hosting a series of educational workshops to instruct crowds on local green practices.  Learn more on subjects like organic brewing practices, composting, green business tips, and more from your local green-ologists.  Take a guided tour of Brownwood Park and the East Atlanta Community Garden, then learn about the Village of yesteryear on the East Atlanta Historical Walking tour hosted by the Battle of ATL.
Walk across the street to the Midway Pub for the Earth Day Arts and Craft Market also happening from 12pm-5pm. Peruse some of the area’s most talented local artists’ wares while sipping on one of Midway’s delicious rotating taps or one of their over 100 bottled-beer selections.
Sunday marks Earth Day proper, and in a true sense of community EACA’s own Beautification Committee will host a spring planting and neighborhood cleanup between the hours of 10:00am and 1:00pm. It takes hard work to look this good, East Atlanta! So be sure to do your part. Meet at 10:00am at the main planter on Glenwood and Flat Shoals to help beautify the neighborhood.
We challenge you Atlanta, to go green for Earth Day and help East Atlanta to celebrate, educate and participate! Questions? Contact recycleeav@eaca.net to find out how you can volunteer, become a craft vendor, or teach a green workshop for the event.
April 12, Thursday “Lantern Building Workshop”
5:00pm-8:00pm: Lantern Building workshop at the Brownwood Park Recreation Center located at 602 Brownwood Ave. SE, Atlanta GA 30316. Bring a lantern to decorate or purchase one there to benefit EACA!  Crafting supplies and guidance provided.
April 19, Thursday “Celebrate:”
4:00pm-8:00pm: East Atlanta Farmer’s Market opening day, includes second lantern building workshop at EACA booth in market
8:00pm, Sunset Lantern Parade and Launch begins, ending in Brownwood Park.
9:00pm, Brownwood Movies in the Park series begins, hosted by East Atlanta’s own Studio Outpost with entertainment by the Imperial OPA
April 21, Saturday “Educate”
12:00pm-5:00pm: Farmer’s Market site: Free-cycle tables, educational workshops, recycling drop-off points, start of walking tours
Midway Pub:  Earth Day Arts and Craft Show
April 22: “Participate”
10:00am to 1:00pm: Join EACA’s Beautification committee at the main planter on Glenwood and Flat Shoals Avenue to help with spring planting and beautifying the neighborhood.

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