Year after year, the Standing Rock Cultural Arts "Who's Your Mama" Earth Day Festival reminds people how important it is to protect Mother Earth. Standing Rock, with the support of the city of Kent and Kent Parks and Recreation Department, is hosting a series of events.
Original artwork by seven regional artists are featured in this year's Environmental Art Exhibit, which runs through May at Standing Rock's North Water Street Gallery.
"This year we have some brand new people who have never exhibited before," Standing Rock director Jeff Ingram said. "We're really happy to show off their work."
An entire wall in the gallery is dedicated to trees. Poems by Kent elementary students are mounted on the wall around area artist Jim VandenBoom's wood sculpture art.
On April 21, six local chefs will compete to create the best tasty vegan dish. Don King, two-time Vegan Iron Chef winner, said this year's main ingredient is barley. Each chef will be allowed two burners and two assistants to cook a vegan-inspired entree.
Standing Rock will provide produce and a mystery ingredient.
The Earth Day Festival will culminate in a communitywide Main Street block party and parade April 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Downtown Kent's Main Street will be closed off for environmental vendors, a parade of eco heroes, music, children's poetry and alternative energy displays.
This year's parade, which begins at 2 p.m., carries the theme of bicycles. Area artist Vince Parckard will also lead a workshop.
"He's making life-size costumes and attaching them to bicycles," Ingram said. "These bicycles are not your normal bicycles."
"We call it the block party," Ingram said. "The Kent Parks and Rec Hip Hop Troop will be doing hula-hooping and really bring an uplifting spirit. This is beautiful planet Earth. Every day is a celebration."