Although Earth Day doesn’t officially arrive until April 22, Earth Week starts on April 16. Now, everyone has that much more time to focus on appreciating our earth and contemplating how we can safeguard it.
At Descanso Gardens, there’ll be an all-day Earth Day festival this Saturday, April 16, filled with educational activities as well as live entertainment.
Among the performers will be the Moodoo Puppets appearing in “Earth Day Safari.” Puppeteer and director of the show Michael Dowell brings his menagerie of animals to life so that they can spread the word that conservation counts. With lots of audience interaction, plus singing and a bit of humor, Dowell manages to keep everyone engrossed in the entertainment … and the message.
Originally from Kentucky, Dowell studied animation before he started working in Southern California doing just that. Although he thoroughly enjoyed being an animator, at the same time, his imagination was being invaded by a group of characters from outer space, namely his Moodoo Puppets. Eager to find out where his creatures would take him, Dowell ventured off into the land of entrepreneurship more than ten years ago.
At first, all of his puppets were completely handmade; however, since a single puppet often took three to four weeks to make, Dowell eventually added prefabricated ones to his collection. Then too, during the early years, his productions were continually being revamped, as he wanted to create story-based shows that would allow the distinct personalities of his characters to shine through.
Now Dowell, along with his puppet companions, travel to festivals, schools, parties and special events eager to communicate a universal theme. Their unchanging message is one of love.
Earth Day activities this Saturday include:
- Moodoo Puppets perform on the Main Lawn at 11:00 a.m.
- Mobile Homeboys, a band that combines rock, roots and bluegrass music, performs in the Under the Oaks Theater at 1:00 p.m.
- Ladybug Land, located on the Main Lawn, will be filled with activities for youngsters from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
- David Fross, co-author of “Reimagining the California Lawn: Water-conserving Plants, Practices and Design” holds a lecture and book signing in Birch at 12:30 p.m.
- Martifer Solar gives a presentation on solar power at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
- Local artists present and sell their creations in Van de Kamp from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Descanso Gardens encompasses 150 acres of nature’s rustic beauty, including North America’s largest Camellia collection with 34,000 plants. Among the other highlights are the Lilac Garden, Japanese Garden, California Garden, Rose Garden and Iris Garden, as well as the majestic Oak Forest. Roam the land for the perfect urban escape.
Descanso Gardens Earth Day Celebration will be held on Saturday, April 16. Descanso Gardens is located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge 91011. Hours of operation are 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. General admission is $8; Seniors $6; Children (5 to 12 years old) $3. Earth Day activities are free with paid admission. Parking is also free. For additional information call: (818) 949-4200.