***CHECK BACK SOON FOR INFO ON OUR 11TH ANNUAL MEF ON 9/16/2017***
“At the MEF, we showcase our region’s environmental organizations, as well as local businesses that are working to help “green” residents’ lives,” said Sara McGibany, Executive Director of
Start the day out right by participating in the MEF River Clean Up. Approximately 21 tons of trash have been removed from the
To kick off the festival at Noon, Mayor Brant Walker will present a proclamation at the Main Stage that the 3rd Saturday in September will henceforth be known as “Mississippi Earthtones Festival Day” in
There will be several agencies on hand to teach consumers how to incorporate more sustainable practices into their daily lives, along with companies featuring Earth-friendly products and services. “Festival-goers will have many chances to have a positive effect on the environment that day,” said Christine Favilla, Three Rivers Project Coordinator for the Sierra Club. “They can get easy tips on things such as winterizing their homes and conserving water, or bring along the following materials to be recycled: plastic plant pots, cell phones, eyeglasses, hearing aids, old home & garden tools and clean plastic food containers to be made into percussion instruments for music-making at the event.”
A variety of fun and educational activities are planned for families. Check out furs, bones, and rocks that highlight our bluff area at The Nature Institute booth, paint a flower pot with the Community Cultivators and plant seeds to take home, play with a Floodplain Simulation Model with the National Great Rivers Research & Education Center - participants will have the opportunity to “make it rain” on the model, and observe flooding effects given different land use types, such as a parking lot versus a wetland. They will be able to engineer dams and levees in the model to stop the flooding.
The Hayner Public Library District will share historical photographs and other resources on the relationship between the Mighty Mississippi and the Riverbend area, and bring an Orion StarBlast telescope to teach visitors about their telescope program. They will also provide lists of books in their collection that deal with environmental sustainability - some will even be available to check out from the booth, and you can sign up for a library card on-site!
Dozens of local artisans will offer their nature-inspired, hand-made, and environmentally-friendly wares. You’ll find wearable art such as tie dyes, alpaca wool items, knit clothing, crocheted accessories, and upcycled jewelry. A variety of handcrafted body care products will be available, such as plant-based and goat milk soaps, all natural deodorants, lip balms and organic beard oils, and essential oils. Find unique home décor, such as: glass bottle wind chimes, nature themed artwork and photography. Other functional handmade items available for purchase include: hand turned wooden bowls and vessels, hardwood kitchen utensils and cedar bird houses. Beverly Farm Foundation will be presenting artwork from residents at their booth. Vendor applications are still being accepted.
Other special features include an area designed by Heartlands Conservancy called a temporary “parklet” (a sidewalk extension that provides more space and amenities for people to use the street), which will allow them to engage citizens in discussions about the importance of parks and green space in the urban environment. EFS Energy will provide a solar-powered sunflower cell phone charging station. Many animal experts will be on-hand at MEF for questions and answers! Learn about and visit with rehabilitated creatures at the
Wind-powered music will fill the air from two stages throughout the day. The entertainment line-up on the Main Stage will feature River Bend performing traditional Bluegrass from 2:00-4:00 p.m., Hideous Gentlemen playing American Bottom Rock from 4:30-6:30, and from 7:00-10:00 p.m. Jake's Leg will perform their interpretation of the music of the Grateful Dead, as they have been doing in the St. Louis region for over 35 years. The Confluence Stage will feature Erin Jo Padlefoot from Noon – 2:00 p.m., Celia’s Sing-A-Long Dance Party for kids from 2:00-3:00, and acoustic rock from The House Band from 3:30-5:30.
There will be instrument-making activities for kids using recycled materials, and organized drum circles for all ages. Anyone interested in learning the art of hoop dancing is welcome to attend two free workshops offered by the Hoop Factory at 3:00 and 5:00. At 6:55, right before the headlining band takes the stage, guests will enjoy “Colorfest” where anyone interested in being turned into a human tie-dye can purchase packets of brightly-colored corn starch to toss into the air in a designated area. Dress appropriately, or grab a complimentary white t-shirt that will be distributed on-site. Guests will enjoy watching street artists draw large colorful chalk mandalas during the event, and checking out the decorations on light poles, trees and other fixtures courtesy of the Riverbend Yarn Bombers.
Come hungry because there will be a great selection of local food & beverages on site. The Old Bakery Beer Co. will be serving Mediterranean veggie sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, Billy Goat Chips, & street corn.
Broadway businesses are preparing to roll out the red carpet for the crowd, and a number of shops will have displays and merchandise on the sidewalk, such as The Gift Box, Alton Stained Glass Works, 1904 General Store, and Party on Broadway. Piasa Body Art will have a booth outside their shop offering temporary tattoos for festivarians, and attendees can visit with a real woodland fairy at It’s Raining Zen. Mississippi Mud Pottery is hosting a "clay village" in their parking lot, and local potters are welcome to jump on board to sell their wares and demonstrate their craft on-site. They are also offering a storewide 10% discount on any in-stock merchandise. Golden Road Organics will share information about the propagation of plants, sustainable agriculture practices, seed storage, “lasagna gardening”, and the preparation of organic teas.
At 2:00 p.m. a gallery discussion will be hosted at
There is ample parking for festival attendees in the Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market parking lot, located at 501 Landmarks Blvd.; guests can simply walk across the pedestrian bridge directly to the event. Handicapped parking is available at the
This 10th annual festival is held annually on the 3rd Saturday in September, as part of the State of
To stay up-to-date on announcements, please visit: www.facebook.com/EarthtonesFestival.
FULL VENDOR/EXHIBITOR LIST:
KID ECO ZONE - ALTON to GEORGE
World Bird Sanctuary
Treehouse Wildlife Center
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Community Cultivators' JHDG and Grassroots Grocery
Hayner Public Library
The Nature Institute
Face painter - Marcie Theissen
McCully Heritage Project & Center for American Archaeology
IL American Water trailer
Carriage House Studios
ADULT ECO ZONE - GEORGE to BLUFF CITY GRILL
Community Supported Garden at LaVista
Alton Museum of History & Art
Better Building Institute
sHe Handmade Soaps
CC Unique Designs
Calico Arts Project / Doterra
Jacob Sunroom & Exteriors
Green Thumb Nursery
FOOD ZONE - BLUFF CITY GRILL TO LANGDON
Old Bakery Beer Co.
Bluff City Grill
Indian Sunshine Cuisine
Hot Poppin' Kettle Corn
First Stop Bake Shop
Edible Art Bakery at Jacoby Arts Center
ART ZONE - LANGDON TO HENRY
Kind Vibe Creations
Once Upon A Design
The Smelly Gypsy
Scott Schlapkohl Creations
Spider Web Arts
State Street Soap Co.
Morning Glory Carvings
Tekhipee Tie Dyes & Art
What Wood Kevin Do
Golden Road Organics
Beverly Farm Foundation
Piasa Body Art
Listen to a 2015 interview with Sara McGibany about the Mississippi Earthtones Festival: