RALEIGH – For the second year in a row, downtown Raleigh will be transformed into a fun forum for learning and entertainment with the return of Planet Earth Celebration--Respect Your Mother at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The free event, aimed at raising awareness of the importance of environmentally responsible living will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine, on Saturday, April 18 on all four floors of the Museum and outside along our plaza and the State Capitol grounds.
Last year, more than 10,000 people flocked downtown to enjoy one of Raleigh's premier educational events celebrating our planet. This celebration brings several new additions to an already exciting footprint, plus the return of a few crowd favorites. More than 70 stations will provide visitors with much needed information on sustainable innovations available right here in the Triangle that promote more socially and environmentally aware lifestyles.
New attractions this year include Burt's Bees "Happy Burt Day" Bonanza Tent sale in celebration of their 25th anniversary, Whole Foods' "Bag Out in Style" Fashion Show; "Patty's Green," a live action eco-style musical show for young people; and trash parade and the creative pageants of Paperhand Puppet. Returning this year is the Kids Zone, courtesy of the Scrap Exchange, who will bring a variety of 'trash' for kids to turn into their treasure, as well as an activity by the Marbles' Kids Museum, and Don "The Junkman" Knaack, playing a series of jams throughout the day on instruments made from 100% recycled materials (up to 200 pieces of trash!) In addition, local bands will play on the sound stage on the Capitol grounds throughout the day. Visitors are encouraged to use an alternate means of transportation to travel to and from the celebration like taking the bus or riding a bicycle.
The Museum will also host the 9th annual North Carolina Sustainable Design Competition which challenges college students around our state to create a design that incorporates green building practices in a way that is affordable and practical for actual construction. Statewide winners will see their design built as part of the grand prize.
Prairie Ridge , the Museum's 38-acre field station for wildlife, sustainable living and experiential learning, located on Reedy Creek Road between the Edwards Mill Ext. and Blue Ridge Road (just past the National Guard Check Point), will also host Earth Day activities on Saturday, April 18 as well. From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. visitors can learn more about invasive species and participate in the removal of them. For information contact Brian Hahn, Brian.Hahn@naturalsciences.org , 919.733.7450 ext 674.
Planet Earth Day Celebration 2009, brought to you by the Museum in partnership with Burt's Bees, with support from the City of Raleigh and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, will be a green festival, managed and operated in a way that will minimize its footprint, and will optimize use of goods and services that respect the Earth. For more information on any of the Earth Day activities, feel free to log onto www.planetearthcelebration.com  or contact Steve Popson, Assistant Marketing Director, at 919-733-7450, ext. 379 or Steve.Popson@naturalsciences.org .