By Greg Klein
---- — Milford’s Earth Festival on Saturday will be the biggest one yet, according to Darla Youngs, executive director of the Otsego County Conservation Association.
“Every year it continues to get bigger,” Youngs said. “We have more vendors than ever and we have more exhibitions than ever.”
Youngs said the festival, now in its eighth year, has become a regional event.
“The first year, it started out as a really small event,” she said. “We had maybe 100 or 200 people. Now we expect as many as 1,800 or 2,000 people.”
This year’s festival, which will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Milford Central School’s cafeteria, is a collaboration with Spring Garden Day and the Go Green! Fashion Show.
A pre-event bird walk will take place at 8 a.m. sponsored by the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society.
Dr. Jonathan Comstock from Cornell University will speak at 11:15 a.m. on the effect of climate change on crop growing. His speech is sponsored by CCE Master Gardeners.
Spring Garden Day workshops will be held from 8:30 a.m to 3 p.m. Workshops include Pruning Trees and Shrubs, Planning and Planting the Best Herb Garden, 18th and 19th Century Flowers Come Alive in Gardens Today and The Best Perennials for Sun and Shade.
More than 30 vendors will show exhibits and selling goods.
There will be a recycling collection. Clean white Styrofoam, bubble wrap, empty ink jet cartridges, old cellphones, unwanted CDs and DVDs, and used nylon monofilament fishing line will be take at no charge. In addition, previously nonrecyclables such as toothpaste tubes, cereal bags or lining, all brand pens, mechanical pencils and markers, including caps, all empty chips bags, Elmer’s glue bottles and diaper packaging will be taken.
There will be an EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest. The trash-to-treasure challenge is to create something artistic or practical out of items that have outlived their original usefulness. The contest costs $5 for adults and is free to students. Judges will give out awards in categories such as “Best in Show,” “Judges’ Choice” and “People’s Choice.”
The Go Green! Fashion Show will take place in the cafeteria at 10 a.m. Anyone who wants to enter can show off their outfits made of recycled and waste material. Judges will meet with contestants to inspect garments and ask questions before the show. There are four age groups: kindergarten through fourth grade, fifth through eighth, ninth through 12th, and adult.
“There was not a fashion show last year, so I am excited it is coming back,” Youngs said. “It is one of our most popular events.”
A Confidata Shredder will be available courtesy of Empire Recycling from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Music from the Stoddard Hollow String Band will be played from noon to 2 p.m.
Festival Food is being sold by the Origins Café. The Cooperstown Farmers’ Market will also have a mobile market to sell flowers and food.
Sy Lloyd will show off his collection of skeletons in the show, Articulated Skeletons.
Nike will also sponsor a reuse-a-shoe program with sneakers being used to create track surfaces. Lightly used footware including dress shoes, sandals, pumps, heels, work boots, cleats, dance shoes and flip flops will also be collected. There is a donation price of $1 per pair.
Children’s activities will be led by MCS students.
The website www.erideshare.com will have a booth to encourage carpooling.
Earth Festival is an environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a Earth-friendly twist.
Earth Festival 2013 is sponsored by Otsego County Conservation Association and WildLearn.com. For more information, visit http://occainfo.org/documents/EarthFestivalInformation2013_000.pdf, call 547-4488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.