Looking to make a difference in the world around them, a team of members of the Red River Unitarian Universalist Church in Denison have created a festival centered around recycling.
This is the ninth year of the Texoma Earth Day festival. It will be held Saturday on the Sherman Municipal Grounds.
“Things are changing and we have opportunity to improve the world around us,” Texoma Earth Day Festival Director Amy Hoffman-Shehan said. “It is obvious through the weather that things are not the same. We can change things in our personal lives and make a smaller footprint.”
Hoffman-Shehan said that her family was part of the inspiration behind creating the Texoma Earth Day Festival.
“My family has a frugal nature,” she said. “We want to dispose responsibly and not consume what we do not need. We have a way of conserving that is important to us. We want to educate others about their options.”
Entertainment Coordinator Jan Fletcher said it is important for people to do their best to control what happens to the Earth.
“Earth Day is important because of what could happen tomorrow,” she said. “Those post-apocalyptic movies we see, could actually happen. We waste so much. We cannot put it in the landfills. Acid soaks into the land and we have to do something about it now.”
Fletcher said that is why recycling is so important.
Festival facilitator Marla Loturco said that children are the center of the festival.
“Sometimes adults become unconscious to the things around them,” Festival Facilitator Marla Loturco said. “Children are conscious so we want to educate the kids. They are the ones that will say, don’t do that, dad, or, mom, why are you doing that? Kids will hold their parents accountable.”
Hoffman-Shehan has participated in similar Earth Day events, but none were a festival like this.
“We are not the kind of festival that has bounce houses,” she said. “We have things centered around our natural world. We are promoting that there are fuel-efficient vehicles available in this area. We have healthier food. We are presenting opportunities for people who do not have curbside trash pick up to recycle. The most important thing for me is offering a variety of things for people.”
The first year, there were about 12 business that participated. This year, about 30 have signed up to be at the festival.
“We have a lot of recycling,” Loturco said. “We have found that Choctaw Go Green takes a lot of items and Texoma Community Center also takes electronics and clothing. We have had Texoma Blood Mobile, Adopt-a-pet, Friends of the Library.”
Hoffman-Shehan said that it is important that the festival remain a small town festival.
“For entertainment, we are having the Sherman Community Players come and person part of Jesus Christ Superstars,” entertainment coordinator Jan Fletcher said. “Shawnda Rains Stage Struck will be the headliners. A Nautilus group will have a silver sneakers chair yoga class and Zumba. There are ways to get physical body working. We will also have the Greater North Texas Children’s Chorus and a Tae Kwon Do performance.”
People will also get to participate in “Trashing Fashion,” a fashion show where anyone that has clothing or accessories made from recycled materials will get to model what they have made.
“Plastic sits in landfills forever,” Loturco said. “We want to keep items out of the landfills. When we put items in the landfill, they cover it with dirt. Plastic bags and bottles do not go anywhere.”