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Setting an eco-friendly example

Park Avenue will transform from a normal street to a pedestrian village during Laguna Beach’s inaugural Earth Day Festival on Saturday.

It’s the first time the city has allowed Park Avenue to be shut down for a non-city event, said event co-founder Billy Fried.

Fried, owner of La Vida Laguna, came up with the festival concept with Complete Streets Task Force chairman Chris Prelitz. Fried is also a member of the Complete Streets Task Force.

The event is an effort by Transition Laguna Beach, with help from SEEDS Arts and Education Inc.


At the festival, there will be three “pods” — an eco-village, eco-lounge and eco-exhibition.

The village will showcase several green techniques, including how to compost, how to cook with solar ovens and how to use rainwater-catching systems.

The lounge, which Fried said will look like a cozy living room transported onto Park Avenue, will feature environmental films and guest speakers well-versed on eco-friendly topics.

The eco-expo will be the go-to source for eco-friendly educational or instructional materials.


Transition Laguna will install an edible garden at the Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Ann’s Drive, to show residents how easy it is to do it at their own home, Fried said.

Bikes will be stationed on the street for free use by attendees. Free tours from the eco-village to the church will also be offered.

Fried said the aim is to show the city what it could be like if it were more pedestrian- and bike-friendly.

“Part of our goal of staging [the festival] on Park Avenue is to show the community what a pedestrian mall could look like and how it brings the community together,” he said. “We also want to bring further awareness that Laguna Beach is an eco-friendly town.”

Laguna’s annual KelpFest at Main Beach coincides with the festival, which Fried said feels appropriate since the festival is focused on the land and the KelpFest is focused on the ocean.

It’s just a short stroll from Main Beach to the mouth of Park Avenue, so it will be easy to take in the many ways to celebrate the planet.

The Earth Day Festival will wind down around 5 p.m. with a drum circle, live music and dance.


Twitter: @joannaclay

If You Go

What: Earth Day Festival

Where: Park Avenue

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Cost: Free