The trees at Fort Edmonton were getting plenty of hugs as the 21st Edmonton Earth Day took over the historic park yesterday afternoon.

Previous celebrations of our planet have taken place at Hawrelak Park but after having to postpone the event until September last year, organizers were desperate to find a location where they could hold the event regardless of the weather.

“I’m really glad we’re here,” said Janice Boudreau, a spokesperson for the annual festival.

“After last year we wanted to make sure we had an option that could still keep us going no matter what Mother Nature decided she felt like doing. Obviously today she’s decided she likes this idea because so far she’s brought lots of sunshine.”

This year’s Earth Day activities included a variety of environmental, holistic and advocacy exhibitors, a “Made in Alberta” movie festival, and live entertainment with Earth Day Unplugged on the Mainstage.

Boudreau said visitors to the festival aren’t as Bohemian as they used to be and the idea of environmental conservation is beginning to catch on.

“People don’t look at this in a foreign way now,” she said. “Now they look to it for guidelines, hints, tips and ideas. Little simple types of things that collectively have a major impact.

“It’s exciting watching people figuring out that they can do it.”

While Edmonton celebrated Earth Day yesterday, today is International Hangout Day — people are encouraged to hang their laundry out to dry rather than use a machine.

International Earth Day is celebrated around the world on April 22.

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