Isla Vista residents flocked to Anisq’ Oyo’ Park this Saturday to get in touch with their earthy roots at the 14th annual Earth Day Festival.
The community festival featured a range of booths offering massages, merchants selling earth-friendly products, special guest speakers and musical numbers. The celebration has been a staple of I.V. culture since its creation in 1996.
Rachel Saputo and Kiyome Okikawa, members of the Environmental Affairs Board who helped plan the event, said they were happy with the sizable turnout at this year’s event.
“We’re really happy to have done this,” Saputo said. “We have a lot of people here this year, it looks like there could be about two thousand people coming by, and we think that’s amazing.”
Among the throngs of people that attended was undeclared first-year UCSB student Alex Webb, who said he enjoyed learning about local efforts to protect the earth.
“I’m really glad people are taking time to take a look at the earth,” Webb said. “It’s so great that people are funding events like this. I had a lot of fun. I had no idea there were so many organizations around here dedicated to helping the environment.”
Pilar Alomia, a member of the A.S. Coastal Fund, said the event is an opportunity for groups to reach out to students and locals.
“We [the Coastal Fund] have this money to offer, but people don’t know us all that well,” Alomia said. “It’s really nice to come out to things like this and show people what we are and how we can help the community. We come to these types of things as much as we can.”
A number of vendors with earth-friendly products set up booths at the event as well, including Caligreen — a student-run company that sells organic clothing, such as hemp shirts.
“We’re just here to represent Earth Day,” Chris Scott, co-owner of Caligreen said. “We love coming to these kinds of events and offering the best product we can to people.”
Okikawa said that the EAB worked hard to draw in a large crowd despite the absence of alcohol at the event.
“We lost our alcohol permit last year,” Okikawa said. “So we’ve been working this year to promote the event as an alcohol free event. I think it’s working really well since we have an amazing turnout this year.”