Guildford Park Secondary students Carissa and Saaiba got on stilts and wore these costumes during the 2017 Party for the Planet at Surrey Civic Plaza. (file photo)

Guildford Park Secondary students Carissa and Saaiba got on stilts and wore these costumes during the 2017 Party for the Planet at Surrey Civic Plaza. (file photo)

Surrey’s Party for the Planet more ‘grassroots’ this year – and mostly under cover

City’s annual Earth Day event won’t have big-stage entertainment, but acoustic tunes will still play

Surrey’s Earth Day celebration promises to be more grassroots this year, with less emphasis on big-stage entertainment and more interactive workshops and attractions.

The city’s ninth annual Party for the Planet, long billed as B.C.’s largest Earth Day celebration, is planned for Surrey Civic Plaza on Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. As always, admission is free.

A new Live Green World will feature environmental workshops, a “sustainable marketplace,” an acoustic concert series and local vendors, event planners announced Wednesday (March 6).

The TD-presented festival “will offer 1,000 complimentary plants to attendees and provide an abundance of opportunities for all ages to learn about environmental initiatives,” says a release from Surrey city hall.

An Adventure Zone on University Drive will include a free zip line, rock climbing wall, road hockey and food trucks. This year’s tree and plant sale will offer native trees for $20 each, and plants from $2 to $4.

Performers this year will include singer Colin Bullock, indie-pop sister duo Harlequin Gold and children’s performers Bobs & Lolo on the TD Main Stage inside city hall, in council chambers. Live and DJ’d music will also be heard on the festival grounds outside, under tents.

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Mary Rukavina, manager of the city’s special events and film department, called it a “repositioning” of Party for the Planet for 2019, to make it more “grassroots.”

Pretty much the entire plaza will be covered for the day, she told the Now-Leader.

“In mid-April, around Earth Day, we just know it’s going to rain, right, so we’re planning for that, and most of the event, 75 per cent, will be under cover.

“We saw our Tree-Lighting Festival was a huge success this year (in November), with the marketplace all under a huge tent, so there was more warmth, more coverage from wind and rain, and it made for a more relaxed, better feel, atmosphere, for those who attended.”

As for music, Rukavina said “we’re still wanting a party – it’s called Party for the Planet and you can’t have a party without music, right. So we’re just shifting it a little bit, so rather than have a big stage, we’ll have the indoor stage and also an acoustic concert series in those large tents.”

Previous editions of Party for the Planet featured big-stage performances by high-profile artists, including Sam Roberts, Dear Rouge, Spirit of the West, Shawn Hook, Lights and Down With Webster, among others.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum said the city is “very excited” to present Live Green World at this year’s Party for the Planet, “where attendees can learn how to live more sustainably through workshops and support local businesses in the environmental marketplace,” he said in a release.

“We invite residents and visitors to celebrate sustainable community growth, experience live entertainment for all ages, and discover new ways to decrease their environmental footprint at this year’s event.”

More event details can be found at surrey.ca/partyfortheplanet.

Surrey’s Party for the Planet is among five “Major Annual City Events” planned annually by city hall staff and partners. The others are an international children’s festival, Canada Day, Fusion Festival and Tree-Lighting festival.

Earth Day is officially marked on Monday, April 22 this year.

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VIDEO, PHOTOS: Surrey celebrates Earth Day at Party for the Planet, featuring Sam Roberts.

Surrey hosting 2-day Party for the Planet with Spirit of the West, from 2011.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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