The New Paltz Reformed Church's Earth Day celebration in 2011. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

Environmentalists, farmers and performers are all gearing up for the tenth anniversary of the Earth Day Fair at the Reformed Church of New Paltz on Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) this Sunday, April 22. This is an annual community-wide gathering and celebration of Earth-wise practices and lifestyles that runs from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

The annual fair has established itself as one of many popular New Paltz traditions. “It has the feel of an old-fashioned, retro church picnic atmosphere with music and children’s activities, as well as being a thought-provoking day that examines environmental challenges and highlights ways in which Earth-friendly individuals are addressing these concerns,” said Jim O’Dowd, the founder of the Reformed Church Earth Day Fair.

There will be displays, demonstrations and information booths, all revolving around eco-friendly lifestyles, organic food, sustainable agriculture, alternative energies, composting and much more. There will be local food vendors on hand, as well as some Earth-friendly shopping.

To keep festivities rocking and rolling, there will be a venue of live performances, including vocalist/songwriter Vickie Russell and Hudson Valley folksters Betty and the Baby Boomers, as well as the contemporary sounds of Tulula. Only a short stroll away will be a special performance at the circa-1717 French Church, sponsored by Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) and featuring Renaissance lute music by former HHS director Eric Roth. This half-hour performance, free and open to the public and beginning at 3 p.m., will feature 16th- and 17th-century lute music from England, Scotland, France and Italy.

“Since this is our tenth annual event, we invite everyone to reflect on progress and issues of the last decade, as well as envision what needs to be done in the following ten years and beyond,” said O’Dowd. ++