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Celebrate Earth Day in Santa Barbara


Poster for Santa Barbara Earth Day 2019Those of us who live here take Earth Day in Santa Barbara seriously. After all, Earth Day was born out of an unnatural disaster right here in our front yard: the Pacific Ocean. On January 28, 1969, the now infamous Union Oil Platform A, off the coast of Santa Barbara, blew out. The result was more than 3 million gallons of oil spewing into the ocean, killing more than 10,000 seabirds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions. Local environmental activists mobilized, and Wisconsin  Senator Gaylord Nelson, after observing the 800 square-mile oil slick from an airplane, was inspired to create Earth Day.

Now in its 49th year, our community-organized Earth Day festival is one of the longest-running celebrations in the country and believed to be one of the largest Earth Day festivals on the West Coast.​ And 2019’s event is even bigger and better than ever before as the ​Community Environmental Council (CEC) hosts the annual celebration at Alameda Park. The event takes place on Friday, April 26 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check out this video.

The CEC Mandate

The CEC mandate as it applies to the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival is to raise awareness of how we can be part of the solution when it comes to the global climate crisis. Since 1970, CEC has led the Santa Barbara region, and at times the entire state of California as well as the nation, in coming up with creative solutions to some of the toughest environmental problems. CEC is often referred to as a “think-and-do tank” because the organization deeply analyzes a problem and then applies creative, real-world solutions to it. Ultimately, when CEC successfully resolves a problem that once seemed intractable, the solution becomes part of our community’s ethic and day-to-day lives.

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children,” a paraphrase of what environmental activist Wendell Berry wrote in his 1971 book titled The Unforeseen Wilderness: An Essay on Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, has been adopted by the CEC. It is a beautiful and telling mantra communicating the vital message that we should work together — as individuals, communities and nations — to protect the only world we have. One step you can take is attending the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival and learning from the participating experts. Thanks to Santa Barbara’s environmental reputation, our annual festival attracts national media, celebrity attention, and local crowds. The 2018 festival drew over 36,000 visitors. Even more are expected this year.

Read: Santa Barbara Events and Festivals: A Cornucopia of Fun

Festival Highlights

CEC’s Earth Day Festival is broken into zones in 2019. Each zone is created around a specific theme. This year, visitors will be treated with two full days of live music performances, speakers, one of the largest Green Car Shows on the West Coast, family programming, 200+ exhibitors, and the exciting presentation of Environmental Hero Awards. Here are the highlights you don’t want to miss:

  • NEW FOR 2019: #SBEarthDay Evening in the Park
    Don’t miss the Friday Night Concert and Beer Garden. Bring out your blankets and chairs for a free bonus concert in honor of Earth Day. Enjoy $5 Happy Hour Firestone Beer, great vintages from Cambria Winery, free Cuyama Cider tasting and delicious delights from Buena Onda Empanadas. Dance to live music from Superstoked, Doublewise Kings and No Simple Highway, emceed by DJ Sparks.

  • Test Drive Clean Vehicles
    This is your chance to test drive the latest clean vehicles at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival’s Green Car Show. This annual showcase and test-drive event features the largest collection of clean vehicles and new mobility solutions in California’s Central Coast. Take advantage of this unparalleled opportunity for meaningful interaction with businesses that are committed to building a cleaner transportation future. The hope is to get more Santa Barbara residents to adopt cleaner transportation solutions.

  • Meet the Mayor and Other Local Public Officials
    The festival will have a Public Square that offers the opportunity to speak one-on-one with public officials and learn what they have planned for our local environment. Meet Cathy Murillo, City of Santa Barbara Mayor; Oscar Gutierrea, City of Santa Barbara City Council member; County Supervisor Gregg Hart, City of Santa Barbara City Council Member Eric Friedman, our State Assembly Member Monique Limon and more.

  • A Free Bike Valet​
    Ride your bike to the festival and enjoy a complimentary bike tune-up while you secure your ride at the event’s all-day secure bike parking area. Last year, more than 1,100 bikes were valeted and another 500 self-parked.

  • Farmer’s Market
    This is a Homegrown Roots​ zone that connects attendees with local farmers, food and beverage artisans, and organizations working to promote sustainable food systems in the Central Coast.

  • Eco-Marketplace
    Shop at the Eco-Marketplace, featuring a variety of earth-conscious companies sharing their efforts and products with attendees.

  • Live Music
    2+ days of music on the Main Stage, organized by New Noise, as well as music and speakers on two mini-stages.

  • Food Court
    A tasty assortment of local, sustainable, and organic menus at the Food Court.

  • A Beer & Wine Garden
    Located in the middle of the festival near the Main Stage, with beer on tap from Firestone Brewery, as well as local wines.

  • Kids digging the dirt in a green grassy area to plant a tree at Earth Day Santa Barbara 2019Kids’ Corner
    Your kids will have fun at the Kids Corner, organized by LearningDen Preschool, with arts & crafts, musical performances, storytelling, face painting, and eco-activities, along with a Family Passport​ that promotes kid-friendly activities throughout the park.

  • Great Outdoors Zone
    Be sure to participate in all the fun outdoor activities at the Great Outdoors ​Zone. Here, attendees can take part in fitness activities and discover regional businesses advocating healthy, eco-friendly lifestyles.

Read: Santa Barbara Living: Testament to Why It’s a Top 100 City


Many celebrities participate in the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival every year and 2019 is no exception. This year’s heroes haven’t been announced yet, but recent festivals have included stage appearances by activist Van Jones, scientist and TV host Bill Nye, Director James Cameron, actress Daryl Hannah, ocean activist Marcus Eriksen,​ Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and more. Join in the fun and find out who will win the Hero Award for 2019.

Serious + Fun = Serious Fun at Earth Day in Santa Barbara

If you live in Santa Barbara, Montecito or surrounding communities, you know that while Earth Day in Santa Barbara is celebrated as a festival, its origin and the ongoing threat it is meant to call attention to are quite real. You also know how important it is to preserve our local natural beauty, environment, and the beauty and environment of the entire earth. If you’re a visitor, I encourage you to join in the spirit – both serious and fun.

If you’re already a local but want to move in the area, I’ll happily add your listing to my portfolio of fine homes and find your new dream home on the American Rivera at the same time. If you’re considering moving to the area, I’d be honored to assist you with your search for the perfect home here. Just think: you might be able to enjoy Earth Day in Santa Barbara 2020. Give me a call at 805.886.9378 or email me at


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