Story and photos by Susan Aaronson

Spirits were high and the turnout large at Rogue Valley Earth Day 2008 on the grounds next to ScienceWorks in Ashland Saturday. Although the air was a bit chilly for mid-April, the sun was out and everyone seemed amazed that the predicted snow held out until the celebration was over.

"We were lucky and blessed to stay dry and have a great crowd, despite the forecast," said event manager Paige Prewett. "With help from over 100 volunteers and dozens of sponsors, the Earth Day planning committee organized a great event. We reached a broader cross-section of our community this year, which is exactly what we were hoping for with our theme, Growing Our Common Ground."

The entertainment stage kept event-goers amused with Art Now's "Trashion Show" where contestants showed off their elaborate outfits made from plastics, papers and other recyclables. DJ Jahfirm kept music spinning in between acts of local musicians, dancers and puppeteers to give the festival a party-like atmosphere.

Local vendors supplied delicious organic food to the hungry masses. Children were busy climbing through cardboard tunnels, running through the Ashland YMCA obstacle course or visiting EcoQuest booths to win prizes.

Grants Pass Electric Vehicles displayed their electric cars and were eager to answer questions, especially with gas prices soaring on a daily basis. Eagle Mill Farms Education Project helped children plant tomato seeds in recyclable containers to take home for their own gardens or to leave so it could be planted back at Eagle Mill Farms with their name on it.

— — — The Trashion Show is always a crowd-pleaser at Ashland’s Earth Day celebration.

"There's really something here for everyone," said Michelle Ogier, a first-time Earth Day participant.