Green Day 

When Earth Day was founded in 1970, "global warming" wasn't a household phrase. There were no such things as energy-efficient light bulbs or hybrid vehicles. "Green" was only a color.

Thankfully, almost 40 years later, environmental stewardship has become rather trendy. That's why you'll surely see plenty of the city's movers and shakers at the second annual Shelby Farms Green Shoe Gala on Friday, April 18th. The swanky affair features an organic dinner, live music by Andy Childs, and a live auction benefiting future projects at Shelby Farms Park.

The auction's highlight is a "green shoe" hand-crafted from metal reclaimed from the steel rafters of the First United Methodist Church, which burned down in 2006.

If upscale parties aren't your reusable, plastic-free bag, you can still celebrate Earth Day at Shelby Farms with the return of the Down to Earth Festival on Sunday, April 20th. The event features a green vendor area, where exhibitors showcase products or services that help the environment.

"We want to have a smaller environmental footprint, but many of us don't know what we can do or how we can replace products with more sustainable ones," says Laura Adams, director of public engagement and development for Shelby Farms Park Conservancy.

Local bands will play all day on two stages — one reserved for bluegrass and the other for rock and everything else. And there will be plenty of crafts and games to keep the kids busy.

Green Shoe Gala, Shelby Farms Park, Friday, April 18th, 6-10 p.m. $250

Down to Earth Festival, Shelby Farms Park, Sunday, April 20th, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free

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