Maplewood’s Memorial Park will be transformed April 28 into a large mass of food, music and entertainment with an eco-friendly theme.
“Green Day,” a one-day festival celebrating the environment, returns after a one-year hiatus due to scheduling and other issues. Organizers said this year figures to be the biggest Green Day in the event’s brief history.
There are more vendors than in the past, and the venue has moved to the amphitheater section of the park, directly across from the train station, organizers said.
Green Day, scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., has something for everyone: Live bands, cooking, fitness and other demonstrations, and entertainment for children, including a petting zoo.
There is no rain date. The schedule and other information can be found online at maplewoodgreenday.org.
Tracey Woods, a local resident who serves as chairwoman of the event, said that more than 100 vendors would be present this year, including 14 food vendors selling everything from baked goods to gelato.
For kids, a local group called “Bash the Trash” will teach children how to make musical instruments from trash, and lead a parade with children playing on their recycled instruments. Green Day also is trying to promote local businesses. Participating merchants are giving discounts at their stores to anyone bringing in a Green Day book mark.
Green Day first came to Maplewood in 2007, and has attracted thousands of people to the community at past events. Fred R. Profeta Jr., who was mayor at the time, explained that Green Day has an educational component.
“The main motivation for it is a great way to educate people in the town, motivate them, and in particular, to engage the younger generation, the kids, in something that’s good for the planet and a lot of fun,” he said. “And we also know from experience that if you motivate the kids, they tend to get their parents involved.”
Maplewood has sought to be a leader in the environmental movement, something Profeta advocated during his time in office. Green Day is an expression of the town’s commitment, said one current official.
“This is Maplewood,” deputy Mayor Kathleen M. Leventhal said of Green Day. “It shows our leadership in environmental issues.”
Memorial Park figures to be busy April 28 with the start of local Little League Baseball on the other side of the park. Organizers are urging people to walk, bike or use public transportation to get to the event.
Woods said there would be “monitored” bike parking on Oakview Avenue for people who pedal to the festival.
In 2010, the event drew an estimated 5,000 people.
“I think we’re going to do at least as well,” as two years ago, Woods said in discussing this year’s attendance. “We have beautiful weather forecast, (so) it could even be more.”
Philip Sean Curran can be reached at 908-686-7700, ext. 116, or at email@example.com.