HOPE Festival to Feature Simple Solutions to Big Problems.

The 21st HOPE (Help Organize Peace Earthwide)  Festival will be held  on Saturday, April 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of Maine's Student Recreation and Fitness Center.  The free festival celebrates the earth and our connections to each other and is held each year around Earth Day.  This year’s HOPE Festival theme is: Simple Solutions to Big Problems. More than 60 organizations will showcase their work for a better world. They will share information, offer demonstrations, sell buttons, T-shirts, and other products, and encourage people to get involved. 

Families with children, students and community members come for a day of celebration, inspiration and to learn about what they can do to create a better world. Maria Girouard of Dawnland Environmental Defense will start the day with a welcome and call to action. The HOPE Festival Singers will rouse and inspire us. Jim Merkel, author of Radical Simplicity will talk about simple solutions and introduce a range of sustainability demonstrations, including papermaking with recycled materials by ecomaine, a tour of biodiesel-powered Bettie the Bus, ideas for increasing your carbon handprint in order to reduce your carbon footprint, and more.  Robert Spytikowski will share his experiences help  to develop water resources in Indonesia after the Tsunami, in war-torn Sudan  as well as Ecuador and Peru with Engineers without Borders. 
The amazing juggling of Zachary Field will delight us, chair yoga with Holly Twining will reinvigorate us, and children will flock to fun and educational activities by Fields Pond Audubon Center, Windover Arts Center, Maine Discovery museum and others. All that plus delicious food from local vendors! The day will conclude with a dance of unity led by Suzanne Kelly.  There’s something for everyone at the HOPE Festival.  For more information or to volunteer call 942-9343  or visit www.peacectr.org.