Five reasons to ‘Party for the Planet’ Saturday

The City of Surrey tips its hat to Earth Day Saturday (April 25) during its annual Party for the Planet, billed as B.C.’s largest such celebration. The free festival is expected to attract 25,000 people to Surrey City Hall and City Centre Library.

After some thorough research – including a somewhat lengthy phone call and many clicks on the website, Surrey.ca/partyfortheplanet – I’ve come up with a list of five reasons to check out the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 13450 104th Ave., Surrey: BUY A TREE A cash-and-carry tree sale has become a popular attraction at the Party. Where else can you plunk down $20 for one of 15 types of trees? Arborists will be on hand to help people pick the best ones – perhaps a Weeping Giant Sequoia or maybe a Kwanzan flowering cherry – for a particular yard, and they’ll also provide tips on how to plant and care for it. They will even help you get the tree to your car, I’m told. New for 2015 is the sale of native plants, for $1 to $3.

MEET CURIOUS GEORGE

The mischievous monkey has a busy Saturday planned, starting at 10 a.m. with a greeting from the mainstage. After that, George will be roaming the event grounds to meet the Party peeps, stopping at noon for a book-reading session at City Centre Library and another reading at the YVR Global Stage (aka city council chambers) at 3 p.m. Also, he’ll participate in a tree-planting event at 2:30 p.m.

FIVE ALARM FUNK IT UP

In for a late-afternoon set on the mainstage (5 p.m. start), Five Alarm Funk are "Vancouver’s champions of the partyfunk orchestra scene" – a solid self-description of the nine-piece unit, one of the most fun, high-energy, horn-driven bands around. Also here for the Party are Surrey’s Good for Grapes, the folk-rock sextet that won the Peak Performance Project talent contest last fall, earning the band a cool $102,700 in prize money; their set starts at 4 p.m.

DRONE ON To be demo’d at the event is Avian, a 3D-printed drone that "enables security professionals to effectively reduce blind spots and create more robust security systems." Sound cool, and the thing is rooted in sustainability, according to Mark Wijaya, cofounder of Avian Robotics (Avianrobotics.com): "Since our drone is manufactured using 3D printing technology, or additive manufacturing, we have minimal to zero waste when manufacturing our parts."

BUNGEE THE ‘ENVIRO’ WAY A contraption called "The Enviro Bungee" is sure to be popular. Users are fitted at the waist with bungee cords, which are used to suspend the person from above, "enabling them to flip, spin and jump to amazing altitudes!" The ride, a free attraction, handles four jumpers at one time, and all the fun is powered by the jumper – but don’t load up on hot dogs and sugary drinks beforehand, or it won’t be pretty for anyone involved.

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