Earth Day: Learn how to do the world some good at EarthFair 2018


Mother Earth takes center stage on Sunday as thousands of visitors immerse themselves in all things eco-friendly at the 29th annual EarthFair in Balboa Park.

Billed by organizers as the largest free environmental fair in the world, this year’s bash will see 300 volunteers welcome an anticipated 60,000 eco-friendly visitors as they peruse eight theme areas, four entertainment venues and exhibitors showcasing products, services and causes that address the environment and quality of life.

The theme for this year’s fair is “We’re All In This Together.”

“The original Earth Day theme from 1970 was ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’,” said Carolyn Chase, CEO of San Diego EarthWorks and founder of EarthFair. “In 2018, realizing that we’re all in this together is a reminder of that theme that was in turn catalyzed by that famous first photograph of earth from space that helped us see an image of our common home.”

It’s impossible to list all the festivities at EarthFair, so here’s what you need to know:

What’s new

Larger-than-life-murals: Impressionist artist Michael Richard Rosenblatt created four vibrant 7-by-15-foot canvas murals for display and public viewing at EarthFair. They include: Earth Day Moose, Earth Day Lion, Desert Bloom and California Dreamin’. The murals will be available at auction after the event. He will also be painting two other panels: “California Bear Cry” and “Restoring Puerto Rico,” a panel featuring conga player Hariel Corsair who will be playing live as Rosenblatt finishes the painting.

Chicano Park muralist Franciso Contreras Yee, known as Cisco, will also be creating a panel for the public to color. The canvas will be placed at a later date at the King Chavez Primary Academy.

Tree Walkabout: The Wonderful Trees of Balboa Park: Roger Boddaert, the Tree Man of Fallbrook, will lead two walks at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Visitors will learn what types of trees they are and the daily benefits they provide the earth.

How to get there

By car: If you drive, be sure to arrive by 10:30 a.m.; early birds will have filled the lots and nearby street parking by then, but alternative transportation is available.

Walking: Be an air pollution activist by cutting down on fuel emissions — leave your car at home.

Ride a bike: Cyclists will have free, guarded bike parking available on Village Place (off Park Boulevard, south of the San Diego Zoo) and in front of the Museum of Man.

Public transit: The Blue or Orange trolley line will take you to the City College Station between 11th Avenue and Park Boulevard and C Street and Broadway. From there, it’s about a 10-minute walk to the park. To arrive on the west side of the park, take MTS bus Route 120 and cross the Laurel Street Bridge. For detailed maps and pricing, visit

Disabled parking: There will be extra parking spaces available at the Organ Pavilion lot off Presidents Way. Police will allow cars through provided they have disabled permits and spaces are available.

Getting around

To help you maneuver around the park, use the exhibitor finder on the EarthFair website ( to get you where you need to go. You can use the site to help you make a list of exhibitors you want to visit in advance.


Earth Day Parade: Grand Marshal Dolores Huerta, farm-worker organizer, civil rights leader and Medal of Freedom recipient, leads the parade starting at 10:30 a.m. from Spanish Village and ending about 11 a.m. in Pan American Plaza. Huerta will also be speaking at 2:45 p.m. at the Sun Stage near the Federal Building.

The Dr. Wilderness Family Magic Show: Named “America’s Premier Environmental Magician” by the Audubon Society, performances take place at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. on the Magic Stage located in front of the Lilly Pond on El Prado.

eARThGallery: Local artists and crafters will exhibit and sell works that use recycled materials, including those that depict the region’s most “endangered spaces.” The artwork will be displayed on the lawn next to Presidents Way and Park Boulevard.

Food pavilions: Visitors will find healthy alternatives to the usual hot dogs and hamburgers. Vegetarian fare is on the menu with options like veggie bowls, roasted corn, gourmet vegan pies, tea, smoothies and health drinks. Two locations: northeast corner of Area 10 (Plaza de Panama) and Area 9 (Presidents Field).

EarthFair 2018

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Throughout Balboa Park, San Diego

Admission: Free