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Earth Day still growing at Renfrew

April 17, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER
  • Zion Worthy, 4, and his sister, Majezty, 2, of Waynesboro, Pa., shake hands with "Cycler," the talking recycle robot, while Cheryl Shields, a representative with Waste Management, looks on Saturday at the 20th annual Earth Celebration Day & Festival of Art at Renfrew Park in Waynesboro.
By Kate S. Alexander,

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Earth Day might be Thursday, but Renfrew Institute marked 20 years of celebrating Mother Earth Saturday with its largest, and possibly coldest, festival yet.

Temperatures barely above 50 degrees chilled the crowd for the 20th annual Earth Day Celebration Day & Festival of Art at Renfrew Park and forced the record number of vendors and artists to keep warm with parkas, hats and gloves.

Regardless of the weather, shoppers were out early for the recycle/reuse yard sale at 9 a.m. and still were filling the grounds for the art and exhibits that continued to 4 p.m., said Melodie Anderson-Smith, executive director of the institute.

"Our goal is to bring information to the public about environmental issues and ways people can improve their lives and businesses to live more 'green,'" she said.

Not much has changed in the 20 years of the event, Anderson-Smith said.

Vendors sometimes change, but the goal is always to grow, she said.

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New to the lineup of things to see this year was "Cycler," the recycle robot.

"I think that is the coolest thing I have ever seen," said Steven Simmons, 11, of Waynesboro.

"Cycler" could talk, shake hands and interact with the crowd as he spread the message of recycling for Waste Management Inc.

He could even remember names, as 2-year-old Majezty Worthy found out.

"I like him," she said, holding his hand.

"It's cool to see the stuff that people throw away and that it can be used to make robots," said her brother, Daniel Worthy, 9.

Allowing artists to showcase and demonstrate their work also is a goal of the celebration, Anderson-Smith said.

Despite the cold wind chilling their fingers, basket weaver Elaine Longnecker of Chambersburg, Pa., worked thin pieces of damp wood into a beautiful basket.

Jewelry designer Jacqueline Bayer of Waynesboro also kept her fingers warm by crafting new pairs of earrings.

The Franklin County Commissioners proclaimed the day Earth Celebration Day in Franklin County and presented the institute with a copy of the proclamation.

Also honored at the event was potter Jack Handshaw, who was presented with the Environmental Artistry Award for 2010.

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