HAWLEY — Bingham Park transformed into several costumed animals and plants when the Earth Fest Species Parade took place on the Saturday, April 25 during the Hawley Earth Fest weekend.
Families came dressed up in their favorite costumes on the sunny day. The Hawley Library had mask making, and last minute locals could visit a costume station near the park on the morning of the parade. Face painting was also offered by the Wallenpaupack Art Club.
Jenna Wayne Mauder, Naturalist/Educator at the Lacawac Sanctuary & Field Station said 35 people registered for the parade. Earth Fest is in its second year.
The organizers, The Downtown Hawley Partnership and The Pike/Wayne Conservation Partnership, hope the event continues to grow.
“Hawley's Bingham Park is a great place to hold this event. Pictures can't capture the overall atmosphere of cheers for the baseball and softball games, laughter from the CJR Memorial Playground and excitement over seeing live raptors and a porcupine that does somersaults. Children enjoyed hands-on learning and recycled crafts all in celebration of our love for planet Earth,” Mauder continued.
Participation was free, and there was a sponsored costume contest. This year the top three winners received one of the three following packages:
$50 gift certificate to Ehrhardt's Waterfront and a family pass to Close Encounter with Live Birds of Prey hosted by Lacawac Sanctuary
Dinner and a show at Woodloch Resort and 2 seats on Delaware Highlands Conservancy's eagle viewing bus trip
One night stay at the Ledges Hotel and a family pass to the Audubon Society's environmental craft festival.
The rest of the children took home Costa's Family Fun Park passes and a free ice cream coupon to Joe and Lorenzo's Pizza.
“We'd love for this Earth Day celebration to continue to grow and one day shut down Main Street in Hawley for a big parade. We encourage scouts and youth groups to create large, non-motorized floats," Mauder concluded.
In the spirit of Earth Day, the organizers suggested old Halloween costumes be repurposed.
“We hope families enjoy the outdoors," Mauder said. "Winter's are long in NEPA and this event comes just in time to kick off the last quarter of the school year before summer.”
Sunday Earth Fest activities were set for people to enjoy the local hiking and walking trails one their own. Maps were provided on the website and Visitor’s Center.