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Earth Day 2000 Celebration - Run, Walk and Stand for the Earth

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 and welcome the dawn of the new millenium, a coalition of Portland spiritual, community and environmental organizations is sponsoring the Earth Day 2000 Celebration - Run, Walk and Stand for the Earth. A series of participatory events will be happening all day long, culminating in a huge multi-cultural celebration at Pioneer Courthouse Square, with free music, environmental education activities and fun for all.

This event is sponsored by the Earth and Spirit Council, a volunteer organization of environmental and spiritual leaders, activists, and citizens which honors and respects the interconnection of all life; The City Repair Project, a group of citizens building community through education and the creation of public gathering places; The Green House Network, dedicated to public education about the dangers of climate change, and the need for urgent action to halt global warming; and many other community and environmental organizations.

The day .s events begin at 8:00 am with The Green House Network's The World Can't Wait: Run to Stop Global Warming competitive 8k race, children's fun run and environmental fair. Starting at the Rose Quarter, runners will cross the Willamette River and loop around downtown, then re-cross the river and end back at the Rose Quarter, where environmental organizations will be on hand with educational information and activities.

At 11:30 am, neighbors, friends, children and elders will begin to gather along the route of The City Repair Project .s Hands Around Portland. At noon we will join hands in a human circle crossing the Willamette River on two bridges and passing through 16 different Portland neighborhoods. The Circle lasts for one minute and will be coordinated with live coverage on KBOO - 90.7 FM Community Radio.

Just after noon, participants in the Earth and Spirit Council's Procession of the Species will begin assembling at the Rose Quarter. Bearing masks and costumes created in art workshops over the preceding months, we will transform the streets into a celebration of the myriad forms of life on our planet. The Procession will begin at 1:00pm, walking, crawling, swimming and flying across the Willamette River and down Broadway to the infectious beats of Samba, Native American drumming, jazz and parade music. When Processioners reach Pioneer Courthouse Square they will be welcomed to the great Celebration, decorating the plaza with their costumes and banners. We will celebrate into the evening, together as a community, with dance and music performances, poetry readings, art activities and lots of food.

Community Art Workshops for the Procession of the Species will be starting at the end of February in the Maddox Building, 49 SE Clay and various other locations around the Portland-Metro area. Everyone is welcome to come and learn the art of making masks, musical instruments, banners and costumes, all while learning about environmental issues and other interesting species facts. Call the Earth & Spirit Council: 452-4483 for Art Workshop schedules and locations.

City Repair's T-Horse and Teen-Pony mobile teahouses will start traveling around the city in March, promoting Hands Around Portland. These ephemeral gatherings will be happening every week up to Earth Day. Call the City Repair Hotline: 299-1264 for scheduled dates and locations.

To find out more information, volunteer or make a donation of support, contact any of the coalition organizations: Earth & Spirit Council Procession of the Species: www.earthandspirit.org, earthandspirit@juno.com, 503/452-4483; The City Repair Project Hands Around Portland, www.cityrepair.org, ventana@spiritone.com, 503/299-1264; The Green House Network Run to Stop Global Warming, www.greenhousenet.org, info@greenhousenet.org, 503/768-7626.

You can also check out information on the whole day's events at the Earth Day 2000 Celebration website: www.earthandspirit.org/earthday2000, Come celebrate the community in which we all live - Run, Walk and Stand for the Earth.

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