Over the weekend I had the honor of attending not one, but two Earth Day events in Sonoma County.
The first was a fashion show, but not just any fashion show. Sonoma Community Center’s Trashion Fashion Show brings awareness to recycling and waste reduction as well as creativity, art and innovation.
My friend, Michelle Lacy, who so kindly provided tips for my Girlfriends Getaway in Sonoma guide recently, invited me to attend. The Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau had front row seats for us! I was able to get up close to the models and see the incredible details of the desginers’ works of art.
These eye-catching creations included dresses made from plastic spoons, tea bags, wrappers from diabetes medication, plastic wrap, corks and metal caps from champagne bottles. One young lady modeled a poodle skirt that featured puppies and kitties made with felt created using real dog and cat hair.
The overall winner was called Gone to the Dogs. This stunning – and might I add sexy – evening dress was made from dog and cat food bags and bird netting. Isn’t it beautiful?
The Sonoma Trashion Fashion Show is not only a fun and entertaining event but it prompts you to think about the enormous amount of trash – especially in the form of packaging – that goes into our landfills. I don’t always take into consideration how things I purchase are packaged but I should. Though I will never be like Bea Johnson, I would like to start decreasing the amount of trash I create.
I look forward to attending this event next year. This just may be my annual “must-not-miss” event for Earth Day in Sonoma County. Who wants to go with me?
The next day, my husband and I headed to rural Sebastopol to attend the Celebrate Earth Day in Green Valley event at Iron Horse Vineyards. This event featured wine and food from local wineries and restaurants, live music and an art show. It also featured and appearance by guest speaker, Kevin Jorgeson, part of the duo who free climbed the 3000-foot Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park last December. Bill and I were excited to hear him talk.
Iron Horse Vineyards is a 300-acre property that leaves a lasting impression from the moment you arrive. Tall, willowy palm trees line the driveway at the top of the hill. This was our view from the parking lot below and only a small cluster of the many palms lining the hill above.
Bill and I were invited as VIPs which was such a special treat! The VIP pre-party took place at Iron Horse Founders, Audrey and Barry Sterling. What a house! We were allowed to walk through the main living areas inside their Queen Anne Victorian home.
I could have stayed for hours, just looking at all the details – the tiled floors, the art work, the furniture and decor, and the gorgeous light fixtures.
I pulled myself away from the interior of the home and went out onto the patio area with Bill where attendees were gathered under tall redwood trees.
California caviar and Iron Horse Vineyards Summit Cuvee, a commemorative, one-time only sparkling wine made in honor of the event, were served to guests outside. Check out the fantastic label on the bottle. It’s a rendition of the photo of Tommy Caldwell during his moment of triumph.
Bill and I took our glasses of bubbles and went for a walk around the house.
I love this colorful display of pots of flowers on a baker’s rack on the Sterling’s patio.
It’s springtime and the flower garden at Iron Horse is full of vibrant color. Among the flowers and shrubs and trees I found this adorable bed. I couldn’t resist gently sitting on it, just long enough to get a photo. Can you imagine spending an afternoon reading a book in this darling bed, glass of Iron Horse bubbly in hand?
Soon it was time to head to the other side of the vineyard to the main event.
One the way, we passed through yet another garden. These happy flowers greeted us on our way. Aren’t they wonderful?
Once we arrived, we noticed the place was buzzing with energy and with people!
Across from the tents, food being served and wineries poured tastes of their wines for guests. A makeshift art gallery was in the middle.
On display were incredible photos of Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell’s free-climb taken by photographer, Jerry Dodrill.
We lingered for quite some time, admiring the photos and wondering how in the world they accomplished what they did, with their bare hands.
What a fantastic surprise! We had no idea the governor would be at the event! Our family has always been a big supporter of Jerry Brown, mostly because he is a big supporter of the fire service. That’s always an important factor for us when casting our votes.
We also saw keynote speaker and climber, Kevin Jorgeson with his mother as he headed to the tent to prepare to speak.
First Joy spoke to the crowd of about 200. She addressed an important issue on the minds of most Californians: our drought. She also mentioned her love of the land and the Green Valley appellation before introducing Governor Brown.
Governor Brown told the crowd that while the drought is a big concern, he is hopeful that innovative water-producing and water-saving techniques such as desalination, reuse of graywater and captured rainwater that will help us get through this drought. It was a promising and hope-filled speech but we all know we have a long way to go to get back to “normal” levels in our water supplies.
Kevin Jorgeson took the stage next. He spoke briefly about his free climb but mostly he focused his message on his foundation, the B –Rad Foundation, a memorial fund for Jorgeson’s close friend, Brad Parker, who died while climbing in Yosemite, the same day he proposed to his girlfriend. The B-Rad Foundation supports community wellness, outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship.
After the speeches concluded, it was time to celebrate with cake! This chocolate creation was modeled after El Capitan and made by Patisserie Angelica in Sebastopol. Kevin Jorgenson had the honor of cutting this masterpiece.
It was another enlightening and eye-opening event. If I had to sum up what I learned over this Earth Day weekend in one sentence, it would go something like this: When we humans are confronted with a problem that effects all of us – or a large group of us – we pull together, we get creative and we find new and innovative ways to solve existing and continuing problems.
How are you acknowledging Earth Day? Are you focused on a particular issue – a drought, pollution, recycling, global warming 0r another concern?
Thank you to my friend, Michelle Lacy, the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau and Iron Horse Vineyards for the invitations to attend these meaningful, impactful and fun events honoring Earth Day.
Make it a rich Earth Day!
Disclosure: My ticket to the Trashion Fashion Show and the two VIP tickets to Celebrate Earth Day in Green Valley at Iron Horse Vineyard were complimentary. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.