Boston Greenfest to make its case on City Hall Plaza starting today

Eco-conscious Dorchester residents are collaborating with organizers of the sprawling Boston Greenfest (BGF) to show how Dot does Green during the annual three-day event on City Hall Plaza. Starting today and running through Saturday, BGF 2013, the region’s largest multicultural environmental festival, will promote green urban living through various learning opportunities as well as children’s activities (like robots!), healthy food options, and multiple stages of live entertainment.

The free festivities are sponsored by The Foundation for a Green Future, Inc, a Boston-based nonprofit working with local schools, community centers, and neighborhood organizations to educate young and old about the many dimensions of green technologies.

The theme of BGF 2013 is “Water – Let Every Drop Count,” emphasizing the value of this finite resource.  In addition, there are five other festival focuses:  Green Cities, Transportation, Energy, EcoFashion, and Health-Food-Fitness. There will be interactive exhibits, workshops, presentations, eco-games, continuous live entertainment, and much more.

Among the unusual offerings in 2013 will be a Mayoral Ecoforum at which twelve of the candidates for mayor of Boston will share their visions of a greener future for the city.

“As we look towards a new era in Boston, it is critical that our next mayor has a vision about sustainability and environmental progress for our city,” said Karen Weber, founder of Boston GreenFest. “This event will allow Boston residents to hear directly from each candidate about their vision and how they plan to implement it.”

Also being introduced this year is the Boston EcoPageant International to select one male and one female Ecoambassador. Contestants from 18 to 29 years old will be judged on their capacity to convey their eco-consciousness in public speaking, their sense of eco-fashion, and their ability to make and model an eco-accessory from recycled or upcycled materials. The winners of the East Coast title will travel to California in the spring to compete there.

Finally, and also new this time around, is the sale of the BGF Discount Button. Though this weekend’s events are all free, the $5 button entitles bearers to discounts on purchases at the event and for weeks afterward. These buttons are available at local Tedeschi’s, including those at 1420 and 1886 Dot Avenue. One discount button-holders can take advantage of through the end of the year is $2 off $20 or more spent at Blue Hill Avenue’s R&S Jamaican Restaurant.

Many of the entertainers on the eclectic international roster (among whom are Mariachi with Veronica Robles, Black Alley, Elektrik Kidd Durden, and Mamadou) will intersperse their songs with green living messages and testimonials.

Dot activists are in the thick of all this BGF programming. Greater Four Corners Action Coalition’s Mela Bush, community organizer and transportation specialist, is moderating the Transportation Tomorrow Today Forum sponsored by Massport. Mela’s daughter and granddaughter are among the Dorchester models in the Boston EcoFashion show. Also from Four Corners,  Jah-Free-I, a reggae group, will perform on Metro Main Stage on Sat., Aug. 17 at 4:30 p.m. And Dot’s  Freda Battle and the Temple Worshippers will be performing on the Metro Main Stage this evening.

Reverend Garvin Warden, of the Greenwood Memorial United Methodist Church, Dorchester, will be one of three clergy to open the event with words of peace, unity and strength.

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