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Gardens pop-pageant yields bumper crop of climate solutions

Helping lift spirits with a splash of vibrant color as the pandemic fades, flowers are popping up all over the place right now. Fittingly, on Sat., May 8, there will be a “pop-up pageant” in the East Village and Lower East Side community gardens.

Organized by Felicia Young, the Earth Celebrations’ Ecological City – Art & Climate Solutions Pop-Up Pageant will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., enlivening about 20 community gardens and sites between E. Fourth and E. 12th Sts. from Avenue A to the East River waterfront.

There are more than 20 stops on the Sat., May 8, pop-up pageant circuit.

Like last year’s event, due to the lingering risk of COVID, there will not be an actual procession wending festively through the neighborhood’s streets and gardens. Instead, the pageant will feature outdoor physically distanced pop-up site performances, visual art, giant puppets and costumed climate costumes — happening all over, from street corners and fire escapes to rooftops and gardens.

A River-Cleansing Mussel Woman at last year’s Earth Celebrations climate arts festival. (Photo by Rachel Elkind)

Performances will include dance, music, theater and poetry, along with artwork, and will celebrate local climate-solution initiatives that are “designed and implemented throughout the neighborhood,” according to a press release. More than 50 partner groups are involved with the event.

People are invited to come safely masked and  physically distanced to explore the pop-up pageant sites and “find the surprises of climate solutions tucked throughout the neighborhood.”

“Climate Consequences” safely behind the garden’s gate…for now. At last year’s pageant. (Photo by Rachel Elkind)

Per an Earth Celebrations press release on the pop-up pageant: “The gardens provide a myriad of solutions, including sequestering carbon, filtering air pollution and runoff, as well as absorbing floodwater from storm surges and sea-level rise. Visionary green infrastructure projects throughout the neighborhood include bioswales, rain and pollinator gardens, solar gazebos, permeable pathways, vertical farming, green roofs and sustainable urban farming. On the waterfront a now-controversial East Side Coastal Resiliency plan is addressed, with the community demanding the city not move ahead with a destructive and costly new plan that will destroy the park and has many unanswered questions.”

The pop-up performances will also be livestreamed on Facebook at

For more information about Earth Celebrations, click here.

For a mini-documentary on Ecological City, click here.

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