WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Dozens of families made their way to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods campus Saturday for the return of their “Earth Day Festival.”

The festivities included over 30 vendors, family activities and petting booths for some of their animals. Tara Elmore, the farm projects coordinator for the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, said it was one of her favorite events of the year.

“Seeing familiar faces, seeing members of the community come out and recognizing that. So many smiles, there’s so much laughter, you hear it in the background, the animals get to have the attention that they love,” she said. “Just seeing everyone come together to be able to celebrate on this special day.”

It was the first time they held the festival in over three years due to the pandemic. Elmore said she was happy to see the community celebrate Earth Day in such large numbers– and she hopes people can realize how important the planet is.

“If you just think about all the things the earth provides for us, from shelter, food, air that we breathe,” she said. “ We’ve done some things, we’ve taken some resources, and we’re seeing the effects of that. But if we all work together, we can make a positive change, so knowing everyone is together, working for that common goal, and celebrating what the earth does for us, and what we can do back for it is such a great way to do that.”

Elmore said the next event for the White Violet Center will be the spring plant sale, which will take place the first weekend of May.