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At 2010’s year’s 5th Annual Arts by the River and Eco Fair, several interactive and community-based ecological activities were be in the spotlight.  First up was the unveiling of the commissioned public eco-art initiative.  The East Falls Development Corp commissioned seven artists to create ‘fish-themed’ eco public installations that reside in and along the neighborhood’s Riverfront Business District.  The public had a chance to view the designs for these works, scheduled for installation in early 2011.   Funding for this project came from a partnership between East Falls and Manayunk, called Destination Schuylkill River. 

The first “fish” piece was a public artwork – everyone was invited to get their hands on the official mascot of this eco-art project – ‘Waffles’ the four and a half foot catfish.   People were invited to contribute a little piece of themselves or their homes to help decorate and embellish ‘Waffles’ during the event.   Bring something on 3” x 3” paper and it will go on Waffles.  ‘Waffles’  is named for the once-popular local fare of waffles and catfish.  Once complete, Waffles toured the neighborhood, making extended appearances at local businesses and join the ranks of the commissioned eco-art installations. 

Just in time for Halloween was the make-your-own eco Halloween costume tent. The costume-making tent was packed with fun-filled options for people to piece together their own unique Halloween costume.  Kids, adults, pairs, and groups all got into the action at the event and leave happy, knowing they are ready for Tricks or Treats.

Eco-vendors included interior designers, green roofers, bicycle enthusiasts, tree tenders, green contractors, pet care specialists, wellness centers, and much more.  Tucked in among the over 40 fine artisan and craft vendors were those whose work is of an ecologically sound design.  Whether it’s recycled materials, nontoxic processes, or other innovations, there were plenty of shopping opportunities for those interested in ecologically friendly artworks. 

The Dog Parade led into the event as a part of the ongoing East Falls Goes Green Initiative. The East Falls Development Corporation’s tent had rain barrel installations, plant swaps, and a variety of neighborhood beautification activities underway in the neighborhood.  The Philadelphia Water Department, a partner in this project, was also on hand to show off this, and other ecological improvement projects they have underway.   

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