Cockatoos, pinecones, music draw hundreds to Sebastian Earth Day

SEBASTIAN – Screams rang out through Sebastian’s Riverview Park Saturday – not in fear, and not by humans – as Charlene Brennan’s Moluccan cockatoo Teddy clamored for attention.

A crowd of about 40 people had gathered around to watch Brennan’s ShowBirdz Parrot Show, during which several birds jumped hoops, did loopy-loops, waved hello and played dead.

After having performed his “chores” of answering the phone and hanging it up, Teddy was allowed to ride his scooter – and a bicycle precariously perched on a high-wire – to the amazement of the crowd, which erupted in cheers as he safely maneuvered across the wire.

The bird show was one of several stops visitors to Sebastian’s annual Earth Day celebration made while at the park.

Another station was set up where both kids and adults could make bird – and squirrel – feeders from pinecones, peanut butter and bird seed.

“The kids get a kick out of it,” said volunteer Debby Appleby during a break in the action. “Some of the adults do, too.”

Appleby was helping longtime Earth Day participant Rosemary Bostinto run the table. Bostinto collected pinecones from the Sebastian Municipal Golf Course to use for the craft project.

“It’s perfect,” Bostinto said of this year’s celebration. “It didn’t rain.”

Only a few hours into the event, she had already gone through three large jars of peanut butter Publix and Winn Dixie had donated. Whether they would have enough to last the rest of the day was unknown.

“This is a nice turnout,” she said.

Kristen Beck, of Kayaks Etc., spent her Saturday manning two stations, hers and the Pelican Island Preservation Society.

She said that while the park hasn’t been packed, there has been a steady crowd, giving her the opportunity to talk to quite a few people.

Some have included Boy Scouts who are working on their canoe and kayak badges.

“I’m liking it,” Beck said of the day and being able to reach out to the public. “It’s Earth Day!”

Margie Reynolds, environmental specialist for the City of Sebastian, estimated they had more than 300 people come out to the event, on par with last year’s celebration.

“We’ve had a lot of fun,” Reynolds said.

The Hill-Jackson family attended the Earth Day festival after seeing a sign promoting it a couple days ago.

“We just started recycling,” Mindy Hill said, adding that they figured coming out to the event would help their three young children better understand the importance.

Austin, 5, took the opportunity to paint a little bit on a blue rain barrel Reynolds planned to auction off.

Hill, her husband, Tom Jackson, and three boys recently moved to Sebastian from Jacksonville to be closer to family, she said.

Since moving to the area, they have tried to go to as many community events as possible to see what’s happening.

Live entertainment on stage drew a crowd of people ready to rest their feet from walking the park, while food vendors tempted others with hot dogs, barbecue and sweet treats.

“This is a nice way to get out of the house,” Hill said.

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