On April 2, over 1,000 attendees mingled with area businesses and community organizations in the heart of Toluca Village for the Sixth Annual Earth Day Festival and Taste of Toluca. The event showcased the best that L.A. living has to offer, celebrating delicious food, family fun and a green lifestyle on a typically gorgeous SoCal Sunday.
Held in conjunction with the weekly farmers market, the festival’s colorful background of seasonal produce set the stage for the Earth Day theme. Featured speaker Ed Begley Jr. discussed environmental stewardship as the responsibility of all and received an award for his continued activism. An eco-friendly fashion show by local designers Armen Tulano and Sita Couture proved that stylish apparel can also be sustainable. Representatives from the Theodore Payne Foundation were on hand to help residents understand the beauty of California’s native plants and how they can be artfully utilized for drought-tolerant gardens, while the Toluca Lake Garden Society shared their expertise on beautifying neighborhood spaces. Representing the animal kingdom were rescue critters from the Gentle Barn and the Best Friends Animal Society adoption mobile. (Many local pets were also in attendance, enjoying the sights, scents and snacks.)
Over 20 area restaurants provided delicious samples for the crowd, including Sweetsalt, Café Magazzino, Rita’s Italian Ice, Rawkin’ Juice, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Patys Restaurant, Prosecco Trattoria, Honeybaked Ham, Sushi Yuzu, Ma’s Italian Kitchen, Rumbundtcious Cakes and many more. Meanwhile, tables loaded with bright citrus, leafy greens and fresh eggs invited attendees to fill their reusable bags with market purchases to prepare their own healthy gourmet meals at home.
There was no shortage of entertainment, with talented youth from the School of Rock exhibiting their musical chops, lots of games and activities for the kids, a recycled art contest, wares from local artisans, and free giveaways for great prizes. Also on display was local teen Kai Esterhammer’s vintage electric car, which he has refurbished with solar power. Sponsored by Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council, Councilmember David Ryu, EnrichLA and NBC Universal, this signature spring event was another tremendous success — connecting the community and showing, once again, what makes Toluca Lake such a special place.
Toluca Lake’s weekly farmers market is held every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 10225 Riverside Drive at Forman Avenue. In addition to fresh produce, specialty food items and flowers, you can also shop for jewelry, vintage antiques, clothing, arts and crafts, and more.