March 31, 2014,


Be part of the movement that will continue to safeguard the spirit of the 25th Annual Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade and community celebration for another quarter of a century!

The 25th Annual Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade and Community Celebration: Saturday April, 26th, 2014.

Little Artshram, along withThe Great Lakes Children’s Museum and many other local businesses and friends, present the annual Earth Day Parade and celebration that has been a vibrant example of art as community building in the Traverse City area for 25 years.

For many in Traverse City, the Earth Day Parade is a time to celebrate the coming warmth with hand-built puppets and masks (some over 10 feet tall), music, and performance in the street. But the essence of the parade is rooted in the local community and contemporary issues, concerns, and visions for a better world.

The Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade and community celebration began in 1990.  At that time, it was presented by Sally Van Vleck of the Neahtawanta Center and NMEAC who said:  “A bunch of us decided to celebrate because it was the 20 year anniversary of the first Earth Day that some of us had participated in.  We heard about the “All Species Parade” in New Mexico, and thought it would be fun.”

Do you have special memories of the Earth Day Parade?  Please share them with us by emailing your story to the address below. And dust off your costume and mask and join us on parade day: April 26th!

HOW the parade happens:

Emerging over the past 25 years, we have developed a process to include the community in the parade building the month before, and schedule in as many public workshops as possible.  See the 2014 workshop schedule here:

We also work to create a friendly, organizational framework giving the parade a theme—this year it is “25 Years: The Best of”, and dividing the parade into “story-telling” sections.  This year our parade sections will correspond with years the parade has taken place in the Grand Traverse Region—Years 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25!

Likewise we organize and govern the Earth Day Parade with three rules to ensure safety and simplicity as we take to the streets:

No Words (as in signs advertising or protesting),
No Motors (except for wheelchairs),
No Pets (BIG puppets frighten real animals)

It takes a whole village to build a 25th Anniversary BEST of-parade! 

Join us as a Community Partner in creating the 2014 Earth Day Parade

The Earth Day Parade is funded entirely by donations and sponsorships. We do not charge a fee to folks attending workshops, asking only for a suggested donation to offset costs of materials and supplies we are unable to scavenge, for artists stipends for their design contributions, leadership and supervision of the workshops, and for permit fees and liability insurance that allows us to be in the streets on foot.

Become a Community Partner and sponsor of this year’s parade.  You can also join us for our any of our month-long public workshops, which begin this week, check out the parade storyboard and volunteer in a variety of ways to bring this year’s BEST OF parade to fruition!

Choose your level of commitment as a 25th Anniversary Earth Day Parade Community Partner, from one of our Best of Year levels:

1990, YEAR 1, $20 or more

Receive a A THANK YOU on our 2014 Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade Facebook page for you to share with your friends, family and neighbors. On-going updates and invitations to get involved in the parade-building action and news about our public workshops will be posted through parade day on April 26th!

1994, YEAR 5, $35 or more

A hand-made, one-of-a-kind postcard THANKING YOU and listing you as a Earth Day Parade Community Partner on our Facebook Page! A limited edition Earth Day Parade Song & Coloring book, and everything from the $20 pledge.

1999, YEAR 10 $50 or more

An illustrated 4-page guide on HOW-to make a mask and costume for the Earth Day Parade, or your next costume party, plus everything from the $35 pledge.

2004, YEAR 15 $100 or more

Three hand-made Seed Balls and planting instructions, plus hand-made, one-of-a-kind, postcard THANKING YOU and listing you as a Earth Day Parade Community Partner.

2009, YEAR 20 $500 or more

Listed as one of our Community Partners on all updated parade publicity, and ALL OF THE ABOVE which includes: A Thank you on our Facebook page, an illustrated 4-page guide with the HOW-to’s mask and costume-making, a hand-made and one-of-a-kind THANK YOU postcard, a limited edition Song & Coloring Book, and three hand-made Seed-Balls with planting instructions.

2014, YEAR 25 $1000 or more

A special position as a parade-section-Marshal or Marshal-ette, your choice of parade section, this year divided by years: 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 (first-pledge, first choice), plus everything listed in the $100 pledge.

Earth Day Parade 2013



MORE Earth Day Parade Details:

The Earth Day Parade is on Saturday April 26th, NEW PARADE ROUTE: beginning at Oryana Co-op–the corner of Lake and 10th St, parade line-up begins @ 1:00 pm departs @ 2:00 pm.

Direct Contact for parade workshop and sponsorship details:`penny @ 231-922-2014

More information about the parade, by scrolling through any of our front-page missives about our parade:

MANY THANKS to our Community Partners, so far:


The Grand Traverse Circuit

Great Lakes Children’s Museum

TC Sings

The Leelanau School

Deep Blue Water Samba

Dirt Fest

Grand Traverse Mycology Society





photo 4




2014 Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade, a Community Art Project celebrates 25 years!