Earth Day, like many other springtime community events, will have to be celebrated from home this year.
The Columbia Earth Day Coalition announced in a press release that this years' Earth Day Festival will be postponed in accordance with county and state level COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
"We realize the disappointment this causes for the many thousands of visitors we have to this event each year," event coordinator Laura Wacker said in the release.
The event was originally to be held April 26 at Peace Park, but the coalition said due to the "uncertainty" of COVID-19, it is "impossible" to set a future date at this time.
Instead, the coalition is working to transition to a series of "virtual educational and promotional events." Virtual events will include an art show, an Instagram contest, as well as informational videos and publications.
The virtual art show will be hosted on Earth Day, April 22, with a theme of climate change. Wacker said that the broad category can include topics like animal extinction, earth, water, or politics and economics.
"We all have a lot of time for reflection on what this world means to us, so if folks have the inclination to make art about it, we would love to include their piece," Wacker said.
Artwork of any medium can be submitted by sending a photo to email@example.com. The deadline submission is April 17.
The coalition also will be conducting an Instagram contest. It is asking community members to plant seeds in their home garden and share a picture by tagging @comoearthday and using #earthdayathome.
One photo will be randomly selected from all who participate to receive a prize.
This year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and Wacker said in her email forwarding the release that she found it "ironic" that this anniversary will be celebrated from home.
She said the circumstances were "probably the best and most earth-friendly gift we could give to the Earth!"