GreenFest on the Greenbelt will debut Saturday and event organizers are hoping it is the first of many to come.
The regional event will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Ray Roberts Lake Greenbelt access point off FM455 below the dam, with the goal of raising funds and awareness for the Greenbelt.
“This is our first year, so we’re nervous about getting people out, but the weather is looking like it will be good; the word is getting [around],” said Richard Rogers, chairman of the Greenbelt Alliance.
Work on the event began in May as the Alliance made plans for a fundraiser. Officials from Texas Parks and Wildlife told Alliance members they could make the event a lot bigger in scope than what they were initially planning.
To help out, parks officials decided they would waive their entrance fee to the park that day and let Alliance officials charge an event fee and use it toward fundraising.
Proceeds will go toward reopening the equestrian trail between FM428 and FM455, repairing Greenbelt restrooms, the installation of a wetland viewing deck and trail and support of the non-profit Greenbelt Alliance organization.
Katherine Barnett, Denton’s sustainability and special projects administrator, said the GreenFest is $5 in advance and $7 at the gate. The fee allows people to participate in all of the activities, which will include archery, climbing, kayaking, biking and geo-caching. Also on the event list are demonstrations by historians and craftsmen of the Cross Timbers eco-region, carriage rides, birds of prey and reptile exhibits, pony rides, fishing competition and an inflatable obstacle course and slide.
Barnett said there will also be food vendors on site.
The website to go online and purchase tickets is www.greenfestonthegreenbelt.com.
“This has been a great partnership with the Alliance, the city of Denton, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.,” Barnett said.
As Alliance members prepare for the GreenFest, the uncertainty of attendance is on the forefront of their minds, Rogers said.
“One of the toughest things is we have no idea what to expect. The parks and wildlife said we have to be prepared for a bunch of people,” Rogers said. “It’s taken a lot of planning to prepare for something where we have no idea what the attendance will be. We will try and provide a quality product no matter what.”
Rogers hopes lots of people show up and support the Greenbelt.
“For our region, it is a national treasure,” he said.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .