Discover creative ways to go green at the Recycled Arts Festival in Vancouver, WA

Featured image: A giant string puppet, a common sight at the Recycled Arts Festival in Vancouver, Washington

Photos by Cheryl Landes

The Recycled Arts Festival began in 2005 as a way to get Clark County, Washington, residents excited about waste reduction, reuse, and recycling. Since then, it has grown into one of Vancouver’s largest events.

You’ll find so many creative ideas. Some of my favorites from last year are jewelry made from recycled glass jars and non-ivory piano keys, coasters made from recycled glass, upcycled clothing and aprons, tube-shaped birdhouses made from recycled aluminum, and picture frames made from wood debris. Another craftsperson made outdoor wet bars from recycled wooden palletes.

birdhouses-metal-art-vancouver-recycled-arts-festivalColorful birdhouses made from recycled aluminum and other recycled metalwork at a previous Recycled Arts Festival

There’s live music throughout the festival, which is at Esther Short Park, 301 West 8th Street in downtown Vancouver, on the last weekend in June. Talent this year ranges from renegade Celtic folk rock to Japanese taiko drumming. View the full entertainment schedule here.

The other highlight of the festival is the Procession of the Species on Sunday at 11 a.m. Anyone who’s interested can dress up as a creature in costumes created from recycled materials and join the parade. Check-in is at 10:30 a.m., and the parade lasts about 20 minutes.

parade-of-the-species-vancouver-recycled-arts-festivalGetting ready for the Procession of the Species

The Procession of the Species starts at the northeast corner of Esther Short Park at and meanders along the paths to the main stage in the center of the park. Last year, MARACATUpdx, a Brazilian drumming, singing, and dancing group, led the parade.

Everyone in the parade and the audience were dancing by the time the parade reached the main stage. When the parade ended, MARACATUpdx performed on stage for a half hour.

MARACATUpdx-at-vancouver-recyeled-arts-festivalMARACATUpdx led the Procession of the Species at a previous Recycled Arts Festival.

If you want to participate in the parade but aren’t sure where to start on creating a costume, come to the costume workshop on Saturday at the Kids’ Activity Booth from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. There’s no charge, and materials are provided.

Also enjoy food from food trucks at the park. The Vancouver Farmers Market will also be open on Saturday and Sunday, where you can shop for fresh fruits and vegetables, locally produced food and beverages, and handmade crafts.

The Recycled Arts Festival is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, June 30. Admission is free. On-street parking is free on weekends but limited for the festival. You can also park at a garage across the street from Esther Short Park just east of the corner of 6th Street and Columbia. Another option is to park in the Public Service Center Parking Garage at 1300 Franklin Street and take the free shuttle to the festival. Download the shuttle schedule in PDF.

Go to the Recycled Arts Festival website for more details about this event.


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