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April 21, 2013 (Santee) – What began eight years ago as Santee’s homegrown observance of Arbor Day and Earth Day has blossomed into an all-day extravaganza named SanTree Fest.

”We named it SanTree Fest because it began as a simple gathering of local families, scout troops and young people to green up our parks with trees,” said Recreation Coordinator Bree Stanley. “While the focus is still on the environment and sustainability, we’ve made it more fun for the entire family.”

This year’s daylong festival will feature more booths, more free activities for children, and more entertainment.

The event will be held (rain or shine) Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Town Center Community Park East, 550 Park Center Drive.

Those who arrive early at 9 a.m. can experience a soap blasting shower in which the audience gets sprayed from an old fire truck with Dr. Bronner’s safe and organic soap foam.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to help plant trees at the park following a 10 a.m. ceremony led by Santee Mayor Randy Voepel. Volunteers will also be needed to clean up the shoreline along the San Diego River. Those participating in the tree planting and river cleanup are required to sign liability waivers.

All activities are free. Food will be available for purchase.

There will be interactive dance routines in conjunction with National Dance Week and continuous live musical entertainment on the outdoor stage, including performances by Box Canyon, Sarah Black and Ben Owens.

A Kids Zone will offer all sorts of free crafts, a ladybug release, games and activities for youngsters including inflatables.

A mobile water-conservation science lab sponsored by Padre Dam Municipal Water District will be at the park, along with more than 40 vendor booths offering earth-friendly products and services.

SanTree Fest is sponsored by the city of Santee, Waste Management Inc. and McWire Electric. More information is available on the city’s website.

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