Jenn Donello has less than a year until she turns 21 years old, a condition that kept her -- and several friends -- out of the 21st observance of Earth Day here.
Yesterday's event was supposed to have taken place at Baltimore's Druid Hill Park, but as rain and windy conditions continued throughout the day, organizers moved it inside to Max's on Broadway, a Fell's Point Bar that doesn't admit anyone who is not of Maryland's legal drinking age.
"It's crazy," Donello said outside the bar, to loud agreement from half a dozen friends. "We came for a free concert at the park, but they moved it inside because of the rain. And now we get carded! They just shouldn't serve alcohol for this occasion. We're not here to drink."
Inside, a mother shared Donello's opinion.
"But my kids wanted to come," Wallis Herzog said as she argued with an organizer. "When we drove to the park we saw that everything had been moved to a bar, admitting no one under 21. A bar?" Herzog asked.
Louise Mitchell, coordinator of the 1991 Earth Day observance for the 1991 Chesapeake campaign, said she understood the gripes, but added that the Max's location, provided for free, was the only one available. A rain date had not been set for the event that was sponsored by the Chesapeake Campaign, and had originally been expected to attract 1,000 people, she said.
"We were going to have it rain or shine," Mitchell said. "Moving the events here gave us a chance to still get the Earth Day message across. And we wanted to have the singers perform at least."
Another Earth Day observance in Hereford was postponed because of rain, said John Ciekot, director of EarthPath Inc., a nonprofit educational program. Moved to May 5th, the program will show how to build composting combines and turn lawns into organic gardens. Presentations will begin at 2 p.m. at the EarthPath Center on York Road in Hereford.
Some argued that Donello and Herzog's children didn't miss much. A tree planting project in Druid Hill Park was completed as planned, and several singers did perform at Max's. Many other events couldn't fit in the bar, however, and were canceled.
On the canceled list were workshops and other activities for children, booths and exhibits with environmental themes and food stands. Despite the setbacks, Mitchell said, the message of Earth Day -- that everyone has a part in solving environmental problems -- still came across.
Perhaps, but that message was hurt by its location, Phyllis Wright, an observer said.
"I think a better location could have been chosen than this bar," Wright said. "People are drinking and smoking, this is kind of antithetical to what Earth Day is all about."