This festival reuses and recycles the Earth Day theme.
Saturday isn't just Earth Day -- it's the 35th anniversary of the first Earth Day. But with our lovely planet being rather older than 35, there's some catching up to do. Kansas City does its bit with the inaugural EarthFest, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Shawnee Mission Park (7710 Renner Road in Shawnee), following a 9 a.m. Earth Walk that starts at the park's theater. Countryish rocker Charlie Mars performs, deliciously juxtaposed with the kick-ass Grupo Axé Capoeira, a Brazilian act with drums and martial arts. The real business of the day includes tree planting, a cell-phone recycling drive and a water-quality demonstration by the Blue River Watershed Association. Youngsters can enjoy green songs with Stan "the Eco Troubador" Slaughter as well as a "recycling relay." The event is sponsored largely by the eco protectors in Kansas City's Bridging the Gap. For more information, call 816-561-1087 or see www.bridgingthegap.org.-- Sarah Smarsh
On the Clock
The Arena Football League plans to expand to Kansas City in 2006, with the Sprint Center as the likely landlord. Until then, indoor-football fans can follow the Missouri Minutemen, who open their season against the Kansas Storm at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Mathewson Exhibition Center (2503 West 16th Street in Sedalia). The game's most compelling character is Minuteman Jason Brookins, a Mexico, Missouri, native whose NFL career got off to a smashing start in 2001 when, as a Baltimore Raven, he rushed for 550 yards. Alas, a broken foot cost him the next season. The Green Bay Packers signed him, but Brookins left the team when he misinterpreted a request to hand in his playbook. (The Packers just wanted to add a few formations.) Brookins should dominate the American Professional Football League on his comeback trail. Call 816-305-2829. -- Andrew Miller