Earth Hour, the worldwide drive to turn out the lights from 8-9 p.m. March 29, is inspiring a wave of creative community events around the country.
Some events have a stoic quality (Julie Van Fleet's book club in Galesburg, Ill. will take place by candlelight) but many embrace the hour of darkness as an opportunity to something unique in the dark. There will be stargazing events at several observatories, night hikes to listen for the sounds of nocturnal spring creatures and, at the Illinois Institute of Technology, a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee game.
Not surprisingly, romance and alcohol, two activities that already often occur in low light, figure prominently in many plans. (The prevalence of the "eco-tini" during this one hour may be unprecedented, on a worldwide scale, and proves to linguists that you can combine a ubiquitous prefix with a ubiquitous suffix, each modifying nothing, and somehow end up drunk.)
Below is a look at what some community groups and businesses have planned, courtesy of WWF, the event's organizer. Don't see your community on the list? Organize your own event.
The Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix will host a stargazing event at the museum and handing out "star maps."
The Parks service in San Francisco will offer nature hikes.
The John Hancock Observatory in Chicago will host a viewing event, and offer energy-efficiency education.
Schools will hand out "Im not afraid of the dark" stickers in Chicago and Atlanta
More than 160 downtown buildings in Chicago will participate which means the biggest show will be the skyline itself.
The House of Yoga in Berkley, Mich. will hold a session in the dark.
Students at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago will play glow-in-the-dark Frisbee.
Students from several universities in Chicago (Roosevelt, Columbia, DePaul, and others) will host an acoustic concert and promise to deliver a ghost at University Center.
Canoe in Atlanta will turn off outside lights, filling its outdoor fountain with floating candles, and invite guests in for a private party in the wine room.
Chicago's greenest "Wicked" witch, Elphaba, will make a special appearance outside the Ford Center for the Performing Art's Oriental Theatre in Chicago, where she will "cast a magic spell" under the marquee to kick off Earth Hour.
The Sheraton Hotel in Chicago will have a candle-light check-in and a "green cocktail party" featuring glow-in-the-dark ice cubes.
Cibo in Phoenix will host a romantic candlelight dinner with special desert options.
The Weather Mark tavern in Chicago plans a special Earth Hour dinner and party.
Chipotle Mexican Grill will also be turning off its outside lights at all 12 Atlanta-area locations, and encourage area customers to turn off their lights and eat out.
Eco-tinis will be served at several upscale bars and restaurants in Phoenix, and servers will wear glow-in-the-dark necklaces.
Marlow's Tavern in Midtown Atlanta will host an In the Dark party, with drink specials, live music and candlelight.
Metrotainment Restaurants in Atlanta will be "shaking up awareness on climate change" with a special eco-tinis, candlelight dinners, and a specially baked "global cupcake" in honor of Earth Day.
Julie Van Fleet's book club in Galesburg, Ill. will take place by candlelight.
Anta's Fitness and Self Defense, in Miami, will turn off the lights and train students by candlelight in the Shaolin Temple.
Joes on Juniper in Chicago will hosting an Earth Hour Trivia Night
The Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail in Phoenix will turn off non-essential lighting outside.
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