Concerns about political overtones prompt PV committee to reconsider 2017 Earth Fair theme

The Prairie Village Earth Fair returns for its 16th year this April.
The Prairie Village Earth Fair returns for its 16th year this April.

The political divisions that are still raw in the wake of November’s elections have prompted the Prairie Village Environmental Committee to come up with a new theme for its annual Earth Fair.

The city’s Environmental and Recycling Committee, which puts on the event in conjunction with Shawnee Mission East, had initially set the theme for the 2017 fair as “Make the Earth Great Again: A call to heal and conserve our natural home.” A save-the-date message noting the theme went out in the January/February edition of the Village Voice city newsletter. That prompted a complaint to Mayor Laura Wassmer from a resident, who said the decision to piggyback on Donald Trump’s “Make American Great Again” campaign slogan was in bad taste and offensive to those who had been turned off by what they viewed as the divisiveness of Trump’s rhetoric.

Wassmer brought the complaint to the attention of the organizing committee, who decided to use the theme “Unite for the Earth: A call to heal and conserve our natural home,” instead of the original plan.

This year’s Earth Fair will be held Saturday, April 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at SM East.