Festival of the Arts among the biggest and greenest in 43-year history

Sponsored by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, the 43rd Annual Festival of the Arts includes 144 fine artists, more than 300 performance artists, four stages of entertainment, a youth plaza with activities for children and families, an international food row and a sculpture park.

Emily Reagan, arts council communications director, said more than 750,000 visitors are expected to attend the six-day festival, which started yesterday and continues through Sunday.

This year, the council worked with a local "Go Green Team" committee to make this and future festivals more environmentally friendly.

"We have a five-year plan to go completely green, and we're really trying to reduce the ecological impact of the event, starting by simple things like introducing recycling bins," Reagan said. "The 'go green' initiative is intended to have zero waste, or as close to zero waste as possible, by 2014."

She cited the addition of bicycle racks and 20 recycling bins as the major improvements this year, and said the next step will be replacing Styrofoam cups and containers with biodegradable products in 2010.

To help educate attendees about the green initiative, more than 40 students from local high schools will participate in a green fashion show scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday at the Caf

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