The Allen USA celebration kicks off its second year of being a green event at Celebration Park June 29.
Market Street Allen USA Celebration is Allen’s annual Fourth of July celebration. Allen USA is free to attend for all ages. One of the new attractions added to the celebration is a car show presented by Clay Cooley Auto Group where different makes and models of antique and muscle cars will be on display.
Keep Allen Beautiful and Allen waste services will partner together to eliminate the litter from Celebration Park by handing out white trash bags, clear recycling bags and car litter bags for guests to sort and throw away their waste in the proper bins at the end of the event.
“If you don’t have someone like KAB or the waste services department of a city that is dedicated to making sure that this is a green event, it gets lost in the jumble of everything else,” Waste Services Manager Donna Kliewer said. “Nobody thinks about trash. [Other cities] put events together, and the last thing they do is go, ‘oh we need some trash cans’ or ‘should we recycle?’ We think about it first.”
Keep Allen Beautiful will also provide compostable servewear for the patrons and take any leftover cardboard from the event to compost instead of throwing everything in the trash. Plastics and aluminium cans will also recycled in the VIP tent.
Since introducing a green mentality to Allen in 2018, litter has been significantly reduced. Park Planning & Development Manager Matt McCobb said that each year since Allen USA moved to celebration park, litter spread all over the 100 acre park at the end of the celebration.
“The lights go out at night, and nobody sees you throw something on the ground,” Kliewer said. “Then the lights come on, and it looks like it snowed. It’s been a horrible problem in the past, but last year we implemented the litter free where we handed out the litter bags, and I would say it reduced the litter on the ground by at least two-thirds.”
In addition to the eyesore of litter strewn across a city park or blowing down the streets of Allen, trash that is left on the street has a larger impact on large water bodies in Texas. Allen’s green mentality at Allen USA will not only impact the city, but will also make a much larger and more positive impact on North Texas and gulf coast waterways.
“Just in this North Trinity Watershed that we’re in -- what’s left on the ground gets blown to our waterways, Kliewer said. “It gets blown into the ditches that go to the creeks. Our whole creek system goes to the Trinity. The trinity goes to the Gulf of Mexico. What we do here in Allen makes a huge difference.”
Being an Independence day celebration, Keep Allen Beautiful also hopes to raise awareness of the impact that residents of Allen have on not only the city or the state alone, but the nation as a whole.
“I think our whole environment is in jeopardy,” Kliewer said. “We have so many people on the earth right now that are not paying attention to what they purchase, what they throw away, and how they throw it away, so our attempt to divert stuff by recycling and by putting litter in its place makes a huge impact.”