Earth Day event showcases fashion show, Whitehead plane


Andy Kosch will display his replica of Gustave Whitehead’s No. 21, now recognized by Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft as having made the first powered flight by a heavier-than-air craft, at Fairfield’s Earth Day Celebration Saturday, April 27, at Fairfield Warde High School. (John Kovach photo)

“Trashy Fashion,” a runway extravaganza, featuring clothing designed by Fairfield students from items found in the trash, will be one of the events at Fairfield’s Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fairfield Warde High School.

At question-and-answer session at 10:30 a.m. will feature U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, state Sen. John McKinney and state representatives Kim Fawcett, Brenda Kupchick and Tony Hwang.

“This is an opportunity for our citizens to ask pertinent questions relating to environmental issues from those who make a difference in legislation,” Fairfield Earth Day Chairman Larry Kaley said. “That is the challenge; to get people to come with an assortment of questions. So bring a good question.”

A profile of Kaley can be found in “Make every day Earth Day” at

Connecticut’s first electric car rally will make a pit stop at Warde from 11:30 to noon, allowing visitors to view a number of electric vehicles. The rally is sponsored by the Westport Electric Car Club.

Exhibitors at Fairfield’s Earth Day celebration off opportunities to learn about conservation, renewable energy, gardening and food. Big Brothers and Sisters will be accepting cell phones, eyeglasses and clothing for recycling. A full list of events and exhibitors can be found at

Local children will provide entertainment, performing skits and rap songs about the environment.

Science teacher and pilot Andy Kosch will be on hand with a full-sized replica of the plane in which Gustave Whitehead, in a feat recently recognized by Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft, flew in Fairfield on Aug. 14, 1901, two years before the Wright Brothers.

Kosch flew a replica of Whitehead’s No. 21 in 1986.

“That flight proved that the basic design of Whitehead’s airplane could fly,” Kosch said.

The Smithsonian, which houses the Wright Brothers’ plane under a contract that it never recognize an earlier flight, disputes the Whitehead claim.

“I’m really excited about the model of Whitehead’s plane,” said Kaley. “Also about the electric car rally. We are looking at two ends of man’s creativity using energy of the times. We started out in 1901 with the plane, which used a fuel that was cleaner than the fuel that was to follow. Also the electric car rally, which gives a sense of where we started with cars. We had electric cars way back when, and they are on the scene again after approximately a 100-year hiatus.”

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