By Kaitlin Fleming, Staff Correspondent
Gadsden State Community College hosted the 18th annual Water Festival on Friday, Dec. 7.
An estimated 1,400 fourth graders from across Etowah County attended the educational event ran by volunteers from local high schools. The high school students lead the fourth graders around the George Wallace Campus of Gadsden State and also lead them in dances and songs to help the students learn about the importance of the water cycle.
The festival is designed to educate students about the aspects of groundwater and the water cycle. Students and teachers who attended the festival took part in three 30-minutes hand-on activities throughout the six-hour event. They learned about natural resources and general environmental awareness.
One activity was the edible aquifer, in which kids built an ice-cream sundae with ingredients that represent different parts of the aquifer.
Another exercise involved filtering dirty water with different methods. Some students used coffee filters to strain their dirty water and make it clean.
The event was co-sponsored by Keep Etowah Beautiful, Gadsden State Community College, the City of Gadsden, the City of Rainbow City, the City of Attalla, the City of Hokes Bluff, the City of Southside and more.
Each year, roughly $30,000 is spent on supplies for the festival. Those supplies include a t-shirt for students and volunteers, snacks and transportation.