Kay Carter, volunteer coordinator for the HOPE Festival, said that celebrating hope and our connections to each other is more important than ever with so many people struggling to survive in these hard times.

Carter said that entertainment, information and interaction will be on the menu during the 15th annual HOPE Festival 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 25, in the University of Maine Student Fitness and Recreation Center.

The festival will open with American Indian drumming and the HOPE Festival Singers, a group of more than 75 people of many ages and backgrounds led by Marty Kelley, director of Voices for Peace.

It will close with a Community Dance for Peace organized by Suzanne Kelly. In between there will be workshops and demonstrations on bicycle repair, creating a solar cooker, reducing home energy costs, starting a community garden and more.

Through “talking circles” and a “wall of hope,” children and adults may share what gives them hope.

A keynote address will be given by Eliot Coleman of Four Season Farm in Harborside, who hosted the Learning Channel show “Growing Naturally,” and nationally known folk singer David Mallett of Sebec will perform.

Participants may browse the booths of more than 60 organizations working for social change and sustainability. For fitness fans, there will be a 5K run and time to relax at a yoga workshop. Attendees also may try out improvisational theater with Scot Levy of Penobscot Theatre.

Locally produced food, jewelry and crafts made from recycled materials will be for sale.

Children of all ages will enjoy the juggling of Zachary Field, performances by Peregrine Puppets, international student dancers and activities organized by the Maine Discovery Museum, Fields Pond Audubon Center and Windover Arts Center.

The event is free.

Volunteers are needed to post flyers in neighborhoods or to help at the festival with setting up, cleaning up, working at the food concession or with children’s activities. To volunteer or for information, call 942-9343.