SAN DIEGO — Earth Day celebrations took place all over San Diego Saturday, aimed at learning and protecting the planet.

One of the biggest events, EarthFest, returned to Balboa Park, hosting more than 120 vendors and educators for the thousands of people in attendance.

“We’re enjoying it, got some food here — ready to be prepped,” one attendee, Daniel Olais, said to FOX 5. “My wife has the kids in some shade underneath the tree.”

Olais, who comes every year, was excited to head back to the park on the sunny April Saturday.

“(We) come every year, it’s just a good excuse to get the kids outside, around people,” he said. “It’s a safe environment, you can learn something — you can learn about the earth. It’s kind of good to push that on my kids a little bit to appreciate.”

This year at the city’s EarthFest event, food was a focus of the event: for the first time, the event partnered with Vegan Food Popup — merging plant-based foods with protecting the planet.

“Being vegans, we are all about doing the least amount of harm as possible,” Michelle May, San Diego EarthFest director of events, told FOX 5. “That doesn’t mean no harm, but we are all trying to toward that goal.”

Among, the vegan vendors present was Tara’s Luscious Cheats, a local vegan bakery with an emphasis on education.

“My mission is more to protect humanity from all the food-related illnesses and diseases that are prevalent in our world today, because of all the bad toxic chemicals that are going into our bodies,” owner Tara Caden told FOX 5.

Those at Saturday’s event were appreciative of this year’s tasty twist.

“Mother Nature is helping us grow food,” said a young attendee, Sage Drake. “Also, Mother Nature helped us make plants.”

Sage and her mother Evangeline Monroe, take the Earth into their daily lives — from helping to plant broccoli at school, to operating a permaculture research and eco-community design center in Valley Center.

“We’re researching how to design communities for the future and … how are we going to live sustainably?” Monroe said. “Not only sustainably, but regeneratively on the land and help the planet regenerate.”

In addition to being plant-based, EarthFest organizers said the festival aims to be zero-waste. Volunteers were at each waste station to keep the compost, recycle and trash in order.

“You can’t protect the planet by only doing it one day a year,” May said. “It’s really about taking that Earth Day ethic and applying it all year round.”

Part of the profits from this year’s EarthFest will be going towards the local non-profit organizations, Kind Heart Coalition and Farm Animal Refugee.