The Evanston Environmental Association has announced that “Jonas Friddle and The Majority” will headline the 2013 Evanston Green Ball, Evanston’s big “green” party. The Chicago-based “orchestral folk” group is known for its “huge sound combining string quartet, horns, and rock and roll drums” that inspires foot-stomping and dancing.

The Green Ball, a brainchild of the Evanston Environmental Association (EEA) and the City of Evanston, was designed to benefit one of Evanston’s most valuable institutions, the Ecology Center. The Green Ball will take place from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. on Friday, May 31 at the Levy Center, 300 Dodge Avenue in Evanston.

The Green Ball continues its tradition with the “Taste of Evanston,” showcasing restaurants such as Bravo, Creperie St. Germain, Koi, Prairie Moon and Terra Bistro, to name a few. Admission includes sustainably made Goose Island Green Line Pale Ale and Green River soft drinks. Attendees can also purchase glasses of organic wines from WineStyles.

The Green Ball also continues the tradition of celebrating Evanston’s major “green” organizations with an information station highlighting their accomplishments in the city. As EEA President Fred Schneider puts it, “The Green Ball is our opportunity to support the Ecology Center, as well as celebrate the contributions made by many hard-working, diverse, smart citizens, active environmentalists and community leaders to create a completely sustainable city.”

Local television journalist and Northwestern University graduate Dan Ponce is the MC of the evening’s festivities, which include a number of non-stop activities and unique opportunities for everyone. Guests can:

• Have their portrait taken with many of the Ecology Center’s famous critters, such as crowd favorites Betty the Boa Constrictor and Bernie, the 25-pound African Tortoise

• Decide which raffle packages to take a chance on, such as the Urban Adventurer (Patagonia gear, kayaking trips and paddleboard lessons) or Behind the Scenes (access to see Field Museum treasures not on display and labs where research is conducted)

• Purchase a cork for the “wine pull” and take home a nice bottle of organic wine, certificates for green services, dinners and more.

“The annual Green Ball is our premiere fundraising event and we’re grateful for it, and it’s also our chance to say ‘thank you’ to the community for supporting us throughout the year,” says Claire Alden, Ecology Center Program Manager. Catherine Hurley, Evanston’s Coordinator of Sustainability Programs, added:  “Evanston is comprised of people, organizations and businesses that are always ready to support the city and those making a difference, and the Ecology Center is certainly making a difference in our lives.”

Tickets, priced at $65, can be purchased at the Evanston Ecology Center at 2024 McCormick Blvd. To purchase tickets online or for more information, visit Ticket price includes food, soft drinks, beer and entertainment. For more information, please call 3-1-1 (847-448-4311).

The Green Ball is supported by the following top-level sponsors: Archer Patterson Family Foundation, Walgreens, Roberts Architects, Citizens’ Greener Evanston, Evanston RoundTable, Northside Toyota, Whole Foods Evanston and Natural Awakenings.

The Evanston Ecology Center, built in 1974 by a group of local citizens and managed by the City of Evanston, serves as a focal point for environmental education and volunteerism in the community, offering wide-ranging educational programs to the local community. The Evanston Environmental Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to achieving a sustainable Evanston and the long-term success of the Evanston Ecology Center and its staff in their efforts to provide quality environmental and sustainability education to children and adults in the community.