Unlike Sesame Street’s Kermit the Frog, it is easy being green at the California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta.
This year’s theme, “It’s a Green Thing,” focuses on getting back to a sustainable lifestyle, Holly Baker, the fair’s special events coordinator, said.
The Preble Building features many demonstrations of easy ways to go green, including a Chevy Volt electric car and Volkswagen Beetle green diesel car. Recycling and composting help put things back in their proper places and make sure consumer products do not pollute the environment, Baker said.
Today, competitions test skills where everyone goes home a winner because everyone gets a ribbon, Baker says. The Go Green and Green Toss contests have competitors vying to recycle the most cans and paper. A green dish contest earns the most creative salad maker a $50 prize.
It all reflects components of the agricultural community of Imperial County, which has the potential of being the renewable energy capital of the world, Baker, said.
Even fair carnival rides are greener. They save 40 percent of fuel usage, said Davey Helms of Helms & Sons Amusements, which produces the carnival. Half of the rides use light-emitting diodes (LED) that reduce energy intake 25 percent. This means less electricity is consumed and fewer chlorofluorocarbons are released that might damage the ozone layer, Helms said.
And because humans share the planet with wildlife, the Preble Building features numerous animals from across the globe.
This includes species of exotic South American rainforest birds, which help maintain the environment through pollination and planting seeds, Cristhy Cavallini of Pacific Animal Productions, said.
Cavallini will show off a 6-foot albino Burmese python snake. She says it frightens some, but most children love to pet the snake.
People do not naturally think of taking care of the planet, but global warming affects all living creatures and people must become active stewards of the environment, she said.
But the core of the fair is agricultural, said Linsey Dale, executive director of Imperial County Farm Bureau. While preparing for livestock showmanship and auctions, 4-H and FFA students develop agricultural and business skills, she said.
“They learn interpersonal skills dealing with a buyer that carries them through life,” Dale said. “Lessons they learn raising animals gives them a step up in how to handle themselves in the world at large.”
Staff Writer William roller can be reached at 760-337-3435 or firstname.lastname@example.org