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Evansville Energy Fair marks 10th year

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Gazette staff
April 17, 2012
— When the Evansville Earth Day Energy Fair started 10 years ago, no one knew what the curly light bulbs that save energy were.

“The future of energy looked like science fiction,” Jim Brooks, executive director of Evansville Community Partnership, said in a news release.


Today, homes in the city have geothermal heating and cooling and solar panels, a few electric vehicles silently swish through the streets and a city wind turbine generates electricity, he said.


The city has changed in the last 10 years, and the energy advancements are being celebrated at the 10th annual Energy Fair on Friday.


About 400 people attended the first fair in 2003, and it’s grown ever since. The last three years, attendance has topped 2,000.


The event was created to help students explore where energy comes from, how they use it and to think about their future, Brooks said in the release. It was precipitated by construction of the high school, which uses a geothermal heating system and has a wind generator, and solar panel installation at the middle school.


“The goal of the fair was to allow students an avenue to display their newfound knowledge,” Brooks said.


A second goal was to have adults learn by having exhibitors mixed in with student projects, he said.


“We sought to educate and entertain the entire family. This was all an experiment,” he said.


Organizers are always trying to bring new and fresh angles to the event, he said, while remaining true their mission.


The event is supported by the Evansville Community School District, Evansville Water and Light, WPPI Energy and Evansville Community Partnership.


If you go

What: 10th annual Evansville Earth Day Energy Fair


When: 4:30 to 8 p.m. Friday


Where: Field House, 340 Fair St., Evansville


Cost: Free


What you’ll see: The middle school jazz band kicks off entertainment at 4:30 p.m. At 5, Dino Tlachac of Natures Niche will show a collection of birds, reptiles and amphibians. The second grade singers take the stage at 5:30, and the Recycled Fashion Show returns in the cafeteria at 6. National touring act Mr. Fish and The Super Scientific Circus will perform at 6:30.


The fair also has booths and experts on renewable energy and organic foods/farming; student science exhibits and demonstrations; free recycling for small electronics, eye glasses and hearing aides, cell phones, ink cartridges, laser cartridges, GPS devices, iPods, iPads, tablets, e-readers and PDAs; large electronics recycling for a fee; free document shredding; a scavenger hunt; and free trees from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.



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