Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair, June 20-22

Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair, June 20-22


The world’s largest renewable energy event, the Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair (a.k.a. Energy Fair) is returning to Custer, Wis., June 20, 2003. This event attracts more than 15,000 environmentally conscientious people each year from 36 countries and 49 states. The fair, hosted by Custer’s own Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), provides fairgoers with entertainment, speakers, workshops, exhibitors, and like-minded people all interested in preserving the Earth and our standard of living through renewable energy.

Saturday brings the director of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE), Randy Udall. As director, Udall helped CORE start the first “solar production incentive” program in the United States, a program that reimburses customers who install solar electric systems for their energy. On Sunday, fairgoers will hear Will Williams, Vietnam veteran and peace activist. Big, bald, with almost nine years of military service under his belt, Williams doesn’t buy the war rhetoric. He thinks an attack on Iraq is just another link in a chain of violence and exploitation tracing back to Columbus. The purpose, then and now, is to amass wealth and power. In this case, he believes, the motive is oil.

Fairgoers will also have more than 120 options for workshops to attend. Workshops cover a variety of topics, including: photovoltaics, wind systems, water and hydro electric systems, energy-efficient and passive solar buildings, green building materials, heating and cooling, transportation and fuels, sustainable lifestyles, issues and activism, gardening, landscaping, and others. The fair also has a special set of workshops taught by women for women.

Also in the mix, exhibitors will be showcasing what their businesses can offer to environmentally concerned buyers. Exhibitors will be showing everything from solar panels, wind turbines, and super energy-efficient light bulbs and refrigerators to examples of cob and straw bale construction, cordwood masonry, radiant in-floor heating and electric cars.

Fairgoers will also have the opportunity to attend a guided bus tour of local homes that are energy efficient and/or use renewable energy systems. Two tours will be offered each day and visit two to three homes for a $10 fee to cover the cost of the bus and handouts.

The event is family friendly with activities including solar oven making, musical entertainment, and face painting. There will also be a designated tent for children’s activities where they can participate all weekend. And while the children are busy in the children’s tent, parents can get a much-needed “recharge” with massage and yoga.

Custer is seven miles east of Stevens Point on Highway 10. Once in Custer, follow the signs to the Fair (which is being held right on the MREA grounds).

Central Wisconsin features the Ice Age Trail, a perfect site to hike, and camping in the parks of northern pine forest. The many lakes and resorts offer a variety of places to recreate. For more information on opportunities in the Central Wisconsin Area, contact the Stevens Point Area Conventions and Visitor Bureau at 715-344-2556.

For more information about the 2003 Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair, contact the MREA at 715-592-6595, or visit their Web site at:

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!