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‘The place to be seen if you’re green’

A two-day festival to showcase energy alternatives and sustainability issues is planned for this summer in Port Gamble, with the goal of presenting a “green” philosophy to the general public.

“We’re not going to just preach to the choir with this event,” said North Kitsap Commissioner Steve Bauer. “We want to bring in the people who don’t have a lot of information about this and make it fun enough when they get there that it becomes a learning experience.”

The Great Peninsula Future Festival is currently scheduled for Aug. 2 and 3 on the land outside of the town of Port Gamble. The event is modeled after the long-running Oregon Country Fair, which was founded and organized by Sandra Bauer (who is Steve Bauer’s sister).

With booths, exhibits, games and entertainment, Sandra Bauer said she hoped the festival would be “the place to be seen if you’re green.”

The idea for the event came from several different sources. Part of it originated when the Bauer kids got together in order to plan a campaign event, since Steve Bauer is now running for his first elected term.

With this in mind, the siblings got together to plan a campaign event that would generate interest in and support of Bauer’s candidacy.

The planning overlapped discussion about a workshop held last October moderated by Washington State Rep. Larry Seaquist (D-Gig Harbor) that sought to develop a shared vision for a more sustainable Kitsap and to come up with a few workable strategies for getting there.

Soon enough, the idea became bigger than the campaign, and Bauer decided to make the event more informative and less political.

As a family activity, sponsors hope to make the event affordable with admission fees in an affordable range. Bauer said he hoped the fair would become an annual occurrence, and that this year’s event would generate enough profit to provide basic financing for next year.

Sponsors are hoping to draw 8,000 attendees.

“We want to show people how much farming there is in the county,” Bauer said, “and to highlight all of the things that people can go out and buy. It will run the gamut of available solutions, and help people understand all the things they can do to support sustainability.”?

Sandra Bauer said the event will generate funds from three sources — admission tickets, booth fees and sponsorships.

A variety of sponsors have already committed their support, including Puget Sound Energy, the Poulsbo Rotary Club, Kingston Lumber and the Clearwater Casino.

Entertainment will be an important part of the experience, and Sandra Bauer, who has extensive connections to that world due to her past vocation, is lining up a variety of performers for the event.

Headlining is the New Old Time Chautauqua Group, a subset of the Flying Karamazov Brothers, which is building its summer tour around this appearance.

Singers, jugglers, acrobats, puppet shows and magic will contribute to the experience.

Blues singer Alice Stuart is also part of the program, along with the Raging Grannies comedy troupe.

While some storytellers might incorporate a sustainability theme, Sandra Bauer said the message will be subtle.

“The whole purpose is to widen the audience of people who are interested in sustainability,” she said. “They will come for the party, but stay for the message. They will learn what they can do personally and in their community to support sustainability.”

The festival itself will have a tiny carbon footprint, with 90 percent of all materials recycled on the spot.

For more information about becoming a program partner, exhibitor, sponsor or volunteer, visit www.GreatPeninsulaFutureFestival.org, write or Sanbauer@aol.com or call (425) 788-7496.

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