I can admit this now, but last year at this time I had no idea what the Green NC exhibit was going to be like. In fact, even though I am the exhibit coordinator, I really didn’t know how things would turn out until the morning before the N.C. State Fair opened!
Oh sure, there were planning meetings with exhibitors, a layout design and lots of signage in the works, but the exhibit content kept changing. Several organizations had to drop out at the last minute, which meant the layout had to be revised (then revised again), causing sign changes as well. On top of that, the exhibit was featured at our media preview day. I did several interviews with local reporters about how great Green NC was going to be, while being as vague about the content as possible. Talk about pressure!
This year, I am feeling much more confident about the exhibit and its content. I can tell you that we will have several new features on display, including a 9-foot-tall wind turbine, a Compressed Natural Gas vehicle and a small bus that has been converted into a mobile biodiesel production unit. At several photo op areas, you can take a picture of yourself riding a mock city bus, pretending to be a chemist, or working as a “green garage” mechanic.
Be sure to check out the outdoor areas of the exhibit as well. At the State Parks display, you can “fish” for sustainability messages, and at the Green NC house, you can learn about energy efficient windows and siding, and rain water harvesting systems like rain barrels, rain gardens and permeable pavement.
We’ll have the Green Pledge Stations again this year, and have added scavenger hunt questions to this popular activity. We’ll also have the Green NC stage again where presenters will discuss “green” topics ranging from the many uses of soybeans to the many questions you can ask a Cooperative Extension agent. (Here’s an insider tip for you — the Green NC stage is one of the few places on the fairgrounds where you can sit down and relax, listen to interesting presentations and earn prizes just for participating!)
With 16 days until the opening of the 2009 Green NC exhibit, there is still time for surprises, but hopefully (knock on wood) there won’t be any.
The Green NC exhibit is located near the Commercial and Education Building, just inside Gate 11. You can find it on this map. It’s free, fun and educational. I hope to see you there!