Thirteenth annual Sustainable Living Fair takes place this weekend

There’s only one beer garden that serves Odells and New Belgium side-by-side, and it’s at this weekend’s Sustainable Living Fair.

The Sustainable Living Association hosts the two day Fair, which includes 75 workshops, 500 volunteers, musical entertainment and activities to educate people and communities in the Rocky Mountain region to make healthy and sustainable choices.

The workshops look at different aspects of sustainability like gardening, agriculture, alternative fuels, green living day to day, animal husbandry, alternative transportation and many other topics.

According to Ray Aberle, the Fair director, they are expecting 12,000 to 15,000 attendees this weekend at Legacy Park from all across the country.

“The main focus this year is water,” Aberle said. “It’s a huge issue, not only throughout the world, but in Fort Collins this summer with the fire, drought and the call for damning the Poudre River.”

According to Aberle, making sure that sustainability is not politicized in the hectic season of elections is another focus for this year’s Fair.

“Whether you’re a beginning or a long time sustainable contributor, conservative or liberal, there’s something here for anyone,” Aberle said. “You don’t have to be a tree hugger to attend this event.”

Aberle explained that Fort Collins is a prime location for a fair of this caliber, and support for the event comes from facets of Fort Collins other than just its community members.

Wadoo, a local business that specializes in selling mismatched socks made of recycled tee shirts, is planning on having a booth at this year’s Fair.

“The fair is a great time for people in Northern Colorado to find out things they can do in their own lives that help the environment or help local movements that help the environment,” said Amy Satterfield, owner of Wadoo.

Wadoo has been connected to the fair since 2006, the year the company was founded.

“It’s a really feel-good kind of thing that we can all go and learn to make our lives a little more greener and more sustainable,” Satterfield said.

KRFC, a local radio station, sees the Sustainable Living Fair as a highlight of their outreach and community events.

“The reason we got involved was because I think the Sustainable Living Fair is probably very indicative of the community at large,” said Brian Hughes, Executive Director of KRFC. “That’s something we really believe in supporting.”

For the past three years radio station KRFC has been a sizable media sponsor and has promoted the fair ahead of time to get the word out.

“This has been a very trying year for people because of the High Park Fire,” Hughes said. “A lot of the issues that are really delved into at the Sustainable Living Fair are issues that are on people’s mind.”

To get to the fair in an alternative way, Josh Alley, a Soil and Crop Sciences major at CSU, is planning a bike parade that begins in the oval and then continues onto the fair to keep with the sustainable theme.

Speaking at the fair on water and ocean conservation is Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of renowned Jacques-Yves Cousteau and her father Philippe Cousteau, Sr. Another speaker includes Seleyn DeYarus, the majority owner and CEO of Best Organics, Inc.

Saturday, Muketeer Gripweed will perform, and on Sunday the Patti Fiasco Band will play.

“There are few places where you can go out in a field right around the banks along the Poudre and listen to live music,” Aberle said.