Fair shows its ‘going green’ side

Los Angeles County Fair guests seem to be under the spell of indulgence, thanks to all the must-have souvenirs and irresistible deep-fried foods. But this year, fairgoers were also preoccupied with conservancy.

One of the most popular attractions was the “Going Green” exhibit, which offered entertainment, information, education and products all geared toward living the green lifestyle.

Perhaps the most entertaining feature of the exhibit was located at the “Going Green” stage, where environmental magician Paul Cash presented his show of educational green magic.

“Haven’t you ever seen a root beer float?” Cash said. The audience laughed hysterically as he poured root beer into a glass floating in the air.

Cash incorporated tricks and humor with statistics on water preservation and garbage pollution.

“I laughed when he said ‘wake up and smell the garbage,’” Arcadia resident Michael Hernandez said. “And it was clever how he used magic to teach us about conserving water and trees.”

A few feet away from the green stage was Smokey Bear, advocating the importance of preventing forest fires.

Children gathered on wooden benches to hear puppets tell the true story of Smokey Bear and learned the basic reasons for not playing with matches.

Surrounding Smokey Bear’s territory in the rainforest-themed exhibit were rangers, foresters and firemen sharing information on how to conserve trees and save wildlife.

A boa constrictor and Burmese python were on display to enforce the idea of wildlife conservation.

While children were occupied with all the prizes and toys the exhibit had to offer, parents could not wait to go across the rainforest to see all of the grown-up toys.

Hybrid vehicles, energy efficient appliances and nature-friendly household products were among the must-sees in the “Going Green” exhibit.

“Every little contribution to the environment helps, even preserving our fabrics,” BLOX representative Kristine Davis said.

She was demonstrating how to spray the product onto different materials.

Even clothing manufactures wanted to be part of the green movement. Landau uniforms advertised that their clothes are made from raw materials that demand less from the environment.

A couple of booths over, hordes of people gathered to try a sample of homemade soda.

It is called soda-club and is made by carbonating water with the “fountain jet” carbonator and mixing in one of 25 “sodamix” flavors.

How does homemade soda help preserve the environment? It requires no plastic bottles or aluminum cans and reduces energy used to manufacture them.

Using less energy was a primary theme throughout the exhibit, and the Southern Cali­fornia Gas Company showed particular interest in spreading the word on energy efficiency.

“This is our 18th year at the L.A. County fair, and it is always a great place for us to interact with our customers and show them first-hand how they can save energy and preserve the environment,” said energy programs adviser Michelle Cook of the Gas Company.

The Gas Company gave away free energy-efficiency starter kits to customers who brought them their gas bills.

If guests did not walk away with a green product, they had plenty of informative literature on recycling, air pollution, water conservation and energy flexing to take home with them.

The Los Angeles County Fair has ended its 2008 season, but the “Going Green” spirit, made an impression on some fair visitors, and left an impact.

Mark Vidal can be reached at mark.vidal@laverne.edu.

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