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Power Palooza

Pam Jung

Actually, this great “party with a purpose” that shows how easy it is to make a difference in energy consumption is coming to Nevada City – Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18 and 19.

Demonstrations, booths, speakers, films and entertainment are all a part of this free event at the Miners Foundry parking lot and along Spring Street.

The area will be transformed into an energy efficiency and community solutions extravaganza, complete with clean-energy vendors, exhibitions, workshops, keynote presentations, musicians jammin’ for the planet and an outdoor theater for a film finale under the stars. Free, fresh-grilled veggie kabobs from local gardens and farms are for the taking. Beer and wine are for the buying. And alternative cars and eco-scooters are for gawking at, perhaps even buying.

Why all of this? Event co-producer Reinette Senum says, “Most people feel overwhelmed by circumstances (such as climate change, energy and food prices). Others, however, have come to realize there is no reason to feel powerless. This will never be more apparent than at the second annual Power Palooza because the theme this year is ‘making it easy to make a difference,’ and this is exactly what this event is dedicated to doing.”

Saturday begins with free energy workshops from noon to 5 p.m. at the Nevada Theatre. A keynote presentation given by Michelle Long will run from 3 to 6 p.m. Vendors will be selling their eco-friendly wares at the Miners Foundry from 3 to 8 p.m. While acoustic music plays through the day and bands are scheduled from 4 p.m. on, at 8:30 p.m. the Miners Foundry parking lot becomes an outdoor “Cinema Paradiso” as musician and cellist Luke Janella inspires everyone with a multimedia and performance art finale. (See the boxed material for what happens on Sunday.)

The children are included, too, because we all know they are our future. Eco-activities begin at 3 p.m., and kids can build their own solar ovens and wind turbine wheels, plant seeds and paint on a large, collective mural, envisioning their world in 2050.

Participation is the keystone to the Power Palooza. Says Senum, “We have asked vendors to find ways to engage the community. Our objective is not just to have you walk away with a bunch of fliers but (also) with a few more solutions in your back pocket and a very different perspective of our community and our place in the world. You could say this event is turning into ‘one-stop shopping for solutions.’ This isn’t so much about starting a new revolution as it is an accelerated evolution, and I think most Americans agree this will have to come from the bottom up.”

By the way, Senum is one of the founders of APPLE, Alliance for a Post-Petroleum Local Economy, which gave rise to the nonprofit, PowerUp-NC, that Senum started with Kelly Casterson. PowerUp-NC’s mission is to find energy efficient programs and incentives for Nevada City to assist in its endeavor to become an energy self-reliant role model for other communities.

If the crowds last year were any indication of how popular this event is, it’s obvious this is an idea whose time has come. Senum, in fact, confident this event will only grow with time, says, “Each year we will just keep adding to the palette of solutions.

For further information, call (530) 470-864 or visit http://powerup-nc.org.

Sunday’s “Power Palooza Cafe”

On Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. the “Power Palooza Cafe” takes place in the Stone Hall at Miners Foundry. Based on the successful World Café format, the Power Palooza Cafe is a four-hour participatory workshop to empower our community to become part of the solution. The cafe is designed to engage participants in heartfelt conversation about community action and invites all of us to take personal action to reduce our carbon footprint. For those who are inspired to take action beyond their own household, the cafe provides the tools to launch a “Cool Community Campaign” to mobilize our community to reduce its CO2 footprint 20 percent by 2010.

Entertainment schedule at Power Palooza

While acoustic music takes place throughout the day, this pins things down a little:

4-6 p.m.: Saul Rayo’s Acoustic Band

6-8 p.m.; Lorraine Gervais and the Burning Sensations

8:30-10 p.m.: Film finale with Luke Janela

Some neat things at the Power Palooza

o Raffle for a Toyota Prius car (to support the GSVD Foundation for Arts and Science).

o Energy efficiency and solar workshops and energy efficiency auditing demonstrations.

o Green building supplies, wind-powered turbines, state-of- the art storm windows, solar ovens, a local car share, carbon neutral credits and junk-mail reduction.

o “Buy Local” campaign information and Nevada County raised beef.

o Grass Valley resident, Liz Rizzo, who has been making sweet treats for 25 years, has an energy efficient way of making her fine lollipops in more than 50 flavors. She will share her recipe that cuts the cooking time from 40 minutes down to 5 minutes while still maintaining quality.


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