HEA annual energy fair moving to larger venue

The popularity of an event is evident when it needs to move to a larger venue. Homer Electric Association’s Energy and Conservation Fair is the perfect case in point.

“For the last several years we’ve used West Homer Elementary School, which was fantastic and the staff there was wonderful, but it’s become a little crowded, so we looked at Homer High School and thought it might be a better venue,” said Joe Gallagher, HEA’s director of member relations.

The fair is in the HHS commons from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

It follows a week after opening in Kenai Nov. 1.

“That went great,” said Gallagher. “We had a full house all day long, just like we’ll do in Homer. There was a great turnout. I don’t know how many people exactly, but we served about 500 hot dogs.”

The fair features vendors and energy conservation experts with a variety of energy efficiency-related products and information. Topics cover appliances, recycling, construction materials, doors and windows, heating sources, lighting options and alternative energy. 

“We have a few new vendors this year,” said Gallagher. “Spenard Builders Supply is going to join us. Kachemak Heritage Land Trust will have a booth. I think there’ll be some other vendors that are new, too. It’s always good to bring on a couple new vendors every year.”

Not just for adults, the fair’s family-oriented focus includes the Kids’ Zone, “a special space set aside for young students and we’ve got a very interactive display set up where kids can sit down and go through a computer-generated, energy efficient house,” said Gallagher. “They click on a panel and learn about different things they can do to save energy.”

There also is an LED photo op, “LED Lucy,” that has proven popular with the younger crowd. Thanks to a camera that prints photos, youngsters can go home with a photo of themselves and LED Lucy.

“There’s serious information being transferred back and forth with the vendors, but we want to make it a family event, so we have the Kids’ Zone and the hot dogs,” said Gallagher.

There’s also popcorn and other refreshments and door prizes. 

“We have an attendance door prize and ask folks who attend to fill out a short survey that gives feedback on how they’ve enjoyed the fair so we can do better as we move forward,” said Gallagher. “The survey serves as a drawing ticket.”

The day’s grand prize is a solar emergency power pack and second prize is a round-trip ticket to Anchorage on Ravn Alaska. Also to be given away are gift certificates to local restaurants.

Winners of an energy conservation contest for students in grades K-8 sponsored by HEA will be announced at 1 p.m.

The contest asked students to answer grade level-specific prompts regarding the efficient use of electric energy in the form of a coloring contest, poem, song, game and a speech. More than 185 entries were received. 

Winners for the south service area are:

K-1 coloring contest: first prize, Kallan Johnson, McNeil Canyon; second prize, Ulita Anufreitv, McNeil Canyon; third prize, Carter Woodhead, Chapman School.

Grades 2-3 acrostic poem: First prize, Beatrix McDonough, Paul Banks; second prize, Miles Pettersen, Chapman School; third prize, Haley Akee, Chapman School.

Grades 4-6, song lyrics or game: first prize, Kirrikia Basargin, Razdolna; second prize, Fiona Hatton and Kira Milne, McNeil Canyon; third prize, Luke Hanson, Chapman School.

The fair is sponsored by Kenai Peninsula Builders Association, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Home Depot, Quality Enterprises LLC, Brown’s Electric, Spenard Builders Supply, Tesoro, Hilcorp, ConocoPhillips, Urban Green Technology and Touchstone Energy.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.