Organizers of the new environmentally thought-provoking Great Peninsula Future Festival have devised a plan that could possibly provoke solutions to some of the world’s greatest crises.
They’re hoping festival-goers will come for a party and leave with a life-changing education. And they’re expecting them in the thousands throughout the coming weekend, Aug. 2-3, in the festival-friendly town of Port Gamble.
What began as a conversation between Kitsap County Commissioner Steve Bauer and his sister Sandra — following an evening of discussion with about 60 other community leaders about a more sustainable Kitsap — evolved into a three-stage, late-summer festival with a farmers market, kids’ place and nearly 100 vendors peddling green ideas, wares and products all with the purpose of creating a more sustainable future for Kitsap.
“We had so much fun brainstorming and there was so much enthusiasm for the topic, it was so exciting that Steve Bauer said, hey, we’ve got to build on this and involve the rest of the community,” said Gene Bullock, a member of the West Sound Conservation Council. The council sponsored that original discussion, led by state representative Larry Seaquist. “So we decided to sponsor an annual festival where we can get people from all over the community — public officials and educators and entrepreneurs — all to come and think about and talk about sustainability in a festival atmosphere.”
Organizers of the massive event — a collection of civic leader volunteers, many from that original discussion and a gang of sponsors — are quick to note the emphasis being taking on the family-fun/community festival aspect of it all. Bullock says it’s the main focus. And it’s definitely noteworthy — jugglers and acrobatics, wielders of unusual objects, fire breathers, an internationally feted clown and numerous local and regional musicians will take the stage — but of equal importance are the issues which the Future Festival puts on the table for public discussion, and ultimately, ideally, public resolution.
“(Sustainability) is a problem that the whole community has to face sooner or later,” Bullock noted. “The great thing here is, we’ve found a fun way for people to get together and think about it.”
Think about how what you do today will affect you tomorrow. Think about how what we do to the Earth today will affect it tomorrow. That’s the gist of sustainability.
Sustainable practices — everything from how we build to what we buy, how we travel to the way we protect our land — are being debated and created all around us, in our own communities and those not far away.
The Great Peninsula Future Festival will bring these sustainability movers and shakers all together in one place for the weekend — Port Gamble.
People for Puget Sound, the Sierra Club, the Hood Canal Coalition will all be there, as will the Kitsap County Stream Team, the Washington state Environmental Council, Puget Sound Energy, Classic Cycle, Kitsap Transit and the Kitsap Master Gardeners.
Vendors will be set up in areas categorized by Environment, Green Building, Transportation and Buy Local. There will also be opportunities to actually shop local at a festival farmers market which combines the regular Kingston and Port Gamble markets.
And then there’s the entertainment — check out the Flying Karamazov Brothers, the juggling jollies and Tim Furst, wielder of unusual objects all with the New old Time Chautauqua group out of Port Townsend, in addition to bluegrass, celtic, old time, reggae and blues music from local groups The Tune Stranglers, Whistling Oysters, Common Ancestor and Alice Stuart among others.
Not to mention rock star politicians U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, Senator Phil Rockefeller and the executive director of People for Puget Sound Kathy Fletcher, are among those appearing on the speakers stage.
The lists are impressive. To see them, or get more information, go to www.greatpeninsulafuturefestival.org.