Pensacola, Florida
Saturday October 20th 2018


Foo Foo Fest 2017: Good Clean Fun

By Stephanie Sharp

The third annual Pensacola Clean Energy Fest will be a celebration of all things “green.” From a juried art exhibit to an electric car show, to a tiny-home on display, there will be many opportunities to discover the possibilities of renewable energy and sustainable technology. In addition to the major exhibits, there will also be live music, food, drinks and children’s activities.

Clean Energy Fest is hosted by 350 Pensacola. This local organization supports the national non-profit, 350 that uses grassroots organizing, online campaigns and mass public action to work towards 100 percent clean energy solutions that work for everyone.

Christian Wagley is the program chair for 350 Pensacola and oversees the vendors for the Clean Energy Fest. We caught up with him in advance of the event to chat about the wide range of experiences available for visitors to this year’s festival, all aimed at educating and inspiring people to get involved with a movement towards a clean energy future in the Pensacola area.

“Pensacola is in such a special place here on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Wagley. “We’re vulnerable to the choices we make in the future of the energy.”

Exhibits will demonstrate the ways consumers and businesses can support a clean energy future, such as the electric car show.

One key example of what the future of clean energy will look like in Florida is the solar panels that will be on display. Unlike other states that will rely on wind turbines, Florida has the potential to harness the power of the famous sunshine of the Sunshine State.

Wagley predicts that the tiny home, built by students at Pensacola State College, will be a crowd favorite. This building trend has gained popularity in recent years, but it’s also a great example of how individuals can lessen their environmental footprint while building their dream home.

In addition to the displays of innovative technology and the science behind a clean energy future, Clean Energy Fest will welcome poet Hilton Kelley for the day, who is a winner of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. He’ll share the story of his hometown of Port Arthur, Texas, and its struggles with the oil industry.

Also on the creative side of things, the juried art exhibit Crossing Boundaries: Art and the Future of Energy will be another way for visitors to engage. This art exhibit features art from artists and designers from the Gulf Coast arts community, but also entries from UWF faculty members, scientists and engineers.

“Creative expression and art in general are a great way to tell a story and further a cause,” said Wagley. “Not everybody is motivated to take action and get involved by research studies or seeing an electric car.”

“We wanted to make sure the clean energy message was broad and reached as many people as we could,” said Wagley.

This year’s Clean Energy Fest is, at it’s core, is a celebration of the limitless possibilities available to our community as we continue the transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. Wagley’s hope is that visitors to this year’s event will find a reason that a future free from fossil fuels excites and motivates them.

“Anybody who’s concerned about public health and the quality of our natural environment would want to see that transition happen as quickly as possible,” said Wagley.

WHAT: A festival focused on clean energy initiatives
WHEN: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4
WHERE: UWF Historic Trust’s Museum Plaza, 120 Church St.
COST: Free