Archived Outdoors

EcoFest to put ‘green’ living at your finger tips

out frHaywood County is about to experience its newest festival: EcoFest, an ode to sustainability, agriculture and the environment. This year will be the first that EcoFest is taking place and will feature musical performances, kids’ games, demonstrations and vendors showcasing all things “green.”

Although products and services in the vein of sustainability will be sold at the festival, the festival’s true focus is about teaching eco-skills to the public. Experts from all over have been invited to show-off their areas of expertise to interested attendees, highlighting organic gardening, hops growing, backyard chicken raising, pickle making, canning and cooking, bees, worm composting and more. 

SEE ALSO: Get your green on


“We wanted it to be festival where someone could come and not just purchase things but also a place of ideas where you could learn a new skill and try something else,” said CeCe Hipps, president of the Haywood Chamber of Commerce, which is putting on the inaugural festival.

Hipps hopes the new festival — one of four the chamber organizes each year — will attract a special type of crowd to the county in the spring. 

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The whole family can glean tips about recycling, using rain barrels, using wood to power a vehicle and multiple aspects of green building. The kids will have a special section to play corn hole, hula hoop, jump rope, draw with sidewalk chalk and spin a trivia wheel. Also, Vi Keenan of Macaroni Kid, an online resource for parents, will be demonstrating how to make macaroni bracelets and bird feeders using Cheerios. 

“We were hoping this would bring in families and people with lots of interest in learning new skills in the areas of renewable energy, the backyard and the kitchen,” Hipps said, speaking about the three themes of sustainability at the festival.

Live entertainment will also be provided throughout the day by Simple Folk, Frog Level Philharmonic, Lorraine Conard Band, Blue Ridge Tradition and the Faerie Kim Stiltwalkers, a group that plays instruments on stilts. N8 the Great will also be on hand with his juggling skills and storytelling for “kids of all ages.”


Want to go?

The inaugural Haywood County EcoFest will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 4 at the Haywood Community College campus. The day will be filled with demonstrations on everything from homemade soap making to square-foot gardening to canning and preservation. There will also be live music and games for the kids. Attendees are also encouraged to bring their old PCs to donate for use by GED graduates. The cost of the festival is $5 for parking.

The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce is the principal organizer of the festival. It is also sponsored by Champion Credit Union, Haywood EMC, Mission Health systems, Haywood Community College, the Mountaineer, H&K Farms Hop Yard, Smoky Mountain News and WNC Woman Magazine.

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