SolWest Fair: Energy for everyone

The Tour de John Day Electrathon, featuring electric-powered cars, has been a regular feature of the SolWest Energy Fair each year at the Grant County Fairgrounds. Contributed photo/The Blue Mountain Eagle

SolWest Fair will offer fun and education for the whole family today through Sunday at the Grant County Fairgrounds in John Day.

People come from across the western United States to see this event, which features informational displays and workshops about renewable energy geared toward ranchers, homeowners and small businesses.

SolWest fairgoers can see working systems, including solar hot water and solar electric, home-scale wind generators and biodiesel processors, hydroelectric generators for small streams, and solar water pumps.

Vendors will sell everything from solar gadgets and books to full-scale renewable energy hardware.

Organizers plan 55 workshops on renewable energy and sustainable living topics. Saturday is family day, when children's workshops will include Fun and Games with Solar, and Pizza Box Solar Ovens. Child care will be available.

A hosted tour of the Prairie co-generation plant is offered this afternoon.

Other happenings on the fairgrounds over SolWest weekend include a silent auction Saturday and Sunday, prizes for student science projects on renewable energy topics, and a fruit and vegetable stand by the John Day Valley Farmers Market.

Alternatively-fueled and high-gas mileage vehicles will be on display on the pavilion parking lot and in the alley between Keerins Hall and the barns.

Free SolWest Fair entry will be offered from 5 p.m. to closing today, and 1 p.m. to closing Sunday. For detailed information, see the SolWest Fair program, available at EORenew, 150 E Main St. For more information: 575-3633,

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