Arts and Entertainment

Sustainable living encouraged, celebrated at 3rd Great Peninsula Future Festival

Bluegrass music, vaudeville entertainment and an overarching message of sustainability will find a home at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds this weekend.

The third annual Great Peninsula Future Festival, which runs Saturday through Sunday, July 31 to Aug. 1, was created to bring the local community together to send a message of living healthier lifestyles.

The event is intended to entertain and, for those interested, provide information and local alternatives for goods and services that support sustainable living, said event organizer Gene Bullock.

“This event is about getting people involved, but without constantly preaching a message,” Bullock said.

The festival will host vendors from across the state and incorporate music and activities that will go throughout the weekend.

On Saturday, Duvall Bluegrass band the Cascade Mountain Boys will perform, while National Flatpicking Champion Roger Ferguson will host guitar workshops.

Stages offering comedy acts, acrobats and magic shows will run both days, including the New Old Time Chautauqua vaudeville troupe, will perform.

Among the activities will be an all-hands beach sculpture created with recyclables and trash found on Kitsap beaches. Anyone who wants to help create the sculpture can. The project, led by Indianola resident Craig Jacobrown, began with his interest in keeping the beaches clean while creating art through recyclable materials.

The sculpture will be pieced together through the weekend. Beach trash Jacobrown and other volunteers collect will be available to use, but Jacobrown said the trash will go fast. He encourages participants to spend a few minutes on a beach to collect their own trash.

“On the one hand, it’s depressing to see trash on the beach,” Jacobrown said. “On the other hand, it’s very colorful stuff and fun to use with art.”

If the sculpture has enough people contributing, the completed project will be an Orca whale, Jacobrown said. Smaller mammals, such as elephant seals, are also an option.

Jacobrown was invited to the Future Festival while he was tending to his booth at the Kitsap County Water Festival. Bullock saw his art and thought he would be a good addition.

Jacobrown owns The Maskery, an art shop in Indianola, and was immediately interested in becoming involved with the Future Festival, he said.

Residents of Kitsap are generally aware of the capability of living a more sustainable life, such as eating locally and reducing waist, Jacobrown said. The next step is to make sustainable living, creating less waste, something people willingly do.

“We need to tip the balance,” Jacobrown said. “We need to start feeling less guilty about what we have done to the environment and start realizing we can still have fun.”

The Great Peninsula Future Festival began when the West Sound Conservation Council held a conference three years ago. About 60 people showed up to help think of ways for the residents of Kitsap to live more sustainable lives, like using solar technology in residential homes and automobiles. Because there was so much interest in the topic, North Kitsap County Commissioner Steve Bauer started looking for ways to raise awareness.

“I think what blew us away was how many people were in to the idea,” Bullock said. “Most of us care about the environment, but we are too often in denial, spending and wasting while we put the short-term benefits ahead of the long term.”

The first two years of the festival, it mainly attracted people who were already involved in sustainable living, Bullock said. The goal is to spread the message of sustainability at the festival, with booths promoting information about how to reduce the human footprint on the environment, to those people who may not have heard the message and do so in a fun way. Other booths will also promote businesses who offer products and ideas for low-impact living

“This is all about having fun,” Bullock said.

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