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Winter Fair is fare to the environment

Lauren Nolton, Staff Reporter - January 29, 2013

Ellensburg community members who walked into the Winter Fair yesterday were greeted with the scent of organic soaps and fun, environmental educational activities for all ages to enjoy.

The owner of Lunch Box café, Roz Eldridge, provided healthy and well-priced food for the fairgoers.
Eldridge and her husband bought the café last April and have been making their lunches every Monday through Friday, from 7:30 am to 3:30.

“We have gluten free bread and all of our food is super healthy,” Eldridge said. “There is nothing processed and it’s all made from scratch, people love it.”

Munching on one of Roz’s scones was a 2-year-old girl named Abigail, who mostly enjoyed her coloring page and the balloons.
She went with her dad, Todd, and mom, Kindra Locati, who is a recreation and tourism major at Central.

Locatti said she was attending the event for a class taught at Central.

She said a lot of the people in her class chose to go to the Wedding and Event Expo so she wanted to go to the winter fair instead.

“This was a lot bigger than I figured it would be and it is really cool that businesses would do this!” Locati said.

This fair was perfect for Abigail; it offered face painting, arts and crafts, an “archaelogical dig” and of course, yummy snacks.

Diedra Petrina, who is a part of the Kittitas County Project Association and a Central alum with a master’s in biology, was in charge of the fair. Petrina is on the Kittitas Environmental Education Network (KEEN) board and has helped organize this event for the past five years.

“Every one of the vendors here has to represent at least two of the three E’s,” Petrina said.
The three E’s are environment, economy and education.
All of the venders were based around being environmentally friendly and came from the Kittitas area or had done work in the area.

One of the exhibitors that had two of the three E’s was Cloud View Eco Farms, which is a small-scale organizational farm group. Their goal was to get the younger generation into an education internship to learn how to farm.

The exhibitors, along with fun activities for children, draw a lot of people from around the area.

“Their children’s activities should represent the work that they do,” Petrina said. “It’s just a way to engage kids in the learning process and gets the parents involved.”

The exhibit that really got both parents and kids involved was the archaelogical dig. The big bucket of dirt, shovels and sifters was found at the Environmental Resource Management Association exhibit that Ayla Aymond was in charge of.

“Different ages can get different things out of this,” Aymond said. “We can teach the older kids the science behind it and the younger kids just get to play in the dirt”

The kids got to find a variety of artifacts, both prehistoric and historic.

Another children’s favorite was the face painting done by Allison Carpenter, an alum of Central, Western Washington University and University of Washington.
Carpenter has been face painting in her spare time for the past five years.

“My favorite thing is that a lot of kids want to come for the face paint, but get to see all the other exhibits as well,” Carpenter said.

She tied face painting into the theme by doing designs based off natural things in the environment.

Also in charge of getting exhibitors there, as well as the face painter, was Central professor Stafani Wickstrom, who teaches political science. With her was Sam Novak, and they were there both promoting KEEN.

“The event itself, that is what we are trying to promote, gets the community to engage in networking and the environment,” Novak said

The winter fair was very much themed around the environment and the other three E’s.

“That’s what this [the fair] does, it shows you all different walks of life,” Novak said.

“Environment can be anything from national wildlife federation, to people making gloves and windfarms,”

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