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Around The Grange
Cannon Grange / Go Green Festival Volunteers Needed

By Eileen Rice, Wilton Bulletin (4/18/11)

  APRIL 26, 2011 --

A giant Earth balloon, an exclusive preview of the latest electric cars, and the official launch of the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge are just some of the highlights of the second annual Wilton Go Green Festival slated for Sunday, May 1, at the Town Green from 11 to 4.

“Last year, we had close to 1,000 people visit our first festival,” said Debbie Hunsberger, Wilton Go Green board member and co-chair of the event. “This year we’ll have a wide range of exhibitors from a large solar panel company to small clubs founded by youngsters promoting clean energy options.”

“We’re pleased to announce the official launch of Wilton’s Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge, an exciting new program taking place throughout Connecticut to help residents take practical steps to increase their energy efficiency and save money on their energy bills,” said Jana Bertkau, co-chair of the festival and vice president of Wilton Go Green, Inc. The ceremony will take place at 2:30 in Deloitte’s Eco Café - Serving Fresh Ideas.”

“By reducing their individual home energy use, residents will help Wilton reach its goal of having 10% of the community lower its energy use by 20%,” said Becky Bunnell, president of Wilton Go Green. “If our town reaches its goal, we could win valuable incentives such as solar-powered streetlights and recharging stations for electric cars. “The first step, according to Ms. Bunnell is to sign up for a home energy solutions visit, an in-home energy assessment program. For a limited time, residents may pay just $75 for a visit, which is valued at $750. The second step is for homeowners to learn how further energy improvements may be accomplished through rebates and financial incentives.


This year’s main attraction is a giant Earth balloon, a 20-foot diameter inflatable globe made from a high-resolution satellite image. A group of 25 people enter the balloon through a zipper, where they can see the world in its entirety. Presentations on environmental issues, such as climate change and sustainability, will be given every 15 minutes. Free tickets will be available at the library.

New York Times best-selling author and financial expert Neale Godfrey will discuss her new book, Eco Effect — The Greening of Money, as part of an ongoing series of talks on sustainability sponsored by Deloitte at 1, in the Eco Café.

The festival will kick off with several Sound Cyclists bike races of varying levels at 8:15 at the Bright Horizons parking lot. Register on the library’s Web site Click on events and date.

The Woodcock Nature Center will sponsor its annual Where the Wild Things Run 5K at 9, and a Kids Fun Run at 8:30 at the nature center. Register at

Wilton High School students will unveil sculptures made of recycled materials in a special art exhibit in front of Bank of America, while Wilton’s Arbor Day will be celebrated in the library’s Rimer Room at 11:30.

More food options will be available this year, including Skinny Pines Pizza and Ancona’s Market, which will offer free, grass-fed beef tastings and a grilled beef luncheon menu.

The Kenn Morr Band will perform original songs from 11:30 to 1, followed by Arthur Lipner’s eclectic Wilton Steel Band from 2 to 4.

For wildlife enthusiasts, the dynamic teaching duo of Jim Lucey of Wilton High School and Dave Havens of St. Luke’s School will lead a guided tour of the Norwalk River across from the high school at 3. Wading boots and nets will be provided and collected specimens will be examined by microscope at the high school following the tour. Register in advance at

America’s best-known forager, “Wildman” Steve Brill, will talk about edible and medicinal wild plants and mushrooms at Millstone Farm’s booth from 11 to 12:30.

A silent auction featuring a chance to win a free summer membership at the Wilton Y (valued at $750) and other prizes will run from 11 to 3. Participants who have walked all of Wilton’s trails will have a chance to win a free Cannondale bike at a special drawing.

The Earth balloon is funded by the Wilton Library and the Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation for Wilton Library’s Environmental Initiative. The Wilton Go Green Festival has been underwritten by a $2,000 grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund through the Community Innovation Grants Program. Major sponsors for the festival include Deloitte, Outdoor Sports, Chevrolet-Buick of Wilton, and City Carting (corporate sponsors); and Nod Hill Soap and People’s United Bank (silver sponsors).

Partners for the Wilton Go Green Festival include the Wilton Library, Ambler Farm, Wilton Conservation Commission, Wilton Family Y, the Wilton Garden Club, Wilton public schools, Woodcock Nature Center, Wilton Clergy Association, Canon Grange #152, Wilton Rotary Club, and Fairfield Green Food Guide. For more information about how to become a volunteer or sponsor at the Wilton Go Green Festival, visit

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