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Go Green Festival plans taking shape for April 21-22 event

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A truck that had been converted to run on wood power was just one of the interesting sights at the October 2011 Go Green Festival in Thayer. Photo by Steven Looney [Order this photo]
Organizers are now making plans for the fourth Go Green Festival set for April 21-22 at the rodeo arena in Thayer.

New and returning vendors are signing up early.

Organizer Jenny Underwood said she is already hearing about projects in preparation for the free two-day festival, such as germinating plants, exercise regimens and building biofuel stoves. A full schedule of speakers also is planned.

"One exciting speaker is Backwater John who lives in a cabin along the backwaters of one of our great rivers in western Kentucky with his wife, dogs, honeybees and gardens," Underwood said. "And he does what he talks about doing."

Backwater John raises berries, grapes, orchard fruits, vegetables, brambles, herbs and heirloom flowers on his organic homestead.

He also is 75-percent self-sufficient by growing culinary and medicinal herbs to make most of his own medicines, and does public speaking around the country.

Underwood said Backwater John has a following of more than 7,000 subscribers on Yahoo. He has invited a few of his friends, so there is no telling how many will converge in the Ozarks, Underwood said.

"We are excited to announce that Sheriff George Underwood of Oregon County will make his famous fish fry and hushpuppies and fixin's for both Saturday and Sunday lunch," Underwood said.

Fish fry tickets can be purchased for $5 in advance at the Thayer senior center for a complete dinner or for $6 at the festival.

All proceeds will go to the Fun and Friends Senior Center in Thayer.

The festival will include music from gospel, jazz and bluegrass singers.

As gas prices rise, alternative vehicles will be popular and will be on display, including one of the earliest multi-fuel vehicles (gas, kerosine, and lighter fluid).

In October 2011, one of the main attractions at the festival was Alabama farmer Wayne Keith with his wood-fired Dodge pickup truck.

The Saturday agenda includes discussions on alternative energy and creating businesses in the green economy.

On Sunday, the theme will be all about gardening with "Picnic in the Park."

Children's entertainment includes carnival rides, a petting zoo and small animals to ride, a treasure hunt and other races and contests.

Organizers said the group is privileged to have support for several organizations in the area including the senior center, churches, Ministerial Alliance, VFW, Masons, news organizations and the Thayer/Mammoth Spring Saddle Club that generously shares its space and animals for the festival.

The Go Green Festival has doubled in size since the first event in March of 2009.

Organizers said they expect more than 3,000 visitors in April and more than 200 vendors.

"We continue to support individuals and businesses who want to learn to be self-reliant and local businesses that participate," Underwood said.

Progress can be seen at gogreenozarks.com (blog with announcements) and at gogreenozarks.com (vendors, agenda) and on Facebook as gogreenozarks and the same at Twitter.

Admission is free both days for visitors, as is booth space for vendors.

For information, call Underwood at 417-280-5670.

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