Conway Locals Gather for Eighth Annual EcoFest

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The City of Conway partnered up with different groups of the local community to put on the eighth annual EcoFest.

The annual event works to educate the community about environmental issues. This year it was on Oct. 8 in Laurel Park.

From 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., local businesses, educational programs and other environmentally minded organizations set up on the grass.

According to their website, the purpose of EcoFest is “to grow a healthier environment and community through sustainability, education and innovation.”

It consisted of booths from various organizations that had opportunities for attendees to participate in crafts, demonstrations and receive information about recycling, local wildlife and environmental sustainability in homes and businesses. It also featured live musical performances and food trucks.

Along with the several stands informing people on how to lower the amount of chemicals in the home, a stand informing people about using alpaca fur in homes, farmers market stands and bats, along with other wildlife stands, there was a vintage clothing stand.

Tina Falkner, 29, and owner of America Jane Vintage had racks of vintage clothing and various vintage items for sale in her tent. 

Falkner said EcoFest allowed her and other exhibitors to get into the community more.

“I have been pretty established at places near Hendrix, but I have not been able to get in at other areas like the University of Central Arkansas,” Falkner said.

The biggest part of the event was the Cardboard Car Derby.

The EcoFest webpage describes it as “an enjoyable means to promote teamwork at home, work or play, as well as demonstrate the intrinsic worth of discarded or reused materials.”

The derby was a race of gravity-propelled cars made from materials like cardboard and plastics.

The event attracted community members from local elementary school students, to college students and professionals.

“I think it combines the idea of a farmers market that sells fresh foods with other things like craft fairs, animal shows and educational presentations,” Ethan Dilday, UCA freshman said.

In the past, EcoFest has been sponsored by groups such as the Log Cabin Democrat, Equipment for Educators and the Arkansas Discovery Network and the State of Arkansas.

photo by Paden Moore

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