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Energy Zone Offers Engaging Experiences an d Free Family Fun

For Release: August 1, 2013Shawn Miller at State Fair

Contact: Erin Hollinshead, 217-546-6815

Illinois Energy Zone Offers Engaging Experiences and Free Family Fun

Showcases “Safe, Smart, Clean, and Green” Energy at State Fair

(SPRINGFIELD, IL)—Illinois State Fair visitors: get ready to be “energized”!  The Illinois Energy Zone packs a powerful punch with interactive activities, renewable energy displays, youth activities, and giveaways - more than two dozen attractions on the Emmerson building west lawn.  The multi-faceted energy experience is provided by the Energy Education Council (EEC) in partnership with the state of Illinois, utilities and organizations across the state.

“With increasing interest in energy efficiency and clean energy, we give consumers a convenient one-stop area that makes it easy to understand options and gain valuable knowledge in an energetic and entertaining way,” says Molly Hall, EEC executive director.

People of all ages are invited to take a ride on the energy bike, get free Illinois popcorn popped using solar and wind energy, and check out the Kids Activity Center for projects, games, coloring and a poster contest.  Take an up-close look at geothermal, solar, wind and other renewable energy through a variety of displays, including one of the nation’s largest biomass projects right here in Illinois!

Displays in the Zone include:

  • An 18-foot energy efficiency wall that allows people to see what’s inside walls to better understand air and energy leaks, insulation and sealing.
  • Outdoor furniture and other items made with recycled products shows how energy is saved by re-using rather than throwing away.
  • Electric and hybrid vehicles on display help show the differences between the types and models of energy efficient vehicles now on the market.
  • The University of Illinois’ College of Engineering with its Smart Grid research will help people understand the latest in power grid technology and how renewable energy, other environmental benefits, and customer choice fit in.

“The use of renewable energy is growing at an astounding rate,” says Hall. “We’ll have experts and information to help people learn about the opportunities and challenges of renewable energy. We’ll help them understand that the cheapest, cleanest, greenest energy is the energy not consumed, that energy efficiency is vital to sustainability.”

The Illinois Energy Zone, located near the corner of Main and Central Avenues, will be open until 7 p.m. every day of the fair with ongoing displays, giveaways, activities, scheduled programs and presentations.

Sunday, Aug. 11 is National 811 day, a reminder for everyone to call 8-1-1 before starting any digging projects. Along with special giveaways, JULIE, the Illinois One Call organization will be on hand to provide information on the importance of dialing 8-1-1 to get your utilities marked. The call is FREE, there is no charge to have utilities marked, and it’s the law.

The Energy Zone also includes some of the exciting demonstrations and activities fairgoers have come back for over the years. Arcs, sparks and explosions are part of popular Live Line Demos that use everyday situations to point out potential dangers and safety steps. Shows are Fridays, Saturdays, and Sunday afternoons at 12:30, 2:30, 4:00, and 6:30, and Wednesday and Thursday at 12:30, 4:00 and 6:30.

Accident survivor Shawn Miller returns to share his story and discuss the importance of using caution around overhead power lines. He miraculously survived contact with high voltage lines while doing the kind of outdoor work that millions undertake each year. Miller will speak with audiences on Monday, Aug. 12 and Tuesday, Aug. 13 afternoons at 12:30, 2:30, 4:00, and 5:30.

Fairgoers can cool off in the shade of trees or tents while taking in the many features. With a wide variety of “safe, smart, clean and green” activities, displays, programs and more, there is something for everyone at the Illinois Energy Zone!

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The Energy Education Council is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety and energy efficiency. Established in 1952, the Council is headquartered within the University of Illinois Extension, and serves as a forum for diverse utility and energy organizations to collaborate on the mutually vital issues of efficiency and safety. Learn more at www.EnergyEdCouncil.org.

 


 

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