Reporting and photo by Josh O’Connor.
The Mother Earth News Fair kicked off with a bang this morning, April 12, at the WNC Agricultural Center. Attendance at the fair appeared to be overwhelming, causing traffic back-ups in both directions on Interstate 26 as people rushed to get into the gates. A wide range of individuals both local to the area and from around the country flocked to the event to see the latest ideas and offerings in sustainable living.
The event spans a large portion of the Ag Center property and includes a variety of live demonstrations, exhibits, vendors and speakers. Vendors included a mix of nationally branded companies as well as some of WNC’s finest sustainability-oriented purveyors of botanicals and homesteading products.
In my own trip to the fair with my two preschoolers in tow, I found that the event’s “family-oriented” billing certainly lived up to its promise. Children were not an uncommon sight, with families of all sizes and people from all walks of life navigating the crowds to ogle the latest in composting toilets and heritage poultry breeds. There is plenty to keep kids engaged throughout the event, including a number of farm animals and a handful of spring babies. The fair even has a kid-specific tent set up with a variety of ongoing activities, although mine were too enticed by the promise of free coconut ice cream samples, the butterfly tent and baby animals to pay it much mind.
Food offerings include the Ag Center’s concession stand as well as a variety of food trucks and vendors, including local favorites like Gypsy Queen Cuisine, The Hop and Farm to Fender. There is also plenty of food to sample for free including everything from hemp-based snacks to bison meat.
The fair runs until 7 p.m. today and 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, April 13. Adult tickets cost $30 for the weekend or $25 for a one-day pass at the gate. Children age 17 and younger get in free. Click here for the complete event line up.