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Discussion Starter #1
This overall concept from a SEP thread I dug up earlier ...

I've arranged a "weather-spotter" event before, bringing in a volunteer NOAA weather forecaster who teaches these things, and it was well-attended by upwards of 50 or more folks (filled the community center room we held it in).

Seems to me it wouldn't be that much harder to throw together a "self-reliance" fair, with these components:

1. event space: community center (in nearby town) always gives us space for these things, when arranged in advance
2. event sponsers: those folks w/ something to teach ... no money involved, just bring your skills & teach 'em ... I need ideas here, and I'm thinking of:
- solar energy: demonstrate my BOV 12v RE system (12v batts, 3kw inverter, mppt, panels), all of which is easily transported and makes a great traveling show ... could be the basis of explaining full-blown home RE systems to others, or give them ideas to create their own partial/emergency systems.
- radio/comms: I can demo comms in ICE scenario, from FRS (license free) to Ham HHT's (ham license needed ...), and explain most everything to them, pointing them at further resources.
- wife/kids who do canning: get them to demo it w/ gear & such
- friend who does blacksmithing ... get him to figure out how to demo this
3. advertising: my wife gets the message in front of everybody's face (radio shows, calendars, facebook, etc.); we did this for the weather-spotter event, and it worked well
4. handouts: get the LDS handbook (perhaps with their blessing?) and give it out left and right
5. possibly get the weather guy back down, as what better SHTF scenario than any of a number of weather-related incidents that needs preparing for?
6. VFD: they go anywhere w/ their messages at the drop of a hat, so they can come out and pitch their prep stuff.
... and so on.

Can you give me ideas to finish fleshing this out, in any of these areas (need lots more ideas of "sponsers" and what they would teach/demo), or in things I'm not thinking of that would make the fairt even more interesting?

Would like to hold it in the April to June time frame, and would like to hide the preps portion of it in plain sight, if I can think of a good name for it ... something like "In Case of Emergency (ICE) preparations."

Not sure, but believe this first event would be a trial run for the county, in terms of how well received, attended, and so on. If it flies, then it will probably move to a bigger/better venue, and if it doesn't, at least folks will "talk about it". It pretty much won't cost anybody anything other than some time ...

Please lay it on me ... your comments/ideas, that is!
 

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We used to have one in Oregon County, Missouri. It was the Go Green Festival. It was wonderful.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll go look that up, if visible on the 'net, but do you recall any nifty (self-reliant or prep-specific) events within it? Things I can steal for this planned event?

Oh, and if not immediately obvious from the original post, I'm thinking some things will be presented in levels/layers ... if you walk up and ask about Solar (RE), and the brief pitch & handouts give you all you need, then that's the first layer; if you give me the super-secret handshake, by me saying some of the ways this could be used (BOV, etc.) and you responding, then we can have the second layer of (prep) conversations.
 

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Goat milking demonstrations
Cheese making demo
Bee keepers
Soap makers
Permaculture lectures
Hugulkulture
Quiltmakers
Angora goats- how to process fiber
Draft horses demo
Water conservation
University Extension Office booth with booklets
Master herbalist lecturer
Local crafts people - knife makers, bakers, weavers, etc.
 

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ICE is the acronym for the border patrol/immigration in Texas. I don’t know where you are. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Local/university level extension offices ... excellent & easy to incorporate, providing they play ball. And 4H, etc.

All others also great ideas, and how many "sponsors" (folks teaching/demo'ing something) respond to this "trial balloon" event, I'll leave to my wife/advertising-firm ... I think what we'll do is float some of these at the first outdoors farmers market in our area, as both a sampler, and advertising for the main event. This is why timing is critical ... choose wisely on the right month/weekend, and it's a hit ... choose poorly, and nobody comes to (or worse, remembers) the event; I need a weekend after a farmers market, always on a SAT in our area.

LDS ... how do I get hold of them, for permission to give away their booklet? Hmmm ...

Bees/beekeeping ... 50 to a 100 or more people, 1000 or more stinging bees ... still thinking on this one, but it looks like a posterboard demo!

Hugelkulture ... not sure if I can scale this one down to demo size, but hey, at least I know what it is!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ICE ... not a problem, as I'm still awaiting name ideas from everyone ...

"In case of emergency" (ice) seems reasonable, so a tweak of ICoE might do it ... need some name that hides the PREP nature of this event, and the ice name might also draw in those folks/groups who want to pitch emergency stuff (the town, other agencies), even if all they do is give me handouts to give to everyone. Even a little bling (handouts) has got to be better than nothing ...
 

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Find your closest LDS church, call and make an appointment, see if they can help out.
 
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If you go to LDS.org scroll down a bit and click on meeting locator. Put in your zip code call the closest bishops number. We do not have paid clergy so you may get his wife or kids and it may be a bit for him to get back to you. They may even be interested in helping you put it on if you wanted the help.

I would also have a class on rabbits. They are small and can be keep in most back yards, make great poop for the gardens, and are tasty.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll be darned ... there's an LDS right up the highway (40 or so miles away, which is "close") ... strike that off the list! Thanks!

Will have to ponder other groups I can get handouts from, but still need more ideas for handouts/bling, as everyone loves to get free stuff!
 

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;)Each of your vendors/demonstrators will do handouts. You don’t have to do all that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
As a PSA, and after re-reading some of the old BOB threads in light of this fair, we'll also add a segment on BOB's (home bob, car bob), trying to get everyone to understand and adopt them.

Show them one, take it apart, put it back together, let them put it on, and otherwise kick the tires. My kids could give this segment, and they pack a heftier backpack these days than I could ever carry ...

Plenty of material in the old threads! If even one person goes away wanting to do this, I've earned my good deed badge ...
 

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How about basics of plumbing, gluing PVC and how Pex works. How to change a faucet washer and replace packing. How to clean a faucet screen. How to adjust a toilet tank level.
 
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Ive found the best water conservation method is having to pack your water in gallon jugs a quarter mile up the hill from the spring. It's amazing how little water is actually needed using that system!
 

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Our LDS Stake (like a diocese - a group of 6 - 10 LDS Churches) holds a Preparedness fair every other year, I think many Stakes do.
If you are Rural, the place where its held could be far away from you. When I lived in rural Wisconsin it was over 60 miles from me, now here in Texas, its 3 blocks from where I currently live.

When you talk to someone at your local LDS Church ask who the "Emergency Preparedness" person is, and how you can get a hold of them. They'll be a wealth of info and can put you in touch with many people that can do demos. Our last one we had demos from: a sprouting expert, a canning expert, yogurt making, container gardening, Water Storage, A local gardening expert (Master Gardener) that gave classes, drip irrigation expert (me) with a set up and demo of how to put together a system, we had a lawyer talking about wills, we had a demo in the parking lot of different open and closed fire cooking methods, also a solar oven, the fire department came out and gave first aid courses, the blood mobile was there, a place that sells back up generators was there handing out literature and answering questions...... thats only what I remember, it had many more things I'm forgetting. We hold it on a Saturday from 8AM to 3PM and advertise it in the local paper as well as websites and word of mouth. We hold it every other year. Its something many Stakes in the Church do on a somewhat regular basis.
 

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Funny, I just saw the advertisement for our next Preparedness Fair - for anyone in the Dallas area, it'll be Saturday March 23 from 10 AM - 2:30 PM at 2700 Roundrock Trail, Plano, TX 75075
I'll see if I can post the flyer for it tonight.
 

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"50 Shades Of Dirt", describes my life! ;)

Consider the farm/garden suppliers, particularly the lawn mower/tiller sales places.
Most will already have displays of some kind.

Another place you might consider is antique farm equipment and turn of the century groups.
Once a year I drag out the home hand cranked mills, grinders, metal can seamer machines, antique to current pressure canners, metal can mills (cuts & puts flange back on metal cans for reuse), stuff like that the antique guys collect, restore, and still know how to use.
 
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