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Green midway returns to Edmonton for sustainability festival

Can you imagine an amazingly fun carnival powered entirely by green energy? Well, get ready because it’s real.
Can you imagine an amazingly fun carnival powered entirely by green energy? Well, get ready because it’s real.

An event that boasts “the world’s first green midway” is back for another year in Edmonton.

Sustainival opened Thursday and runs until 6 p.m. on Sunday at Kingsway Mall.

Sustainival executive director Odette Hutching told Global News that from the outside, it looks like any other carnival, but there’s an important difference:

“We power the entire carnival on renewable energy sources.

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“From bio-diesel, which is essentially recycled vegetable oil — you fry up your french fries and there’s some waste oil — well, we’re able to turn that into power to run our rides. We also run on solar and wind.”

This is Sustainival’s first year at Kingsway and Hutching said it was a great opening night in spite of less-than-ideal weather.

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“We had a huge turnout, which is really exciting,” said Hutching.

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“One of the great things about being at the Kingsway Mall lot is that people are coming down there for lots of other things in their day, seeing us and coming out to check out the festival and take on the Green Beast Eco Challenge.”

The Green Beast Eco Challenge is a scavenger hunt that teaches you about renewable energy. You’re eligible to participate with the purchase of a day pass and taking part enters you to win a grand prize which will be awarded on Sunday.

But that’s not the only potential reward:

“We actually had some lucky winners yesterday who won some great prizes,” said Hutching.

As for the rides, she said one of this year’s new attractions is already getting great reviews.

“It’s called the Frenzy,” said Hutching. “It’s almost like a huge pendulum with and it actually reaches a 90-degree angle, so it’s pretty intense ride.”

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She said it’s a great option for people who love thrill rides but don’t want to go upside-down.

After a damp start, the festival is expecting to see some sunshine for the rest of the weekend. But even if it does rain, Hutching doesn’t want that to keep you away.

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“One of the great things about our festival is that the majority of our rides run rain or shine.”

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Sustainival is open from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Then it moves to Fort McMurray the following weekend.

There’s no charge for admission, but tickets are required for the attractions.