Blog : Solarfest Brightens UNH's Campus

By Corey | Apr 2, 2015 | in

As part of the Solarfest team, this will be my fourth year participating in Solarfest; the first year as an attendee, the second as a student organization representative, the third being the Volunteer Coordinator, and I am excited to reprise that role again this year. Solarfest provides the community with a day of pure happiness and attendees will be able to feel the energy from both the solar panels and the joyful crowd.  

Fueled by fun and the sun, the University of New Hampshire's Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) will hold their annual Solarfest on April 26. This free and public event is a full day of 100 percent solar powered music, art, community, sustainability, and activitites for all ages. Held on the campus' Boulder Field, all the energy used for this event is powered through nearby solar panels days before, and utilized throughout the entire festival powering everything from the stage's sound system to vendor tents. And the Green Alliance will be on-site promoting our green and sustainable businesses, and educating the community on making more sustainable choices.

SEAC is a group of students dedicated to bringing an awareness of sustainable issues to the UNH campus. Solarfest is one of their biggest and most popular events of the year amongst students and seacoast residents. 

For 22 years, attendees dance through the morning and afternoon to great live music and local environmental vendors. Other activities and performances at this year's event include the Kraft Korner for Kids, hoop performances from the area's most intricate and flexible hula hoopers, henna tattoos, painting, and the stories of Penn Johnson, a new-age folksinger who tells stories of divestment.

 

Following Johnson's performance, members from SEAC will speak about University Divestment. Divestment is the act of removing investments businesses, universities, or individuals have made in companies who do not consider the environment in their business model, and reinvesting in eco-friendlier companies. This past March, over 600 signatures were signed in a petition toward having UNH end its investments with environmentally dangerous companies. The goal of SEAC's informative talk is to inform the public on divestment opportunities and to ensure that students and faculty will continue their work on creating a true environmentally-friendly campus. 

Students are heavily involved in all aspects of this special event. Solarfest is organized entirely by students, and all t-shirt, poster, and frisbee artwork are created by UNH students in their annual design contest. Student organizations who encompass sustainability or the environment will also table at the event to provide awareness of their individual organizations to attendees. Even some of the performing bands are comprised of UNH students. The event also offers volunteer opportunities to students who want to lend a helping hand to put on this massive production including: setting up the stage, painting faces, picking up litter, organizing recyclables, or breaking the festival down.

Seacoast area food and business vendors also play a significant role at Solarfest. Local businesses selling organicially grown food, crafts, clothes, and jewelry are staples at the event, providing information about their organization's environmentally-friendly materials and sustainability initiatives. The Green Alliance will be one of the many vendors who will be at this year's Solarfest. By promoting the good word of sustainability to the public through music and art, this event is sure to brighten anyone's day.

Solarfest will be held on April 26 from 11 a.m. to sundown at the University of New Hampshire's Boulder Field along Main Street. Questions about the event can be directed to UNHSolarfest@gmail.com.