The host of the Reading Pretzel Festival is bringing the first ever sustainability festival to the residents of Berks County with water bottles, bikes, fresh farm food, drinks and local musical performances.
The Berks Sustainability Festival will be held 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 19 at the Vanity Fair Outlets parking lot, Wyomissing. The event is BYOB - that’s Bring Your Own Bottle - to refill at the clean water stations as the focus on the day is to embrace daily eco-friendly habits; bottled water will not be sold at the event in efforts to promote a green lifestyle.
“The purpose of sustainability is to minimize the damage to our environment, and maximize the preservation and the healthy growth of our community,” Melissa May, promoter of the event, said.
The festival aims to excite the community into embracing products that support a sustainable lifestyle to improve the county and region.
Mark Ratcliffe, organizer of the event, is reacting to the fact that sustainability is not embraced enough in the United States.
“Sustainability is not discussed here,” Ratcliffe said about his drive for the festival in a recent interview with BerksMontNews.com. Since helping put together the pretzel fest, Ratcliffe concentrated his efforts to introduce the concept of reusing, recycling and reserving the world around us into a day long event. The California transplant saw a greater focus on eating organically, consuming locally grown food, recycling, electric vehicles and water conservation while living on the west coast.
“Recycling is a way of life out there,” he said. Ratcliffe would love to see a greater push towards composting and renewable energy here in Pennsylvania.
Ratcliffe compares the idea of focusing on sustainable energy and products to the invention of the computer.
After experiencing the uncertainty and evolution of the Internet and computer, Ratcliffe now asks, “30 years later, where would we be without computers?”
“Sustainability is the way of the future,” he said. “Farmers and country folk get sustainability more than city people. It’s the cities and urban areas that need to focus on sustainability.”
The festival will promote farm to table efforts with Dove Song Dairy, The Good Eatz Green Cafe, Say Cheese! Restaurant and West View Farm all present to offer their treats. Ratcliffe expects to see the younger, college-aged crowd at the event, and encourages neighborhood residents and the public to come out on foot or by bike. Between the green drinks tent for local beer, wine and Philadelphia Distilling offering their organic vodka, the “Green It Up” stage for the local musical artists, the safe bike-parking station manned by member of Berks Area Mountain Biking Association and the promotion of sustainable vehicles, homes, energies and fashions, there will be something for all ages. Students from Alvernia, Albright and Penn State will be present for discussions based on implementing these sustainable practices into our lives and society.
Berks Products is a sponsor of the event.