Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Green Festival-Washington D.C.

Our timing was perfect to attend the Washington D.C. Green Festival. One of five festivals, they are held in San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, and D.C. We took a train into D.C., (an experience in itself and only $4.70 round trip!) and arrived at the train station strategically located just beneath the Convention Center right on time. Our friend Summer from Envirotextiles and Vice-President of the Hemp Industry Association (HIA) was going to be there and the HIA had a new Hemp Pavilion inside the show. Summer also let me know that she would be doing a “Hemp Fashion Show”, but that in no way influenced my decision to attend!

The new Hemp Pavilion occupied a large section of the floor and was a showcase for a wide variety of hemp products including clothing, food, soaps, cosmetics, pet products, and building materials. It was very well done and throughout the day speakers and vendors from the HIA gave short presentations to the crowd. On the whole, the presentations were entertaining and well done and Adam from Capitol Hemp in D.C. kept the crowd laughing while he educated us on the benefits of Industrial Hemp. All in all, I thought that the Hemp Pavilion was the highlight of the show, and quite frankly was a bit underwhelmed by the rest of the displays. It sort of had your typical Home Show feel with a little dash of green.

The show was fairly busy from the start and the crowds continued to grow throughout the day. I ran into Ed Begley Jr. whose television show “Living With Ed” (click here to visit)I had appeared on a while back. Ed was very gracious and thanked me for helping his wife Rachelle with the project she was working on. We also got a chance to rub elbows with Ralph Nader when he paid a visit to the Hemp Pavilion. We only had the day in Washington, so we had to work the floor fairly quickly. Other than a pretty cool solar oven, a self-contained bio-diesel distillery, and some innovative vehicles, nothing really struck me as setting the world on fire.

The fashion show was a blast however. Summer had rounded up a ragtag group of volunteers, and without exception they put their heart and soul into the show. Summer narrated while the wanna-be models hammed it up and paraded around the stage in the latest in hemp fashions.

We soon jumped back on the train and headed back to Maryland to prepare for our next adventure.

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