It’s a first for the Fringe Festival and for the world – a carnival that runs completely off vegetable oil.
It’s a Sustainable Carnival, or Sustainival, which consists of 11 rides including a Ferris Wheel, Tilt-a-Whirl, Gravitron and those fun spinning strawberries.
The Sustainival is brand new, and Carnival Creator Joey Hundert tells you what you will experience over the next eleven days.
“People can expect to have a blast and save the world at the same time,” says Hundert. “Riding rides that run on vegetable oil and engaging a type of amusement that is green, and wonderful, and good for the Earth. As well, just come down and expect to have a blast. Come down and just have the best time ever!”
“We’ve got 11 classic rides, all running on vegetable oil,” Hundert explains. “We’ve got thrillers like the Gravitron and the Tornado. Family favourites like the Tilt-a-Whirl, and of course, the Ferris Wheel which is sticking right out onto 103 Street, for everybody to see. The Ferris Wheel gives [a full view] of the entire Fringe Festival grounds, we’ve got kiddie rides, and big ones and small ones – something for everything.”
It takes 100 kilowatts of power to run the Gravitron, and 35 people can ride it at a time. At Sustainival, there are two veggie-powered generators on site providing all the power. The amount of power coming out of the generators can power anywhere from 40 to 60 homes, and after testing over the winter, Hundert says they even can run in -38 degree weather.
And in case you were wondering – although it runs on oil, there won’t be a scent of mini donuts or french fries while you ride the tilt a whirl. The smell of vegetable oil is so subtle that during the fringe, you probably won’t notice it at all.
“We also have four carnival games. All of our games have eco-conscious prizes either made from sustainable or recycled goods, or they’ll let people have a great time outdoors and appreciate nature.”
The prizes include sports sticks, products made from recycled pop bottles, sustainable shirts, and even a grand prize of an eco-watch, which is made out of old floor or furniture.
There will also be a pavilion run by Live Local to help connect visitors to a sustainable venture already working in the city. As well, a veggie-powered DJ lounge will have 45 local DJ’s spinning over the course of the Fringe.
The Edmontonian Carnival Creator is looking to make the event bigger and better. He hopes the event can grow bigger and bigger until it becomes it’s own independant festival. Although Hundert does want to work with Capital Ex to run the whole festival on canola oil, and his dream is for it to become a global attraction for sustainability.
He’s also in talks to bring a larger version to the U.S. to run state fairs.
“In fact, we’ve already been to Little Rock, Arkansas, and played an event for a quarter [of a] million people. And that’s before we came here,” Hundert explains. “So our first event was for 10,000 people in Edmonton, our second event was for a quarter of a million people in Arkansas, and this is a half million people over ten days. We’re already at that state fair level. We would have to fill out the number of attractions, but that is scalable. We have partners who are ready to execute on those opportunities. So we’re negotiating with a state fair that has 70 rides, 120 games, and 70 food booths, and we’ve offered to run it on soy beans, the whole thing.”
As long as they have their sustainable generators, they can hook up their vegetable-based power to anything. So instead of bringing their rides to Arkansas or other places, Hundert says they will partner up with other amusement shows to bring the Sustainival to life.
“There’s nothing sustainable about dragging 60,000 lbs down the highway,” laughs Hundert.
Sustainival will be running during the entire Fringe Festival. The DJ Lounge is free, but games and rides cost $3 – $5. Unlimited ride passes are also available.