(By Claire Black Slotton and Nick Buxton) Let’s see, would you rather go downtown with friends or stay home to save money to pay your water and electricity bill? Spend large sums on gas and get snarled in traffic or keep fit and live strong?

The answers are easy. Money in your pocket can mean more time with family and friends; a few simple steps can make your home much cheaper to run; and getting on a bike, walking or taking a bus can save you money and make you buff.

Whether you do it for your pocketbook, for comfort and fitness, or because you want to do your part to address climate change, the Cool Davis Festival on Saturday holds the answers to all these challenges.

Taking place alongside the Davis Farmers Market in Central Park, Fourth and C streets, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the festival is a great place to learn, to be entertained and to play. And best of all, it’s free thanks to community sponsors including the city of Davis, Repower Yolo and many others.

Visitors can get there for free, too, as Unitrans is offering free bus travel all day.

Check it out
What: Cool Davis Festival

When: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Central Park, Fourth and C streets


* 8:30 a.m.: Yoga with Karen Klussendorf
* 9:40 a.m.: Music by Laura Sandage, followed by poetry by Eve West Bessier
* 10 a.m.: City Council members race bikes on Third Street
* 10:30 a.m.: Win a free gift when you fill out a Cool Homes survey
* 11 a.m.: Kids’ yoga class and a chance to participate in a collaborative natural art mural
* 11:30 a.m.: Look inside the latest Teslas and Volts in the Electric Vehicle Zone
* Noon: Talk to local solar companies in the Vendors Zone, find out how to get involved in climate campaigning, or learn how to save water and garden organically


The Cool Solutions Tent is at the heart of the festival. Hosting local experts who walk the walk, it is the best place to get advice on a whole range of questions related to energy savings and improving quality of life.

Questions such as: Should I replace my water heater with an on-demand system? Should I replace single-pane windows if I have no insulation in the walls? What type of air-conditioning unit makes the most sense for my home? Are electric vehicles a practical solution?

What can be done to save trees during the drought? How do I compost and what ways can I save water? What kind of food and cooking is best for me, my family and the environment?

With your head no doubt spinning with new-found facts, you might now want to check out the music and entertainment. On the main stage, there will be a chance to hear local musicians such as Laura Sandage, poet Eve West Bessier and the local dance group Fiesta Davis Dance and Fitness.

Families can check out the kids’ zone led by Cara Patton, which will feature animal play, a kids’ yoga class and a collaborative art mural on a fall theme inspired by the British artist Andy Goldsworthy.

On Third Street, which will be closed to traffic, the fun continues with Peter Wagner’s Whymcycles, amazing bike contraptions that are sure to put a smile on your face.

Budding gardeners or anyone wanting to keep their water bills low will find great advice and products in the Water and Gardening Zone, while car fans will be able to check out the Electric Vehicle Show-and-Tell. This year, there’s a ride-and-drive component. Cars on site will include the Ford C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi, the brand-new Kia Soul EV and 10 other cool electric vehicle models.

And here’s a special treat for the kid in all of us: Come and sit in the UC Davis Formula Racing Team electric race car. Each year, the team engages in an international competition against other universities. Last year, UCD earned third place, making it the No. 1 team in the United States.

Throughout the festival, there will be a chance to see the best of local green businesses providing services from solar water heaters to electric bikes. The Repower Yolo community program will be on site to answer questions about solar and to qualify you for the group purchase discount.

Greiner Heating & Air will work with you on planning how to save money and make your home more comfortable while upgrading your heating, ventilation and air-conditioning units or air-sealing your home. Talbott Solar & Radiant will showcase its new radiant and thin-film CIGS solar panels. ZipCar is ready to talk with local residents about where in the community they would like the next cars to be located.

“Many of us want to ‘green’ our lives but don’t always know where to start,” says Chris Granger, executive director of Cool Davis. “The festival is a great place to learn how to make small and big steps that can save money, improve quality of life and make a difference for our planet.”

The full program for the festival is available at www.cooldavis.org/festival2014program.