Sustainival: The Green Carnival

by | Jun 7, 2018 | Arts & Life, Uncategorized

Sustainival is back in Edmonton for it’s second year! The carnival – powered by entirely sustainable energy, uses biodiesel made from waste vegetable oil as it’s primary energy source, with solar and wind energy also powering some of the rides. Most of the vegetable oil this year has come from McDonald’s and Smitty’s – so if you’ve eaten there recently chances are you’ve helped contribute to Sustainival’s biodiesel!


Top 10 Attractions

  1. Green Beast Eco Challenge

The Green Beast Eco Challenge is a fun way to get people involved and interested in learning about sustainable energy. Sustainival co-founder Joey Hundert describes it as “a giant game of crossword”. The clues are hidden all around the festival, on the rides and in the midway games. Each clue has a question or fact about sustainable energy or the environment, getting people involved with learning about sustainable resources. The prizes are also a fun motivation to participate.

  1. Bumper Cars

The Sustainival Bumper Cars not only are powered by sustainable energy, but their lights have also been converted from incandescent bulbs to LEDs, which use a fifth of the power their incandescent predecessors did.

  1. Water Balls

The Water Balls attraction entails a giant plastic bubble, with a zipper that allows you to climb in and attempt to stand and walk across a pool – which is harder than it sounds. Multiple falls will ensue.

  1. Yoyo!

The Yoyo! ride is everything you’d expect from a carnival swing ride, but feels safer. It swings just as fast, if not faster, but there’s an extra seatbelt across the chest, which makes you feel so much more secure.

  1. World’s Fastest Ferris Wheel

It’s a Ferris Wheel, but really fast and goes backwards and forwards – and honestly is a little bit scary.

  1. Shark Pool Carnival Game

The Shark Pool Carnival Game is a fishing game where you have to catch up to seven shark toys from a pool for prizes. The best part about this game is EVERYBODY wins – even if you don’t have a fishing license.

  1. Himalaya

The Himalaya is a ride that brings you even closer to your friends. The carts run in a track set to loud, pumping music, and whirls you around a circle, sliding your friends into your lap – on repeat.

  1. Zipper

Disclaimer: We chickened out and did not try this ride. However, it IS one of the main attractions at Sustainival, with metal chambers that tip in every direction while on essentially a Ferris Wheel track.

  1. Super Shot (drop tower)

Disclaimer 2: We also chickened out of this one. Don’t judge us – it looks scary! The Super Shot is a drop tower that lifts you up into the sky, then falls right down to the ground. The neat thing about the Sustainival Super Shot is the fact that it is impossible to fall in the event of a system failure. The ride is powered by electro-magnets, so in event of a failure, rather than plummeting to the ground, the seats will actually be pulled back up to the top. The energy is used to propel the dropping motion, not the raising.

  1. Ceremonial Tree

The Ceremonial Tree is a White Spruce that is planted in the field across from the carnival by Tree Canada. Although tiny right now, the tree will eventually grow up to 90 feet tall. The tree will represent Sustainival for years to come.


Sustainival was founded in Edmonton in 2011, and has since travelled to Arkansas and back. The carnival has also found a stay in Fort McMurray over the past seven years – opening a dialogue about sustainable resources in a non-political way. Event Coordinator Odette Hutchings believes that Sustainival is “all the fun of a regular carnival, powered on green energy.”


The carnival is here, at the Edmonton Expo Centre, for the weekend – hours Friday are 1 p.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.


From right to left: TreeCanada Community Advisor Sheila Flint, Sustainival Event Coordinator Odette Hutchings, Edmonton Downtown MLA David Shepherd, Sustainival Co-founder Joey Hundert with the Ceremonial White Spruce Tree.

The biodiesel powering Sustainival.
The Yoyo! Swing Tower in action.

The Yoyo! Swing Tower in action.

The Shark Pool Midway game.

Photos courtesy of Emily Keller and Nikita Eleniak

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