We are really excited about the upcoming Tiny House & Green Living Freedom Fest taking place in New Paltz, NY June 30-July 2, 2017! The first tiny house festival in New York state, this event is going to be a blast! Andrew will be presenting throughout the weekend so you know it’s going to be good 😉 We have had the chance to become friends with Jake DiBari, the organizer behind the event, and wanted to share his story as well as more details about the event. We hope you’ll join us in NY in June!
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us Jake! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello Friends and Tiny Housers, my name is Jake DiBari, and I’m the organizer of the Tiny House & Green Living Freedom Fest, which is taking place this summer June in New Paltz, NY. I’m a community organizer, solar developer, and adventurer.
How did you come across the tiny house movement?
In the early 2000s, I worked for a company in Rome, NY that converts shipping containers into commercial kitchens, restroom facilities, and modular offices that are used by FEMA, the military, and special events like the Olympics and concert festivals. In 2012, my solar company began installing solar pv systems on enclosed trailers and tiny houses. I recently became friends with tiny house legend, Bill Rockhill (Bear Creek Tiny Homes), and we began going down the path of starting New York’s first tiny house gathering.
We generate most of our electricity from the sun here at hOMe. More and more people are wanting to be off-grid in their tiny homes too. What do you recommend for people just getting started?
Solar will continue to play a vital roll in delivering tiny electricity to tiny houses. However, there are a lot of considerations that need to be made when thinking about going solar on your tiny. Making space for large, heavy deep cell batteries are a must for any off-grid solar project. Not only do you need panels up on the roof, but you need space and access to your batteries. The best thing to do is contact a local certified solar installer with experience with off-grid systems, they are typically happy to help. Also, there is no shortage of youtube videos. At the end of the day, its all about the batteries.
Let’s talk about the Freedom Fest! What is your vision for the first ever New York tiny house event?
First and foremost, we want to have fun and we want to bring the tiny house movement to the masses. At the same time, we want to teach people about the practicality (and impracticality) about going tiny. That’s why we’re bringing speakers like Mandy Lea, Andrew, Bill Rockhill, and Deek, who really understand and can educate the public about the joys (and challenges) about living in a tiny.
Our festival is being held at the Ulster County Fairgrounds, which is an unbelievable venue for this kind of event. There are stages, pavilions, very nice restrooms, showers, camping area, and the Walkill River, so bring your kayak or paddle board! We will have one stage with a dozen speakers throughout Saturday and Sunday. Most speakers will give different talks on Saturday and Sunday, so we’re encouraging people to attend both days. We will have workshops, camping, a kids’ carnival, and other interactive attractions all weekend. Friday is a free preview with live music, fireworks, and food trucks. We’ll have a movie premiere and even tarot card readings in a tiny house!
Access from the venue to New Paltz and the interstate is very easy. There are hotels, bed and breakfasts, and the Mohonk Mountain House all very close by to the venue for those coming in from out of town.
Bring your tiny house if you live locally!
We are encouraging all tiny housers in the region to join us with their tiny houses for the festival. We know its no small task to move them, and right now, we’re offering some financial support to help get your tiny to the event. Anyone interested should contact TINYHOUSEFREEDOMFEST@GMAIL.COM for details. We’d love to hear from you!
What has the local community thought about it so far?
The excitement in the Hudson Valley has been nothing short of amazing! News stories have been incredibly popular and attendance should be amazing! Checkout our website www.TinyHouseFreedomFest.com to read lots more about the event. Mark your calendars…tickets go on sale April 1st!