Solar Fest 2011 was held at Maverick Park off Broadway, which includes a morning fun run, live music, kids' activities and dozens of solar exhibitors. More than 90 different exhibits about solar energy were on display.

Solar Fest is a real party complete with food, music, dunking booths and even hamster balls and climbing walls.. There are five bands played on a solar-powered stage, while visitors toured the 90 booths that fill Maverick Parknear downtown, peddling all manner of solar-powered or green technology. Kids played in giant hamster balls and adults lined up for free tree seedlings. The food booths cooked over open fires.

Two giant see through plastic balls delighted the children who transported themselves from the center of Maverick Park to the northwest corner across the grass and spun their way back.

While the children were entertained by Sparky the Fire Dog and various mascots, parents were getting serious about opportunities to reduce the high cost of energy.

To make it even greener, smart-phone users could scan a bar code, printed on posters at the entrances, to download a site map to their device, thus reducing the need and expense of printing paper maps.

The 100 percent renewably powered event also kicks off the second phase of Solar San Antonio's Bring Solar Home campaign, which connects residents with installers and lenders who offer low-interest solar loans.