About the Blue Flame Lodge
Two years ago, the House was remodeled and turned into the Lodge! It has a warm Northwoods décor and invites fairgoers to come inside and see the latest and greatest in natural gas technology. Everyone loves visiting the Lodge!
Some of the products that have been showcased are fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, ranges, grills, lights, generators, natural gas vehicles, in-floor heating, designer kitchens, space and garage heaters and mechanical ventilation systems, as well as energy code displays to help show applications and products to use to help Minnesota's new residential energy codes.
Products are not the only things featured at the Blue Flame Lodge, however. Educational materials address everything from the environment to safety issues. Fact sheets that address various natural gas products and energy saving tips, ice dams, insulating, etc. are just a few. All these fact sheets can be referenced and printed from this website. (See the Residential Committee tab in the menu.)
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Blue Flame House at the Minnesota State Fair. Since 1968, the Blue Flame has displayed thousands of pieces of natural gas equipment and disseminated information to hundreds of thousands of fairgoers. It also has won several awards from the State Fair Board for Best Exhibit. Over the years, exhibitors at the Blue Flame House have showcased the latest natural gas technologies, including fireplaces; furnaces; water heaters; ranges; grills; lights; generators; natural gas vehicles; in-floor heating; designer kitchens; a hot tub; and patio, space and garage heaters, as well as antique gas appliances and a natural gas water heater/drinking fountain.
Products aren't the only things featured at the Blue Flame House, however. Educational materials address everything from the environment to safety issues.
The Blue Flame House has evolved and changed during the past three decades to reflect the energy needs and issues facing area residents. During the early years, it was a model house. In the 1970s, in response to the energy crisis, it emphasized conservation, while the next decade saw the focus turn to education, to telling the public about the advantages of natural gas appliances and high-tech equipment. In 1989, compressed natural gas was used for the first time to fuel the State Fair's eight people-mover trains, transporting an estimated 70,000 people during the 12-day fair.
The Blue Flame House itself also has undergone changes over the last three decades. In 1987, it got new signage and landscaping, and its heating and air-conditioning system was converted from propane to natural gas. In 1989, the grill and patio area was enlarged, followed four years later by an exterior facelift and in 1994 and 1995 by interior improvements that included new wall coverings, ceiling tiles, carpeting and signage, as well as improved lighting. The exterior sign also was updated to incorporate the Blue Flame's new logo
In recent years, the Blue Flame House has gone high-tech, using interactive videos as educational tools and drawing some 100,000 visitors annually. Visitor surveys have indicated that many fairgoers return year after year to see what's new in natural gas.
Dave Poretti, left, co-chair of the Blue Flame State Fair Project Team, relaxes for a few minutes with an unidentified fireplace representative, who is roasting a marshmallow over the flame of a natural gas Patio CampFyre on the deck at the Blue Flame's State Fair Exhibit. This year's exhibit was a tremendous success and was featured on two local televised newscasts. The exhibit showcased a broad variety of new natural gas technologies and equipment and drew impressive crowds.
3rd Quarter 1999
Energy Code Training Planned: Residential Report Residential Committee members were busy this summer developing a media campaign that focused on the new look of the Blue Flame State Fair House. We put together a media kit that was distributed to five TV stations and several targeted radio stations. The kit contained a fact sheet, a new codes information sheet, a natural gas versus electric sheet, a news release describing the changes made at the Blue Flame House, and a copy of the video, Home Safe Home.
This year, the Blue Flame House used videos and guest speakers to focus on the new building code, which is slated to take effect next spring. State Fair Team members oversaw some much needed maintenance of the building, which included a new exterior stain and a new patio area for grilling demonstrations. The Blue Flame House also was the site of some exciting displays of new and unique fireplaces and furnaces.
Residential Committee members are now planning a 1999 code change training session to be conducted at the Blue Flame House, so we can make use of the new displays there. All Blue Flame members will be invited to take advantage of this training, which will use a "train the trainer" format. We will focus on giving each participant the skills, knowledge, and materials necessary to share code change information with builders, contractors, and trade allies.
We also have begun to plan for 2000 and are very excited about the opportunities and challenges that the new Energy Code will bring.
Copyright 2003, Minnesota Blue Flame Gas Association
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