The Duct Tape Festival started eight years ago, when a group of Avon citizens wanted to bring back a citywide festival. When they started to look for sponsors around the community, they visited with ShurTech Brands, the marketer of Duck Tape brand duct tape who’s located in Avon (you can see the duck sign when driving on 90-W).
Instead of just having a city festival, what sprang from this meeting was the decision to embrace Avon’s reputation as the “Duct Tape Capital” of the world and hold a festival dedicated to that marvelous sticky stuff that keeps crafts, cars and, well, pretty much everything together .
When we headed over on Sunday morning, we got there early to enjoy music from the Smoking Fez Monkeys, a modern jug band that plays a wacky mix of self-described “ragtime-cartoon-Vaudeville-circus-hobo-gypsy-jazz.” The two sets we listened to featured great smoky vocals, hilarious original songs mingled with classics and an assortment of instruments including bass, fiddle, banjo, jug and my favorite — the Jinglestick (a percussionist’s dream come true with drums, bells, blocks and a washboard). This was definitely a highlight of our visit and I’m looking forward to seeing them again.
When we weren’t listening to music, Scott and I walked around taking in all of the duct tape crafts, giveaways and sculptures. To complement ShurTech’s line of College Duck Tape, a lot of the sculptures from the parade and throughout the park were sports-themed.
Highlights were the putting green and golf clubs, as well as a wedding dress and tuxedo on one of the parade floats — all made entirely out of duct tape. I’ve seen pictures of prom and wedding dresses made out of duct tape before (in fact, you can check out a few at Duck Tape’s Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest site); however, seeing this dress and its floral detailing in person blew me away.
There were games as well, including a football toss with balls constructed from various college teams’ themed tape. Between the prizes of free duct tape rolls, keychains and kozies, I got my share of Duck Tape swag that day.
The only thing you can’t do with duct tape, though, is eat it (however, now that I’ve said that, someone needs to get to work on an edible duct tape). So, having worked up an appetite walking around, we enjoyed some classic carnival fare.
Although you can never go wrong with mini corn dogs, I’ve found my new go-to festival food: WaffleMan. Ice cream sandwiched between two pieces of hot waffle, it was simple but delicious. Scott stuck with the classic and although his was much easier to eat, I went with the works – ice cream coated in chocolate, nuts and rainbow sprinkles and powdered sugar on the waffle. I’m pretty sure that when they handed me the plate my head exploded a bit just looking at the sugar rollercoaster I was about to enjoy.
However, what I think I liked most about the festival (besides the fact that it was free) is that it’s a small, independent committee that organizes it. Originally, I thought that ShurTech or the city of Avon put it on. Instead it’s a handful of volunteers who do it – embracing the DIY spirit of the duct tape that’s celebrated by the festival.
It was a fun way to spend Father’s Day and the first thing I did on the car ride home was call my dad and tell him all about it.
If you want to get involved with organizing next year’s festival, they’re always looking for volunteers and committee members. To learn more, visit the Festival’s Contact page.