Countdown to What a Load of Craft 8

While I am in denial that the holidays are already approaching, I am delighted to bring you a sneak peek of what you should immediately put at the top of your holiday shopping list.

It’s almost time for the 8th – and destined to be the best – What a Load of Craft fair. For those who have attended this awesome annual event, I know I will see you again this year. For those who have not been, keep reading.

Craft fairs, as I remember them growing up, were boring, funny-smelling time-eaters that rarely resulted in a bag of exciting Christmas presents. They were filled with rows and rows of floral-patterned potpourri sachets, Afghan blankets and ceramic angels. WALOC has forever altered my view of how amazing a craft fair can be.

What a Load of Craft, Iowa’s premier punk rock craft fair, will be featuring a giant building full of the best local and regional crafters, artists and all-around breathtakingly talented people. I hear there are over 40 vendors this year. Forget the mall and internet shopping. Building C of the Johnson County Fair Grounds will become a winter wonderland of interesting, well-made, smile-inducing gifts. The fair runs all day, from 11am to 6pm, just south of Iowa City, near the airport. There’s plenty of parking, and you won’t have to circle the lot a hundred times like people do at Coral Ridge. The folks of WALOC are making it SO EASY for you to thrill those receiving gifts from you this year.

If that weren’t incentive enough, there’s so much more. While you are shopping, you will also be able to enjoy free live music. Past performers have included (in no particular order) the Awful Purdies, Lipstick Homicide, Pennyhawk, Leslie and the Lys, and William Elliott Whitmore. This year performances will include Pennyhawk and Skye Carrasco (and Super Sonic Piss – but keep reading for that). I guarantee it will be lovely, for sure beating the loop of instrumental Christmas songs that zombify department store shoppers. The Old Capitol City Roller Girls will be there as well – just to keep you on your toes!

You can stay all day without being famished because there will be food from Iowa City’s mouth-watering Red Avocado and the best coffee in town from Wake Up Iowa City. And you’re going to need the energy because the Craft Death Matches are no small feat. Sign up to compete in some crazy, awesome DIY competitions for some stellar prizes. Personally, I can now call myself proficient in the art of human gift wrapping and speed stuffed animal frankensteining. (frankensteining: verb. To chop up a mountain of stuffed animals and sew them back together into outrageous creatures). This year, there is going to be one epic multi-task event and I am dying to see how people do with the crazy DIY feats!! The prizes are fantastic. Come battle me and others for the chance to win, among other things, a huge gift certificate to Nemesis tattoo. (Matt Cooper is a tattooing rock star!)

This is a family friendly event and to prove it, the WALOC crew is going to top it all off with kids’ Gingerbread Land and a visit from Santa midday.

The best thing you can do in times like these is to keep your money in your own community by supporting local artists, crafters and businesses. This community is amazing and thank you for all your past and future support.

I would like to personally thank each person who steps foot into every WALOC event, including shoppers, musicians, vendors, organizers and supporters/sponsors. In the days leading up to the fair, I will be putting a spotlight on some of the vendors you can expect to see at What a Load of Craft 8. Come back to the blog as we ice skate closer to this celebration of our artistic family and don’t forget to come say hello to me.

Happy Holidays, everybody!

For a full roster of events and times, visit the WALOC facebook page here.