‘What a load of Craft’ to scale back, relaunch as a smaller event this spring

What a Load of Craft
What a Load of Craft draws big crowds to the Johnson County Fairgrounds. — photo by Adrianne Behning

What a Load of Craft (WALOC) came onto the scene as Iowa City’s first indie craft fair 10 years ago. In the years since, it has grown from a small event at Gabe’s to a mega-fair taking up a massive hall at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.

Sadly, on Aug. 16, WALOC officials announced their plans to discontinue the event in its current form.

“After much careful consideration we have decided to discontinue WALOC in its current incarnation. We have had a blast seeing it grow exponentially over the years, but we are ready to get back to our roots with a smaller event, craft death match and live music,” wrote WALOC officials in an email to supporters.

One of the event organizers, Grace Locke Ward, said WALOC will be partnering with Mission Creek for their next event, though details are still in flux. This is big news indeed, given Mission Creek’s stature as another Iowa City art scene powerhouse. WALOC 11 will be held in a smaller venue downtown in the Spring of 2015, Locke Ward says.

What a Load of Craft
WALOC will re-launch in spring 2015 in collaboration with Mission Creak. — photo by Adrianne Behning

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been a vendor at WALOC, a devoted shopper and a quasi-official photographer for the last few years. Additionally, Little Village has proudly been a WALOC sponsor since its inception.

If you’re interested in seeing scenes from past WALOCs, check out their flickr stream here, and stay tuned for more details on the WALOC/Mission Creek collaboration.

Watch William Elliott Whitmore perform at WALOC 2010


  1. Well this is a total bummer. I was really enjoying its growth and loved getting presents there. I don’t want a scaled back version.

  2. Huh. This is puzzling. WALOC gets successful and they scale it back? I thought the idea was to sell crafts and encourage more creativity. Maybe its customers weren’t indie enough and they want to only sell to broke hipsters?

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