It is not often that Lilah comes to us and asks us for something. A few months ago she told Greg and I about the Duck Tape Festival in Avon, Ohio that is held in June. Ohio is an 8-10 hour trip from Connecticut and as much as I would have loved to say yes, I did not see how we could do this in one weekend, even a long weekend. The idea was placed aside, but not forgotten.
Vacation planning was difficult this year because we had to work around important meetings that Greg needed to be present for and these meetings were off, then on, then off. Dates flipped and flopped and finally were determined. I don’t know if I will ever forget the phone call at work when Greg told me we should attend the festival on our way south to visit his parents in Tennessee. It would give Lilah the thrill of a lifetime and give us the opportunity to drive through Kentucky, a state we have not visited as well as the opportunity to stop in Nashville, a must see city for music lovers and the chance to visit with Karen and Keilee @ Homeschool Girls in Decatur, Alabama!
Shur Tech Brands totally impressed me when they sent a personal reply to Lilah’s letter. I had no expectations for this festival and I was amazed by what a great family friendly event they put on. We arrived Friday evening and were struck that the parking was free, and admittance to the festival was free. Although this was a celebration of Duct Tape Brands, they were not pushing their product at over inflated prices, nor were they selling loads of product with the Duct Tape Brand. There was one tent of duck tape that had a small variety of tee shirts which at $15 were reasonably priced. The fair was made up of vendors selling their craft items, crafting venders like Fiskars, community vendors like pet rescues, home improvement companies and the random seller of odds and ends. Duck Tape payed homage to the kids who designed and created their own prom tuxedos and gowns, the designer from Project Runway who sewed a duck tape dress for a Disney Red Carpet event and the dozen or so sculptures lining the fair created by art school students. Even the band was kid friendly. When we walked in I noticed immediately that the band was good....really good. Walking from behind the stage to the front, I was shocked when I discovered how young they were. I guessed they were 16 to 17 and almost fell over when they introduced themselves and most of them attended middle school! This is talent. This is drive and determination. This is celebrating kids. Way to go Duck Brands!
Lilah has been passionate about duct taping for over a year now. She created a duck tape family to represent us, she has sold duck tape bows, headbands, book marks, wallets and bags. She collects rolls and has been known to send her Aunts out searching the isles of Walmart in search of the elusive, exclusive pink pastel. She began creating her outfit for the Guinness World Book of Records attempt for the Largest Duck Tape Fashion Show. To qualify each entrant must have one piece of clothing made entirely from duct tape and one accessory. We took these rules literally. She and Grace did not use any material other than Duck Tape. No sequins, no velcro no fabric lining. Their outfits were 100% child made. They were proud of what they would be wearing: a pleated skirt and flower head band for Lilah and a pair of shorts, bracelet and braided headband for Grace. Other participants did not follow the rules literally and had lining, or simply taped over a tee shirt or pair of shorts. This frustrated Lilah who felt she could have done more if that rule was open to interpretation, but I told her that this is not a competition and she should feel proud of her efforts and the results.
Since there was no world record on the books, Guinness World Records set a minimum participation of 250 people.
Even with disqualifications for some who just slapped a few pieces of duct tape onto their jeans, they easily qualified with close to 350 participants! This was a scary thing to do. The girls had to walk the “runway” in front of thousands of people at the fair while the Guinness Representative clicked his counter tabulating the number of participants. The girls proudly wore their medals and look forward to getting the next edition of the Guinness Word Book of Records knowing that they will be a part of it. This was a very special moment for them, one they will always remember.