AVON — It was 15 years ago when Avon leaders were looking to create a new festival that celebrated the community’s heritage. What they ended up with was the duct-tape themed Duck Tape Festival, which celebrates the Duck Brand headquartered in Avon.
“We went with Duck Tape Festival and it stuck with us, no pun intended,” Duck Tape Festival Committee President Marty Noga said. “It brings everybody in from Lorain County.
“It’s kind of the kickoff festival for the summer season. And we picked it for Father’s Day weekend because duct tape is dad’s favorite tool.”
Over the course of the three-day festival Thursday through Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park, organizers are expecting about 60,000 attendees with numerous events having become Duck Tape Festival traditions.
There’s the Duck Tape Parade. The fun kicks off 10 a.m. Saturday from Avon High School and will showcase unique duct tape floats created by community groups and local businesses. Then at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, there’s the annual Duck Tape Festival Fashion Show on the main stage.
Festival attractions include children’s games and exhibits, as well as a car show at 5 p.m. Thursday and movie night at 9:30 p.m. Thursday. There’s also live music galore.
The music schedule includes the Martin Family Circus (8 p.m. Thursday, main stage), Ray Flanagan (6 p.m. Friday, beer tent), Bronx Country (8 p.m. Friday, main stage), “The Rock Academy” from Ron Zehel Guitar Center of Avon Lake showcasing local talent (4 p.m. Saturday, main stage), Tyler Reid (6 p.m. Saturday, beer tent) and Bad JuJu (8 p.m. Saturday, main stage).
Noga said the festival organizers took a different approach to the 2018 live music schedule.
“What we’ve decided to do here is budget our dollars more on local entertainment this year just to give those musicians a chance,” Noga said. “We did bring in a national act Martin Family Circus out of Nashville on Thursday. They’ve got some roots in the country industry. Going forward, we’ll do whatever our budget dollars allow us. Next year, we may bring in something big.”
Invariably, when a festival is based on duct tape, the centerpiece is, well, all of the creative creations using the all-purpose adhesive tape.
“The outfits people make are amazing,” Noga said. “The Duck Tape Fashion Show on Saturday is where everybody can see the wacky uses of duct tape.”
Speaking of duct-tape fashion, Noga said he designed his own memorable garment a few years ago.
“We go to the Ohio Festival and Events Association Convention every year representing the Duck Tape Festival, so I made a vest,” Noga said. “I still have it to this day.”
As far as the impetus for hosting a festival literally held together by duct tape, Noga said it was a no-brainer.
“It’s the quirkiness of it, I think,” Noga said. “It just piques people’s curiosity. I just read an email last week there’s a family driving in from Missouri just to go to the festival. We had a woman who used to take a train from Washington state to just go to the festival.
“People use duct tape for everything. They always say, if you have duct tape and WD-40, you’re all set.”
Any chance Avon will think about adding a season-ending WD-40 festival?
“Hey, that might work,” Noga said with a laugh.