Strange Folk Festival: Anything but your average arts and crafts fest

September 25, 2013 

What's so strange about O'Fallon's Strange Folk Festival?

Well, it's anything but your average arts and crafts festival. The eighth annual version, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in O'Fallon's Community Park, is the Midwest's largest outdoor indie arts and crafts show with more than 150 vendors. Visitors can see and purchase handmade dolls; vintage-inspired graphic print clothes for women; silver origami jewelry; bent spoon art; paintings; whimsical purses and much more.

Strange Folk has gained a reputation for its spunky counter-culture theme, and eclectic variety of vendors selling their handmade wares affordable prices. To see a preview of the vendors' work, go to strangefolkfestival.com.

The festival also offers seven bands featuring indie rock, pop and folk music; craft demonstrations, a whimsical children's play area and a variety of concessions, including beer, wine, gyros, barbecue, kettle corn, coffee and tea, desserts.

New this year is the Running with Scissors 5K at 8 a.m. Sunday. It starts at the Caty Cavins Center, 308 E. 5th St., heads to Rock Springs Park and back to the center. Registration is $30. Registration and race details at strangefolkfestival.com

Proceeds will jointly benefit PerennialSTL.org and the Strange Folk Festival. Trophies, medals and other race swag will be locally handmade and upcycled!

Music lineup

Saturday

10 a.m. Stephen Koritta

noon The Bloolights

2 p.m. Albie Powers

4 p.m. Ah, Alchemy

Sunday

noon Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship

2 p.m. Letter to Memphis

4 p.m. Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo

There will also be an eclectic playlist of pop, folk, dance and rock music interspersed with the live banks all weekend. There will be a dance floor too, in case you get the urge to move to the music.

Do It Yourself Activities

Washi Wonderland: See everyday objects that have been transformed by using Japanese washi tape and baker's twine. Create your own project from more than 3,000 patterns for fees ranging from $1 to $5.

The Hunt for Craft October: Kids will be issued a bindle (stick and handkerchief) and a map to embark on a quest to collect the supplies from locations around the festival that will be needed to complete a special craft project. Once all the supplies are collected, they bring them back to the tent for fabrication and assembly.

Fort Featherbottom: Festival organizers have built things to play on and in, photo booths and many other surprises. It's guaranteed to be a fun and magical place for kids.

Participating groups

* The O'Fallon Garden club will host a plant sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, featuring perennials, hers, chrysanthemums, pansies and more for sale. Proceeds benefit community projects.

* Perennial will be showing upcycled furniture and housewares.

* Spencer Pet Rescue will offer adoptable pets.

* The Artisan Guild of Southern Illinois will do demonstrations.

* The O'Fallon Public Library will be back on the pavilion stage with The Writer's Block: a local authors meet-and-greet.

* The Upcycle Exchange will be accepting drop-offs of craft supplies off the festival grounds. You can drive your donations right uup to a box trick on the Caty Cavins parking log.

At a glance

What: 8th annual Strange Folk Festival with 150 vendors selling handmade, upcycled and vintage wares.

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: O'Fallon Community Park, 401 E. 5th St.

Cost: Free admission and parking

For information and a peek at the vendors' work: strangefolkfestival.com

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