Over the weekend in Avon, Ohio, some 60,000 people from as far away as Hawaii and England gathered to look at a seven-foot-high, seven-foot-wide, 350-pound sculpture of a cheeseburger made of duct tape. Or the 25-foot tall Empire State Building made of 600 pounds of duct tape. Or a duct tape sculpture of an eight-and-a-half-foot eagle with a 12-foot wingspan.
This was the annual Avon Heritage Festival, which came into existence in 2004, when residents wanted to resurrect the town's dormant Festival of Flowers and hit up ShurTech Brands for help. The company, well aware of its integral role in the city's business community, offered to help and also suggested a tweak. How about, instead of flowers, the festival celebrate the undeniable majesty of its signature product, Duck brand duct tape? And so, the Annual Avon Heritage Duck—yes duck—Tape Festival was born. In this year, the event's 13th, the theme was Americana.
There's a bit more to it than Duck brand duct tape. There is festival food, of course. And rides. And family-friendly games. Hell, this year legendary rocker and former guitarist of the Runaways, Lita Ford, closed the thing out with a live set. But Duck Tape and all the magically creative things you can do with its 250 colors, designs, and licenses is really the draw here. Other Duck Tape–related events included a duct fashion show, classes, and workshops on how to use duct tape more creatively, and a duct tape parade that featured a truly impressive float that took 86 hours and 1,038 rolls of duct tape to complete.
This year's festival, "went off without a hitch," Marty Noga, president of Avon Heritage Duck Tape Festival Committee, told VICE. "The weather was gorgeous, the parade floats were creative as ever, and fashion show participants dazzled the runway head to toe in Duck Tape."
Naturally, we wanted to see what all that looked like, so VICE sent out photographer Caroline Tompkins to take a closer look at what the 13th Annual Avon Heritage Duck Tape Festival had to offer. We weren't disappointed.