FERGUS – St. Andrew Street between Tower Street South and St. David Street will be closed for a spuntastic day of the Fergus Fiber Festival later this month.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 28, the Fergus Fiber Festival will feature approximately 32 vendors selling crocheted and knitted items, along with three food trucks and four exhibitors demonstrating how fiber is spun and other displays.
“I love fiber festivals. I can’t attend at the moment because I have my yarn store to run. So, I wanted to bring the festival to me and I wanted to be able to contribute something to economic success and tourism in Fergus, ”said Miranda Holmes, co-founder of the Fergus Fiber Festival and owner of the yarn shop String Theory, in a interview.
“Making things out of any type of yarn is called slow fashion and as you know fast fashion is very harmful to our environment. Slow fashion is not just when you get a very high quality garment, no matter what it is made of, whether it is acrylic, cotton or wool, but it is something that will last for a long time, so this fiber festival will bring the industry wool to more people who will attract slow fashion.
Holmes has been crocheting and knitting since she was a teenager and in October 2020 opened her yarn shop to continue pursuing her passion for crafting.
“When it comes to opening a store, I think you have to follow your passion, but you also have to do it smartly and make sure you’ve done all the planning; you have your business plan and all of that together,” Holmes said.
Despite the closures and restrictions, Holmes noted that the Fergus community has been very supportive of her business and helped keep it afloat.
Out of her love of wool and her desire to give back to the Fergus community, Holmes thought of hosting a fiber festival in her hometown.
In late January 2022, when the Ontario government officially opened many businesses and allowed public gatherings, she and her festival co-founder, Andrea Leasing, began getting her permits.
“The first thing I did was approach the Wellington Center board and the BIA and explain to them what I wanted to do,” Holmes said.
“If they seem interested or excited, that’s good news, which they were. I have obtained the proper permits I need, such as the road closure permit and community vendor permit, along with the acknowledgment letter from the Ontario Provincial Police and the health unit.
Holmes hopes the festival can generate more revenue and drive economic growth for Center Wellington, especially after all the COVID-related lockdowns and restrictions.
“There are finished objects and interesting things to see, plus it’s free entry. Residents can just come in and enjoy the day and buy lots of yarn products,” she said.
“I just hope we get as many people as possible to come out and have fun and that this festival feels good and brings the excitement back into the air again.”
Angelica Babiera, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com