Avon duct tape sculpture

A construction worker duck was one of many sculptures made from duct tape at last year’s festival.

Duck Tape Festival is sure to be sticky and sweet

Duck Tape lollipops, candy coins and other colorful candies will fill Veterans Memorial Park June 13-15 for the 16th Annual Duck Tape Festival, which is sure to be the sweetest.

This year’s theme is “Sweet 16.” Among the expected creations are a larger-than-life birthday cake, gold candy coins and ducky pops (which resemble duck lollipops).

While about 10,000 visitors attended the first festival in 2003, the event has turned into a community tradition and about 60,000 are expected this year, said ShurTech Brands media coordinator Melanie Canning.

“Many families return and this becomes a summer destination for them,” Canning said. “Especially for families who have a teenager that might be a Duck Tape enthusiast.”

Sixteen years ago a group of Avon residents stressed the desire for a local festival unique to their community. Residents missed the flower festival the city once held.

Members of ShurTech Brands, which manufactures Duck Tape, proposed a Duck Tape festival since Avon is home to the Duck Tape world headquarters, Canning said.

“We thought this was an opportunity to make a festival stand out and be different from anything else out there,” Canning said.

The event has grown tremendously over the years, with people from across the nation and even other countries visiting.

About eight years ago, organizers decided that each year the festival should have a different theme. Some past themes were Under Construction, Circus Spectacular and Americana.

“It really lends to the creativity to artists putting together sculptures,” Canning said. “It allows the community to create floats to tie in with a theme. It’s fun and makes things more interesting.”

The event may seem typical and similar to other summer festivals with carnival food, amusement rides and live music. But Duck Tape sculptures and floats make it unique, Canning said.

Thousands of duct tape rolls are used during the three-day event. Several rolls are given to each visitor, not to mention the amount of tape used on the floats and sculptures. Each organization receives 60 rolls of tape to use on its float. But they are allowed to use as much of their own tape as they want. It’s a ton of tape, Canning said. Duck Tape is available in hundreds of colors designs and licenses. The parade is sure to be colorful.

“The city of Avon is all about family and doing things together,” Mayor Bryan Jensen said. “The Duck Tape Festival goes along with that tradition. This year will be a little sad though, as the founder of Duck Tape, Jack Kahl, passed away in December of 2018. But what a legacy he left!”

Families can look forward to many activities this year. Thursday night, June 13, is family night and all amusement ride wristbands will be free. Typically wristbands cost $20, but thanks to a donation from the Meijer that opened in Avon in May, families can ride for free.

Cedar Point employees will visit the next night to put on a silent disco where people dance to music they listen to on wireless headphones. For those without headphones, the area is silent and filled with people dancing without music. Cedar Point hosts silent discos on its beaches regularly.

The highly anticipated parade will be held Saturday, June 15. Local organizations will ride in the floats they have created from duct tape. The floats are created ahead of time. Canning expects to see large lollipops and other candy-related objects. Local organizations are always good at sticking to the theme, she said. Typically, there are about 20 floats. The day will include a fireworks display at dusk.

The three-day event will be at the park, 3701 Veterans Memorial Parkway, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. June 13 and 14 and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 15. The parade begins at 10 a.m.Admission is free. For more information, visit ducktapefestival.com

Contact this reporter at astewart@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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