Review of Neustadt’s Fibre Festival, July 13, 2013

Fibre Festival Review

Mikey’s Review of Neustadt’s 1st Annual Fibre Festival.

Neustadt Ontario hosted their first annual Fibre Festival on July 13th, 2013. Most of the town was involved with numerous locations hosting an exhibit or sponsoring the event to some level.

My review is based on attending several festivals. I’m also the Social Media Director of Creativ Festival which gives me an edge of knowing what consumers and guests like to see.

Fibre Festival

My arrival at Neustadt Ontario for the Fibre Festival.

I was nervous upon arrival as the Fibre Arts Festival had started an hour earlier and the town was still very quiet. I started to second guess if I was actually on the right day. There was very little signage to indicate the festival was going on. I was expecting the town to be decorated with ribbons but it appeared to be a regular day.

As a non-resident of Neustadt, I didn’t know where to park. I was concerned if I park in a parking lot belonging to a store that I would be tagged or towed. There was no signage to direct us. Though I had researched about this festival, I couldn’t find any information about parking. I decided to park at the Mill Antique Store. For next year, I hope they can include parking information with their marketing. It would greatly help out of town’ers visiting.

Nuestadt Ontario

Antique Store

I walked into the Antique Store and asking if I need to buy a passport before walking the town. The owner just shrugged his shoulder’s and said he didn’t know.

I was thinking to myself, this is a town festival, I would think he would be better informed about what the town was doing. I suddenly felt I haven’t done enough research to know the procedures of what to do to get started. It took a bystander to inform me on the procedures on purchasing a $5 passport and where to get one. In retrospect, he wasn’t a sponsor of the event and is probably outside of the communications loop.

Fibre Festival

Village Creations, Neustadt Ontario.

I walked down to Village Creations to purchase a Passport. I was able to have my questions answered and get a general overview of the town’s layout so I could walk the tour. Thanks to Village Creations, I was able to get my tour off to a better start. I also met Maggie, a fan. Together with Maggie, I walked the rest of my day with her.

Mags and I walked over to the Museum. A greeter by the name of Marianne was really nice and helpful. You can tell she is proud of her town. She made you feel welcome.

The stores are mixed between stores that are vacant. Neustadt has a quaint feeling to the town. I have been here before on several previous occasions. It’s the type of town that has antique markets and stores that you would stop at while traveling to and from the cottage. What is clearly obvious is the home town feeling. When walking by residents, they people were talking about other local residents. You could hear town gossip or personal stories being shared.

Fibre Festival

Alpacas at Neustadt’s Fibre Festival.

Many of the exhibits were quilting based. Not surprised, it’s Canada’s largest hobby for women. There were a lot of exquisite exhibits of crafts-woman-ship. I was really excited by seeing creativity flow freely.  For this aspect, Neustadt hit the nail on the head for different levels of projects that would be exciting for any level of crafter.

Quilts ranged from traditional looks to pre-printed graphics and etc. You could see the fine stitch work up close. This was also true for all other crafting projects. This is great for enthusiastic crafters looking for ideas.

The crowds were older in generation. I would classify myself, age 40, as being young amongst the guests.

Fibre Festival

One of Many Quilting Exhibits in Neustadt Ontario.

There wasn’t anything for kids at this festival, nor any exhibits or activities for kids. I seen a few kids with their parents and I was thinking if I was 10 years old, seeing quilts and hand crafted projects would not be something I wouldn’t be very patient with my mom about.

There might not be a market for having younger people at this type of festival; however, this is the  only way I can see a crafting genres not dying off. We need to continue to inspire the youth. This event wasn’t marketed for kids, which explains why there were few kids. In my opinion, this would stop a family outing of parents with kids. I think there is opportunity here for future festivals.

Participating churches were involved in the exhibiting locations. One thing that really got to me was the lack of signage on the churches for knowing where to enter the church. For next year, they need to print up signs and post them on the doors or put up arrows outside the churches to direct the tour. With two churches, I found myself not knowing where to enter as there were no signs on the door. I questioned whether I was at the right location. Standardized bright neon coloured signs to look for would be helpful.

Rug Hooking

Antique Rug Hooking Demo and Hands on Activity.

One of the best exhibits and locations was Cozy Quilts. They were doing demos of rug hooking. A young girl was sitting at the table. She was really insightful, patient and knows rug hooking inside and out. Maggie and I sat with her for 20 minutes with each of us trying out antique rug hooking. This is a hobby I could get addicted to. We were near the end of the tour by the time we had discovered this. For a fibre festival, I would have love to see more demos of techniques and hands on activities. This is a perfect opportunity to allow people like myself who are interested or curious about crafting to become engaged. This alone can create sales opportunities for the town and give a crafter a place to start a new hobby.

Fibre Festival

St Paul’s Lutheran Normandy Church

During the tour, people kept commenting that the one church in Normandy, outside of town, was the best location to attend. The rumours of this discovery proved to be true.

There was a good mix of knitting, crochet, rug hooking, quilting and sewing projects at this location. There was something for everyone and I was really inspired even by non-crochet items I had seen. I can appreciate the work involved in the projects showcased at all locations. I would think that the type of consumer that would attend this show would need to understand the elabourate techniques of crafts-woman-ship.

Caribana Toronto

Blues Carnival Fusion Exhibit

Finally, I ran into an exhibitor, Blues Carnival Fusion. They create a float and section displayed at Caribana in Toronto. They asked me if I would like to participate in 2014 by getting up in costume and being part of Caribana. This is something I would love to do. The organizer was insightful and helpful.

Though, I have offered a number of suggestions for improvements above, I would say they did a great job in involving the entire town. The $5.00 Passport Fee is nominal and of great value. The location of the town is great and easy to get to. Every new festival always has to see where improvements can be made after it’s run once or twice to know how to better organize and direct guests.

If you are interested in being inspired with quilting, rug hooking, knitting and crochet, this event, if run again next year, would be a great day outing.


About Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

I am Mikey, owner of The Crochet Crowd Blog. I'm a 'hooker' at heart with the passion to crochet. I am from Ontario Canada and teach how to crochet online through YouTube Video Tutorials. From a simple idea and being at the right place and time in my life back in 2008, the concept of The Crochet Crowd was developed. I'm here to hook and share. Come follow my crochet journey and share yours with comments here and you are most welcome to share your creativity within our Facebook page.
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8 Responses to Review of Neustadt’s Fibre Festival, July 13, 2013

  1. Carol Dyck says:

    Sorry you had so many problems at the festival, especially after researching it. On the blog there was information as to where to buy the tickets and there were lots of parking signs up off the main street for the people that didn’t get a spot there. People did comment on how they liked having the yellow flowers to show them where the venues were. We had so many people thank us for the displays, especially the stories that went with them. There were people, both new visitors to the town and some who came from Toronto and parts further, that used to live here, and they were moved by some of the displays. One of the parts of the show they did enjoy was being able to get into many buildings to see displays instead of having everything in one building and just go from display to display. Many children did come and enjoy the alpacas and the sheep shearing. Some did try the quilting demos and rug hooking at some of the venues. Next time there are plans for more participation by children. We are a very small town, compared to many cities that have fibre festivals. We were given advice from people who are very good at this kind of thing and that was to start smaller and grow each time. This is a hard thing to do as everyone has expectations and wants to see more of their expertise in the festival and disappointed if it is not. Hope you got to see the best of the best quilts in Ontario from 1979 – 97 at the festival, known as the Canada Packer quilts. Two of the winners were from Neustadt and two things were special about this display, two winners from Neustadt and that this was the first time a group was able to borrow them from their home base. Hope you do come back to see us next time.

  2. jibyjue says:

    I would live to do the rug hooking

  3. Weez says:

    Loved your review of the day’s events, there were forthright without judgment. Good job!

  4. Loretta says:

    Looks like a great time. Thanks for sharing with us.

  5. Cathy says:

    Thanks for the tour. It was fun to see where and what you were going to post next. Always looking forward to reading your post, blogs and seeing your videos

  6. Patricia Ramirez says:

    I see the alpacas – too bad your llama friend wasn’t there 🙂 You should go to Olde Liberty Fibre Faire in Bedford, VA one day.

  7. Robin Comfort says:

    Thanks for the tour and insight. And once again…you are right about kids and crafts…there has to be someone to make it fun before kids will try it.

  8. I am sure those who organize the festival will appreciate your honest input! Looks like it was a really cool place to visit!

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