July 29, 2014

Elyria
Partly cloudy
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Annual Duct Tape Festival has stuck around for a decade

AVON — Duct tape isn’t just for small home repairs, and attendees at this year’s annual Duct Tape Festival made that evident.
In its 10th year, participants kicked off the festivities with style. And Duck Tape.
Rebecca Mainger, a recent graduate of Magnificat High School in Rocky River, sported her prom dress, made of ShurTech’s Duck Tape brand of tape, on Saturday.
Mainger and her partner, Erich Igel, of Avon Lake, are finalists in Duck Brand’s Stuck at Prom Contest. The winner, who will be announced in July, will receive a $5,000 scholarship.
It took 52 rolls of Duck Tape and 350 hours to create the outfits, which were inspired by fish scales.
The pattern of the dress was drafted out of muslin and covered in duct tape. Igel’s vest was made out of garbage bags and then covered in the tape. An old tuxedo was repurposed.
Maingel said that although she has experience making her own clothes, the dress was challenging to make. She said the finished result was worth it, however.
“My classmates, all of them love it. My teachers did too,” she said. “I got to put it into the art show.”
Laura Pierce, spokeswoman for ShurTech in Avon, said Duck Tape is a great product because it has so many possibilities.
Recently, Duck Tape was used in the television show “Project Runway.” Contestants were tasked with creating prom dresses from the material.
The winning dress, created by designer Michelle Franklin, was on display at the festival Saturday. Franklin was also on hand to judge an amateur fashion design competition using the tape, in which one contestant created an outfit and carried a hamburger, fries and a drink created out of Duck Tape.
“The possibilities are endless as a product,” Pierce said.
The Duck Tape brand has been around for more than 20 years, the festival started 10 years ago and has grown ever since.
Pierce estimated that 50,000 to 60,000 people would attend the weekend’s festivities. She added that one person had come from as far as Wisconsin for the festival.
This year’s theme was “Decades of Duck Tape,” and participants created floats, including a replica of the DeLorean in the “Back to the Future” movies, for a Saturday morning parade. Later that afternoon, bands played while children created Duck Tape crafts.
Traditionally, Pierce said the festival has been held on Father’s Day weekend, and for good reason.
“It’s Dad’s favorite tool,” she said.
Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.