FERGUS – St. Andrew Street between Tower Street South and St. David Street will be closed off for a spuntastic day of the Fergus Fibre Festival later this month.
From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 28, the Fergus Fibre Festival will have around 32 vendors that will sell farm yarns, rovings, fleeces, indie dyed yarns. There will also be fibre animals such as sheeps, alpabas, and angora rabbit as well as three food trucks, and four exhibitors such as bobbin lace makers, rug hookers, and embroiderers.
“I love fibre festivals. I'm not able to attend them 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 the economics success and the tourism in Fergus,” explained Miranda Holmes, co-founder of the Fergus Fibre Festival and owner of String Theory yarn shop, in an 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 only when you get an extremely high quality garment, no matter what it's made of, whether it's acrylic or cotton or wool, but it's something that's going to last a long time. So, this fibre festival will bring the wool industry to more people that 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 in crafts.
“When it comes to opening a shop, I think you should follow your passion, but you also need to do it in a smart way and make sure that you've done all of your planning; you've got your business plan and all that together as well,” said Holmes.
Despite the lockdowns and the restrictions, Holmes noted the community of Fergus has been very supportive of her business and helped keep it afloat.
Through her love of wool and desire to give back to the Fergus community, Holmes thought about bringing a fibre festival to her hometown.
By the end of January 2022, when the Ontario government officially opened many businesses and allowed public gatherings, she and her co-founder of the festival, Andrea Leasing, started getting her permits in order.
“The first thing I did was approach Centre Wellington council and the BIA and explained to them what I wanted to do,” said Holmes.
“If they seem interested or excited, that's good news, which they were. I got the proper permits I need such as the road closure permit and community vendor permit as well as the letter of acknowledgement from the OPP and the health unit.”
Holmes is hopeful the festival can bring more revenue and drive the economic growth of Centre Wellington especially after all the COVID lockdowns and restrictions.
“There are some finished items and some interesting things to see plus it’s free admission. Residents can just come in and enjoy the day and buy many yarn products,” she said.
“I just hope we get as many people as possible to come out and have fun and have this festival feel right and get back the excitement in the air again.”