The Flag Wool and Fiber Festival
It should come to no surprise to anyone that a state known for exceptional Navajo weaving is also home to a spectacular wool and fiber festival. Last year, Gus Baxter wrote about Arizona’s Flat Wool and Fiber Festival. Here’s his article and interview with Director Andrea Greene in anticipation of the 2018 festival, scheduled for June 2nd and 3rd, 2018.
The Flag Wool and Fiber Festival, in Flagstaff, Arizona, is this states’ premier fiber festival. This year, you can take selfies with alpacas in silly costumes! If that isn’t enough, Flag Wool and Fiber has an amazing line-up of vendors, classes, and demonstrations focusing on educating and inspiring both traditional and modern crafts. Andrea Greene, the Director of the Flag Wool and Fiber Festival spoke with me and highlighted some amazing events going on there. Make plans and grab your tickets, this amazing event happens June 2nd and 3rd.
Gus: Give me the overview and a brief history of the festival.
Andrea: The Flag Wool and Fiber Festival was rebuilt and rebranded in 2015 into an energetic event loved and supported by the local community and participants across the southwest. We’re growing rapidly each year and are looking forward to our most spectacular festival yet!
Gus: Pretend you talking to someone who has never been to your fiber festival, what would you highlight as your “WOW” attractions?
Andrea: We have so many amazing events at Flag Wool and Fiber this year. Our keynote speaker is the wonderfully talented Kristine Vejar, author of the best selling book The Modern Natural Dyer and owner of A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland, CA. We’re kicking off our celebration with a public yarn bombing of the 1929 locomotive that sits on the Pioneer Museum grounds, where the festival is held. We have many animals on display this year, including yaks for the first time! The yaks are raised on a small family farm in Northern Arizona where they enjoy the high altitude life similar to their native habitat. We have an alpaca selfie booth, where visitors can have their picture taken with friendly alpacas in silly costumes. Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans is joining in the fun and shearing a sheep on Saturday. In addition to all those fun highlights we have all the other components of a well-rounded fiber festival: artisan vendors, demonstrations, workshops, all day shearing, hands on activities, fiber arts competition, great food, and a beer garden. Our festival takes place at the Pioneer Museum in Flagstaff, and we’re happy to be able to host a few Heritage Craft demonstrations, such as soap and candle making, blacksmithing, and canning as well.
Gus: What are your biggest festival do’s and don’ts for enjoying your fiber festival?
DO: Please do be aware of our shuttle this year–you can park up at the Museum of Northern Arizona and ride the free shuttle back to the Pioneer Museum. Do be sun safe! We’re at 7000 feet and the sun and elevation can be overwhelming without preparation. If you’d prefer a smaller crowd plan on attending Sunday when things are generally more relaxed.
DON’T: As for the don’ts–we’re not going to tell you to leave your dogs at home, but there are a few areas where they are not allowed. We try to keep them away from the shearing area, as the animals are stressed to begin with and we don’t want to add to their stress with dogs. Also, in the interest of public safety, dogs are strictly prohibited near the yak exhibit.
Flag Wool and Fiber Festival
June 2nd and 3rd, 2018
9am – 4pm
Free entry to the marketplace
Located at The Pioneer Museum
2340 North Fr. Valley road
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
Updated May 8, 2018