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Those looking for something fun and interesting to do this weekend have multiple options at the Kittitas County Event Center, as two events will be going on at the same time adjacent to each other.

The annual Junk-tiquen in the Burg event is back this fall, and will be held in Bloom Pavilion, while FiberFest in the Valley will be going on in the draft horse barn at the same time. Event attendees will have the opportunity to pick up a treasure at both events, while learning about local wool producers and how they ply their craft.

Both events have been shaped and affected by the cancellations surrounding the pandemic. In the case of Junk-tiquen, organizer Becky Sherley said the event was cancelled for both spring and fall of 2020, as well as spring of 2021. For this weekend’s event, she said the venue was shifted from Teanaway Hall to the open-air Bloom Pavilion to ease restrictions on crowd gathering.

“It’s definitely a little different this year,” she said. “We’ll have a lot more space to spread out, and shoppers will be able to get around a bit easier.”

Because of the change to the open-air venue, Sherley said she isn’t concerned about the need to limit attendees. Tickets are not available for presale and will be available for purchase at the door. Although some vendors retired or moved on to other event circuits during the pandemic, she said the number of vendors will be approximately 45, which is on par with previous events due to some new vendors joining on.

“I’m excited to see the vendors again and to bring the event back to the community,” she said.

ALL THINGS WOOLEN

While people search for antique and repurposed treasures, a group of passionate wool producers will be next door at the draft horse barn educating eventgoers on their craft and selling wool-related products. This year is the first incarnation of FiberFest in the Valley, and event organizer Robin DiMicco said it was also borne out of pandemic-related cancellations.

“We were all supposed to go to an event in Monroe this next weekend for their annual fiber festival,” she said. “About six weeks ago, we got notice that they were going to cancel due to COVID and lack of volunteers. Since we’ve all been gearing up for this, we started sending messages back and forth and decided we should do something here.”

Over the last six weeks, DiMicco said members of the Kittitas Valley Wool Producers worked to put together an event that everyone would enjoy. Those who attend will have the opportunity to purchase a plethora of wool products, both in the form of raw wool ready to be made into something at the hands of the purchaser, as well as finished products such as hats and gloves.

“We have 13 different vendors,” DiMicco said of the offerings on hand. “There will be raw and washed fleeces, fleece spun into yarn, locks that have been dyed so people can spin them into crafts themselves.”

For those interested in getting into the craft themselves, DiMicco said some vendors will be offering both used equipment and the information on how to purchase new equipment. On the educational side, there will be educational talks on the craft, as well as shearing demonstrations.

DiMicco said the event was planned to coincide with Junk-tiquen on purpose, saying that both events offer their own unique draw that can appeal across the lines to those who attend either event specifically.

“Our whole thing is also to promote other things that happen in the Kittitas Valley that people don’t know about,” she said. “We’re advertising that Junk-tiquen is going on, as well as the farmers market. I put out information about places to eat and get coffee when they visit. We’re all about community.”

Reporting for the DR since March 2018. Lover of campfires, black labs and good vibes. Proud Humboldt State alum!

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