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Every year, the town of Avon, Ohio, finds itself in a very sticky situation.

Known as the “duct tape capital of the world” due to the presence of the Duck-brand duct tape factory, the town about 20 miles west of Cleveland celebrates the fix-anything adhesive in its annual Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival.

The festival, now in its 10th year, showed off the sticky stuff in unusual and creative ways during the three-day affair, held 14 to 16 June this year and 13 to 15 June next year. The Duct Tape Parade featured more than 20 floats decorated in the theme “Decades of Duck Tape” with participants designing around icons from the 1940s and later. Floats included a duct-tape DeLoreon car from the film Back to the Future made with 1,300 rolls of tape, and a hovercraft with the Star Wars character R2-D2 riding atop. The fairgrounds were full of duct-tape sculptures, such as a 20ft-tall Mr Potato Head toy, a Transformers action figure, and an old-fashioned red viewfinder.

Coming a long way from its original shade of metal grey, duct tape now comes in more than 200 colours and patterns ranging from hot pink to zebra stripes. Those funky shades were all on display during the Duct Tape Fashion Show, where TV show Project Runway season 11 ((yes? oui)) winner Michelle Lesniak Franklin judged the runway-walking entrants on originality, craftsmanship and stage presence. Lesniak Franklin’s own black-and-red houndstooth, punk-style duct tape dress, designed during one of the TV show’s competitions, was on display in the fashion tent, along with the duct tape dresses by her fellow contestants.

Those who felt inspired after seeing all the artistic works could stop by the craft tent and get creative with taped designs of their own. Experienced crafters even sell their wares at the event, peddling everything from duct tape barrettes to duct tape wallets.

Admission to the festival is free every year, and the first 500 people take home their very own roll of tape, perfect for fixing up pretty much anything or creating something new.

Now that the festival is over, some of the duct tape creations will be touring the country in the Duck Tape Rolls Across America bus, filled with duct tape, craft videos and duct tape outfits. The 31ft long, green bus will be making stops at retail stores, sporting events and other festivals across Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin in the next few months. 

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