The DIY Street Fair is Back & Better Than Ever

By: Toni Cunningham | September 11, 2014

The DIY Street Fair has been a staple in the city of Ferndale since 2008, and this year, it almost didn’t happen. The fair was initially cancelled in May, a tough decision that was made due to a construction project set to take place in the middle of the fair site. At the beginning of August, the construction plans were put on hold and the DIY Street Fair was declared back on.

The 7th Annual DIY Street Fair will take place on Friday, Sept. 12 through Sunday, Sept. 14. From 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday and 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and Sunday, head to downtown Ferndale to enjoy artists and vendors, tons of bands on two different stages, food from local restaurants and ice-cold beer from local microbrews.

(Photo courtesy of Chris Johnston)

(Photo courtesy of Chris Johnston)

Krista Johnston, co-producer of the DIY Street Fair and co-owner of several Ferndale businesses including The WAB, The Emory and The Loving Touch, said it was a tough decision to cancel DIY in the first place.

“The massive construction project was right in the middle of our sight plan,” Johnston said. “Plus, to burden residents and business owners with shutting down parking lots and streets for DIY on top of the construction? Well, that’s just not neighborly. So, we enjoyed our carefree summer of no calls or questions about DIY, as it wasn’t happening. Then when the construction project was postponed, there really wasn’t a reason not to put it on. People were begging us. That decision was easy.”

Then began crunch time, the process of planning and putting together DIY in just over a month. In order to get things together in such a short amount of time, Johnston said she and her fellow DIY-ers have remained ultra focused and kept a sense of humor all the while.

(Photo courtesy of Chris Johnston)

(Photo courtesy of Chris Johnston)

Nevertheless, Johnston promises DIY is still a big event with all of the same components. One adjustment this year includes the elimination of the usual 5K race, since it’s an event that takes quite a bit of lead time to plan and promote properly. The race always serves as a benefit for the art programs at Ferndale Schools, and a different fundraiser will be put on later in the year instead—so stay tuned!

“After executing this event for six years, we learn what works and what doesn’t and apply it to the next event. There has never been the exact same layout or offerings year to year, so we wouldn’t have put on the same event as last year even if we had all the time in the world to plan it,” Johnston said. “Besides having great craft breweries and amazing music, we always want to create areas of interest, have ease of traffic flow and keep fairgoers comfortable and happy.”

Speaking of amazing music, there will be plenty of it all three days during DIY. The lineup includes:

  • Friday, Sept. 12: Electric Graffiti, Oak Bones, The Hard Lessons
  • Saturday, Sept. 13: School of Rock, Passalacqua, Jamaican Queens
  • Sunday, Sept. 14: Escaping Pavement, American Mars, Deastro

There are plenty of other acts taking the stage each day, and a full music schedule can be found here.

(Photo courtesy of Chris Johnston)

(Photo courtesy of Chris Johnston)

Johnston said attendees can expect a laid-back, great time, and urges those who can’t find a free parking space to park at Credit Union One on 9 Mile. Parking costs $10 per car, and your parking fee will benefit the FernCare Free Clinic and the Ferndale Education Foundation.

The DIY crew is incredibly excited about this year’s event—almost as elated as the general public was to learn that the fair was back on.

“There was a great disturbance in Ferndale (when DIY was cancelled). It’s like we blew up Alderaan. A million voices suddenly cried out in terror,” Johnston said. “We knew that people liked DIY, but we didn’t realize how beloved it was.”

The DIY Street Fair is still looking for volunteers; so if you have some spare time this upcoming weekend and can lend a hand, fill out the volunteer form here. They are looking for people to help set up the fair beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, as well as some folks to check vendors in and make sure they have everything they need.

(Photo courtesy of Chris Johnston)

(Photo courtesy of Chris Johnston)

“The DIY Street Fair is a big neighborhood party put on by the owners of the WAB, The Emory and The Loving Touch. We work in Ferndale, we live here and we want to show it off and give back to our community in the process,” Johnston said. “Ferndale is a special community full of amazing artists, musicians and entrepreneurs. We’re proud to have an outlet to show what Ferndale has to offer.”

For more information on the DIY Street Fair, visit the official website or Facebook page.