The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Copper K Fiber Fest set to return this July

 


After a successful inaugural event in 2017, the Copper K Fiber Festival will return to Whitehall later this summer.

The second annual event hosted by Kami Noyes of Ranching Fiber Traditions and Betty Kujawa of Snowdrift Alpacas is scheduled to take place Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22 at the Copper K Barn located at 786 Point of Rocks Road in Whitehall.

Noyes said they started planning the 2018 event in August of last year.

"So there is a lot of work put into the festival and it is always fun to see how it comes together," she said.

Noyes originally met Kujawa a few years ago at a Fiber Farm day event she hosted for area fiber artists. Noyes would later ask Kujawa if she wanted to help plan a festival. Noyes said she has met a lot of people who enjoyed her story of being a fifth generation rancher who raises sheep, spins, and sells Montana raised wools. Noyes wanted to share her story and have it at the location once used by her family as a lambing barn.

Following the first event, Noyes said the feedback was awesome.

"Last year everyone had a great time and loved the location at the beautiful venue. Most festivals like this are held in big conference centers or motels. We wanted to use the barn to bring fiber arts back to its roots. Even people who don't do a fiber art loved coming and seeing everything. A lot of local families came out to join in the fun along with people from all across Montana, Idaho, Washington, Colorado, Iowa, even Connecticut and Georgia," she said.

According to Noyes, there will be a lot of new vendors this year with the indoor booths filling up in the first few weeks, and the outdoor booths getting close to being full. She was also excited to announce that Cindy Brennan with Red Apron Catering would be joining the festival as a food sponsor.

Noyes is also excited with what she called a great line up for workshops with a lot of returning teachers, along with a few new ones too.

The festival will also be hosting a special workshop Friday, July 20 for small business owners.

The name of the class is "Branding Your Business", and the class description provided by Noyes states, "Whether you own a large business or are a small hobbyist, everyone needs to understand what their brand is and represents. In this class, we will work on how to create and develop your own brand and represent it to the public". The event is open to anyone interested.

Organizers are also looking for sponsorships in 2018. Noyes said the money for sponsorships would go towards the Fiber Festival Scholarship for kids aged 15 to 19 who want to learn more about fiber arts.

The program is for kids who want to learn more about fiber arts, and the 2018 festival features multiple workshops available for kids including Rug Hooking, Drop Spindle Spinning, Cardboard Weaving, Beginning Spinning, and Needle Felting.

To apply those intersted should write a short essay about fiber arts, including age, name and contact information. They can then email the essay to Noyes at ranchingtraditionfiber@gmail.com.

This year's event will also feature a BBQ/Open House at the Montana Wool Barn owned by Paul and Cheri Shaw.

File Photo

Pictured is a class at the 2017 Copper K Fiber Festival.

"This will be a great night of visiting and touring their new wool mill," Noyes said.

At the end of this May class rates will increase by $10, so Noyes is encouraging interested parties to sign up as soon as possible. She said their teachers set a maximum and minimum amount of students needed to offer the workshop and some have already met their maximum amount.

She added workshops are filling up faster this year so people will want to get signed up soon.

Workshops that are available this year are rug hooking, needle felting, spinning for beginners, spinning art yarns, dyeing and weaving.

More information can be found at http://www.ranchingtaditionfiber.com

Please contact Kami at 490-3437 or Betty at 498-4333 with any questions.

 

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