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2021
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Bags made of recycled materials were among the many handmade items offered at last year’s Cyclops Festival. This year’s event takes place this Saturday, Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bryan Center lawn. (News archive photo by Megan Bachman)

Bags made of recycled materials were among the many handmade items offered at last year’s Cyclops Festival. This year’s event takes place this Saturday, Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bryan Center lawn. (News archive photo by Megan Bachman)

Eye on handmade crafts at Cyclops

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Artisanal marshmallows. Craft beer soap. Comic strip bowties.

A fête of funky wares named after a primordial one-eyed giant returns this year promising even better handmade crafts, tastier food and more fun.

The fourth annual Cyclops Fest from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, on the John Bryan Community Center lawn will feature more than 70 arts and crafts vendors, 11 food trucks, DJ-spun tunes, a craft beer garden and activities for kids.

A homage to everything homemade, handcrafted and repurposed and a rebellion against everything mass-produced, factory-made and imported, Cyclops has carved out its niche in the festival scene, according to organizer DJ Galvin of Urban Handmade in Yellow Springs.

Vendors from Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati will return to get the business of thousands of festival goers who come each year from around the region to shop and play.

“The great thing about Yellow Springs is that people here are so open to different and unique arts and crafts,” Galvin said. “Our vendors always do well.”

A previously-scheduled Hunt the Cyclops scavenger hunt and race on Saturday benefiting the Community Children’s Center has been canceled.

About half of this year’s vendors are returning from last year, while the rest are new to the festival, Galvin said. Vendors include 240 Sweet of Columbus, Ind., which offers artisanal marshmallows in flavors like crunchy cinnamon and salty caramel swirl; Barmaid Soap of Kettering, which sells soaps scented with craft beer, wine and coffee, and No Place Like Nerd, of Dayton, which turns old Hulk, Star Wars and other comics into vinyl bowties.

Handmade vendors will sell head wraps, marionettes, tea cup bird feeders, all-natural laundry detergent, bicycle bags, fascinators, buttons, coasters and much more. Artists will offer works of steel, wood, glass, spray paint and caricature. Upcycle vendors have turned wine bottles into cheese trays, barn siding into bird houses, neckties into messenger bags and buttons into rings. In all there will be apparel, accessories, jewelry, bath products, garden décor that are one of a kind (many tapping into fashions like steampunk, geek chic and vintage).

This year more food trucks will serve up tasty concoctions, including tacos, gourmet hot dogs, cupcakes, pitas, smoothies, kettle corn, funnel cake, croquettes and more. There will also be more craft beer selections from Yellow Springs Brewery and an expanded kid play area complete with hula hoops, a six-foot-long inflatable whale, a crawling tunnel, because “kids are sometiems left out” at festivals, Galvin said.

Instead of a lineup of bands, this year’s auditory entertainment will consist entirely of disc jockeys, who provide the kind of “happy, upbeat music” that’s good for shopping while not drowning out the conversations that retailers like to have with customers, Galvin said. Spinning tunes this year are Nicky Illiopolis from WYSO’s Jazz Forward, DJ Nordique of Columbus, Skratchmatik of Dayton and DJ Shane Creepingbear of Yellow Springs.

Galvin said just like the DIY movement of craftspeople and artisans the festival was designed to celebrate, Cyclops is getting bigger and better each year.

“It’s definitely still growing,” Galvin said.

For more information visit cyclopsfest.com

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