Perhaps when you think of arts and crafts, visions of clumpy, hand-painted his-and-hers holiday vests and clown yarn murals come to mind.  But not everyone wielding a glue gun is making the world an uglier place to live. Crafting has come a long way. Let the parliament of clever minds behind Craft Lake City change your mind about whether crafts are where misguided imagination goes to die. 

Photos: Jesse Anderson, 2012

The festival, happening this Friday and Saturday, will feature an array of handcrafted goods, engineering marvels and artisan foods. The Craft Lake City DIY Festival will also feature over 50 local musicians and performing artists. 

Photos: Ruby Johnson, 2012

Adding a nerdy spin to this creativity extravaganza, this year will include a sumo bot competition, which will be run very much like an authentic sumo wrestling competition, but the traditional grunting will be replaced with boops, bops and beeps. The Geek Show Podcast’s Kerry Jackson, Shannon Barnson, Jimmy Martin, Jay Whittaker and Jeff Vice will join the fun as panelists for the competition.

Craft Lake City’s mission is to educate, promote and inspire local artisans while elevating the creative culture of the Utah arts community through science, technology and art. Participating artisan Kelsey Leach, of Salt Lake City, confirms the festival is an embodiment of the mission statement. “Meeting and forming a relationship with the person who actually made the item you are buying is special,” Leach explains.

A paper crafter, Leach attended the festival last year and bolstered by the encouragement of friends and family, will be selling her hand-folded origami greeting cards at this year’s event. Leach’s business name, Jelly Bean Cards, which was derived from her family nickname for her Kelsey Jeanne Jelly Bean, is itself the perfect way to sum up this hyper-local celebration of meeting the creative neighbors you didn’t know you had and personalizing the shopping experience.

Craft Lake City DIY Festival 2013
Aug. 9, 5–9 p.m. 

Aug. 10, 12–10 p.m.

Gallivan Center, 239 S. Main Street, Salt Lake City.


Admission is free and open to the public.


$5 parking will be offered in the Utah One/Gallivan/Marriot parking lot. This parking lot can be accessed by 200 South $3 parking will be available at the Walker Center. Metered downtown parking also available.


Food booths and food trucks will be on site to fill your belly with local grub.


Nope. Only service animals will be permitted inside the Gallivan.