St. Augustine Makers Fest 2016

I had been looking forward to this event for weeks and it met my expectations (see the Ancient City Events section of the website).  It was such a well rounded function.  It featured live music, food from local eateries and hands on arts and crafts.


The first musical act we enjoyed was Sea Floor Explosives.  Jon Bailey played guitar and sang while Corey Petersen killed it on the saxophone.  Sea Floor Explosives is a local soul-folk-groove band.  They interacted easily with the audience and kept us smiling and laughing.  They are also known to incorporate the piano and vocal looping in their performances.  Alex Peramas of Narrow Magazine described them this way: "If you seek the sort of separation from the humdrum routines of life and wish to slip into a cool pool of soul, laughs and drop of the dime improvisation, seek out Sea Floor Explosives." I met Jon and Corey briefly and found them to be easy going, down to earth folks.

The group I was with got to Makers Fest in the early afternoon so we had food on the brain upon arrival. I wound up having a chicken pita from Pita Pocket's food truck.  It was so nicely seasoned. A trail of shredded lettuce may still be found on the grounds of the Mark Lance Armory...


The Hyppo's food truck was also there. I couldn't pass up a pop, so I ordered a blueberry cinnamon - a new favorite for sure. 

Makers Fest drew me in mostly for the opportunity to do some hands on crafts. Appreciation for making things by hand seems to be waning as advances in technology sometimes eliminate the thought of mindfully assembling a wooden spoon puppet, for instance (hear me out).  My brother and I had fun using googly eyes, pipe cleaner, fabric, ribbons, tape and markers to make puppets of our own design. It was refreshing and therapeutic to do something that reminded me of my simple childhood. Anyone who knows me well knows that at a young age, I realized how good I had it and stopped looking forward to getting older. Makers Fest helped provide funding to St. Augustine's Montessori School system. I feel good about that.  The Montessori technique encourages children to learn in a multi-age setting in which peers teach one another.  Students become competent in critical thinking and working collaboratively.  I attended a Montessori school for a year as a child and have fond memories of it.

From the puppet station, my brother and I explored a table for making catapults out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands and plastic  spoons.  Upon completion, we fired fuzzy "canons" into a makeshift castle. 


Toward the end of the event, Lucio "Lu" Rubino took the stage and sang beautiful covers, including MGMT's "Electric Feel".  Flagler College's radio station - 88.5 FM is known to play that song sometimes.  Lu also performed an original song from his self titled album. The heartfelt track is called "Set the Table". Lu wore his heart on his sleeve as he described the song's ability to bring on tears. He breathed life into the tune by saying that it involves 'a friend who goes from whom we should depart.' He then sang...I knew the best of you/Sometimes you call, we search for words to make us feel like yesterday is not forgotten/Maybe someday we'll gather 'round/Hear the old familiar sound of your laughter like we used to. Lu owns a local studio and record label called Fishtank Recordings. He and his wife were kind and gracious when I met them. My brother and I listened to his album on the way home and enjoyed it. It's a pensive record. I like the way it makes me feel. It fosters a contemplative hopeful mood.

In a few short hours, we got to experience quite a bit.  The weather was pleasant: sunny and warm with clear skies. The Armory is surrounded by large trees and it was refreshing to hang out under the canopy they created.  

St. Augustine has been on a roll lately in terms of arts, crafts and lost skills workshops. I hope to see this continue.