Pallet Fest: Denver’s First UpCycle Festival

I love buying upcycled goods. For example, a quilt. Or this shelf produced by Habitat for Humanity Colorado’s ReBuild program for less than $50.

Pallet Fest shelves Oct 2014

Upcycled items tend to be quirky AND utilitarian. My personal favorites include a red leather backpack made from a skirt, a picture frame made from a mountain bike tire, a pendant featuring a SHIFT typewriter key. So, you see, upcycling takes trash and transforms it into something unexpected.

Pallet Fest vendors Oct 2014

When I found out about Pallet Fest 2014: Denver’s First Upcycle Festival, I was elated, but when the weekend came, all I could think about was how to work a visit to Gateaux Specialty Cakes and Pastries into my coverage of the festival. In the end I left for the festival after Gateaux had closed for the weekend, forgoing the pastry bites I was craving and the early afternoon events at Pallet Fest. I missed the pallet build-off, the Parkour demonstrations, and several bands, and skipped the pallet maze.

Despite dillydallying (and uploading photos to a stock website), I still arrived at the lawn in front of the Denver Performing Arts Complex in time for the fashion show, a visit to the vendors, and a concert. Not every outfit in the fashion show was suitable attire for an interview, but all of them were unique, and some were quite beautiful. After the show, I wandered into Kurious Koncepts’ booth and purchased a flared cardigan pieced together from three different sweaters. It was reasonably priced at $65. (You can buy her creations on Etsy or at the Blue Chair in Englewood.)

The day ended with a concert by Fort Collins band SHEL, consisting of four sisters (Sarah, Hannah, Eva, and Liza) on instruments including drums, keyboards, mandolin, and violin. Described as “chamber-grass” and “infectious pop-folk” on their website, they moved easily from a cover of “The Battle of Evermore” by Led Zeppelin to an acoustic original song as their encore. In one song, Sarah’s classically trained voice was on full display (not to mention her skill with a violin), and toward the end of the evening, Liza (far right) demonstrated her talent for beatbox.

Pallet Fest SHEL Oct 2014