Events and Highlights at the Festival

(full schedule at the bottom of the page)

Blanket Swap

Join us Saturday night after dinner in the Walker barn...

What is a blanket swap? It is basically trading something of value you no longer want or have too many of to someone else for their "offering".

This will be done by everyone getting one turn or, time permitting, two turns in the "barrel". A trading circle will be formed and you will place your item on the blanket and each person can offer a trade or pass on your item. Once everyone has a shot at a trade, you can pick the deal that appeals to you the most. You also have the option to ask the interested traders to "sweeten the pot". Then both parties decide whether to make the trade or not (you DO NOT have to make the trade).

The Gallery

A Multi-artist gallery located in the orange building. The Treasures of the Sea People's Choice Gourd Art Competition will also be featured.

Hours are:
Friday Sept 13, 6 pm - 8 pm
Sat Sept 14, 10 am - 6 pm
Sun Sept 15, 10 am - 2 pm

Let us display and sell your gourd art so you can enjoy the festival, classes and entertainment. Click here for more information...

Gourd Art Competition - Treasures of the Sea

$50 Cash Prize for the Winning Entry

The prize will be awarded to the entry that receives the most votes by visitors to the festival. Entry must fit the “Treasures of the Sea” theme.

Michigourders Gourd Guild will be sponsoring the Michigan Festival of Gourds People's Choice Award, "Treasures of the Sea". This gourd art competition is open to all festival visitors, September 13 - 15, 2013. An entry fee of $5.00 is required, and only one entry per person will be allowed.

For full rules, please click on the links below to download the Competition Flyer and Entry Form

Treasures of the Sea Gourd Art Competition Flyer with Entry Form

Treasures of the Sea Gourd Art Competition Entry Form Only

Michigan Festival Of Gourds & Wood Carving

The Michigan Wood Carvers Association is happy to join the Michigan Festival of Gourds again this year. For those who may not be aware of our Association, which was established in 1993, please check out our web site at: Our Association consists of over 1200 members and 44 carving clubs through-out the State of Michigan including the Upper Peninsula. We will have several of our clubs and members participate in the 2012 Festival. Please stop by and view our displays of wood artistry and talk with some of our members. For your information most of our clubs meet at local senior centers, schools and fire halls. Our web site will give more info about meeting times and places.

During this festival we will be displaying items such as carved animals, ducks, birds, tree bark carvings and wood burned items for your viewing enjoyment. We will also have items to purchase.

We will be offering FREE SOAP CARVING and WOOD BURNING instruction to our youth. All youth who join us in a soap carving or wood burning project will receive a FREE token of appreciation. Just think you will have a special 2” dia. wood burned pin noting you are a “successful student” just for joining us in this event. Who knows, some adults may even want to try their hand! (Check the festival schedule for times and location).

For adults we will be offering information about a few of our local clubs and shows (Tri-City / Saginaw area, Hale, MI). Check our web site or our display for more information, dates and directions.

Wine and Beer Gourden

Friday Sept. 13, 5pm - 8pm and Saturday Sept. 14, 12pm - 6pm

We will be featuring some of Michigans best brewed beer, wine and mead.

Join us for some of Michigans best, special local food and a few gourd bragging stories.

21 years old and over.

Harvest Dinner

We would like to take a moment to invite you all to join us at The Eastern Michigan State Fairgrounds on Saturday September 14 for a very special culinary tribute to our community, its farmers, and all the wonderful products our regioin produces each and every year.

Chefs Michael and Matthew Romine of Countryside Banquet Center in Imlay City have crafted this meal using local, organic, and foraged edibles, as well as their gourmet experience spanning the globe. This is truly a gastronomic experience you wont want to miss!

Although it is not required to attend the festival, I would encourage you to stop by and enjoy the art and fun! All the proceeds from this event will benefit the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation! The festival runs from September 13th - 15th and will feature demonstrations, raw gourds, gourd art, live entertainment, as well as children’s games and crafts.

Seating is limited for this Harvest Dinner, so please make sure you reserve your spot as soon as possible! Tickets are $20.00 each and are available by calling 810-724-6135 or purchase online here.

We hope to see you there,
Michael and Matthew Romine

Lord of the Gourd

"Lord of the Gourd" Pat Harrison will be wowing us with his carving skills all three days of the festival. Look for him by the main stage.

My name is Pat Harrison and I carve under the name ‘Lord of the Gourd’. Like most people, I started with Halloween pumpkins. I had 5 siblings growing up, four of them older than me, so as a boy I rarely got to carve the pumpkin myself, but once I was deemed old enough to carve without cutting off my fingers I was allowed to carve my own creations and I guess I never stopped.

As far as technique goes, to me the first step is selection. Whether I’m carving pumpkins or something else, the shape of my subject is key. I don’t like a perfectly round pumpkin, I want the mutants, the ones that ordinarily end up in the cow feed pile, because they have more character. When carving, the most important first step is to forget that you can’t carve and then just do it. I’m self-taught and while I may carve one way, it doesn’t mean it’s the only way to do it. Just use your imagination, if you’re making it up then you can never do it wrong.

Obviously I can’t carve pumpkins year-round. My first non-pumpkin carvings were watermelons, which you can carve just like a pumpkin and are tastier on a hot day! Then I added other melons to the mix and now also carve zucchini, ruatabaga, beets, radishes,turnips, and whatever else seems interesting.

Many of the items I carve can be cooked and eaten, and I have come to people’s homes and carved entire meals for them while teaching them my techniques.

Never let an adult tell you not to play with your food....playing with my food is what I do for a living!

If you wish to contact the Lord of the Gourd, you can find him on Facebook
or email him at:

"Get Your Gourd On" Photo Area

We will provide some hats, masks and gourd clothes for your special photo. Feel free to bring your own gourd gear and camera.

A great place for kids to take a photo with the gourd mask they created in the make and take area. We will have a digital camera available, just provide your email and we will send you your photo!

The Gourd Artist's Guild presents The Gourdpatch Quilt

Through John Stacy's e-mail list 'The Gourd Artist’s Guild', 112 gourd artists from 3 countries; United States, Australia, and Canada have united to create the The World's First Gourd Quilt. Each of the artists applied their particular artistic style to a flat 4" gourd tile. Lynette Dawson and daughter Margaret Schroeder have stitched it together, framing the beautiful artwork with their design. These gourd artists with their use of numerous art mediums are showing the world that a gourd is the perfect canvas. Almost everything can be done on a gourd!

This one-of-a-kind quilt was created to promote the awareness of gourd art and increase its status in the art world. It is the collaborative effort of an international group of gourd artists on the Gourdpatch e-group, the Gourd Artists Guild, where they freely exchange ideas to advance the field of gourd art.

The quilt has been traveling across the country to several gourd shows, museums and quilt shows. It also has been featured in magazines and gourd craft books. We are proud to host the quilt's next exhibition at our 4th Annual Michigan Festival of Gourds.

There are 5 artists on the quilt from Michigan: Bev Langchwager, Joyce Earle, Lynette Dawson, Margaret Schroeder and Karen Stevens.

2013 Silent Auction

Gourd art and supplies will be offered for your bids September 13 - 15 in the welcome tent. All proceeds from the Auction will benefit the Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation.

Main Stage Enterntainment

Audra Kubat

On Friday evening, join us in welcoming local Detroit folk artist Audra Kubat.

It will a special evening with this award winning vocalist who will also be performing with some special gourd instruments.

Centerville Serenaders

On Saturday morning and throughout the weekend, welcome the Centerville Serenaders.

Learn all about the history of gourd banjos and listen to them and several other gourd instruments played.

Centerville Serenaders on Facebook

The Whiskey Charmers

The Whiskey Charmers is the Americana Roots duo of Carrie Shepard and Lawrence Daversa. Their songs tell stories of love, heartbreak, the open road, and whiskey.

Performance is at 12:00 pm on Saturday.   Find them on Facebook   Follow them on Twitter

Mark Stone Trio featuring Alan Grubner and Dan Piccolo (VRH)

On Saturday at 1:00 pm we welcome back Mark Stone. This year the Mark Stone Trio will perform "A Journey In Sound".

Inspired by his recent trip to India, the Mark Stone Trio uses a traditional Carnatic setup of a soloist with percussion and violin accompaniment. However, the group’s original music draws on Mark's wide-ranging compositional influences, including American jazz and African mbira/marimba music. In his trio Mark is joined by violinist Alan Grubner and percussionist Dan Piccolo, whose dynamic playing runs freely across musical boundaries. Gourd instruments to be featured will include the gyil (xylophone with gourd resonators), nmani (gourd drum), aslatua (gourd shakers), gonji (gourd fiddle), and mbira (lamellophone with gourd resonator).

At 3:00 pm, Mark Stone will be teaching a gourd instrument workshop. This is a free event and open to all ages.

Capoeira demonstration using traditional berimbau gourd instruments

Our main goals are to help people grow, learn about themselves, and their roles in society. We attempt to rescue community values that are strong elements of the capoeira world and the Brazilian lifestyle. Capoeira, for many of us, is a way of life and has become a tool of self discovery and healing through discipline, respect, non-judgment, humility, acceptance, and authenticity to this art-form. Additionally, our group takes great pride in keeping the tradition of live music which accompanies Capoeira. Our group will be performing capoeira to the traditional sounds of the berimbau-led capoeira orchestra as well as berimbau solos to showcase the beautiful sound of this gourded instrument.

Performance is at 4:00 pm on Saturday.

Capoeira Mandinga Detroit, 247 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale, MI 48220   Find them on Facebook   Follow them on Twitter

Full House Pickers

A tall glass of bluegrass with a splash of country.

On stage Sunday Sept 15, from 11 to 1.

Find them on Facebook

All weekend we will feature local talent on our main stage and at small stages setup throughout the show. Have a gourd instrument and an interest in joining us? Please contact us

Festival Schedule

Friday, September 13th

Saturday, September 14th

Sunday, September 15th