Nothing but trash at zany Eureka fashion show

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PARTICIPANTS IN the 2016 Eureka Creative Arts Center’s “Trash-2-Flash” fashion show. (Photo courtesy of Eureka Creative Arts Council)

When the Eureka Creative Arts Center’s “Trash-2-Flash” rolled around a few years back, a hunter who preferred rather unusual game gathered some acquired pelts, stitched them together and voila! A perfect piece was hatched and strutted down the runway to the great joy of the gathered crowd.

It was a gorgeous overcoat, made entirely of animal pelts.

Scratch that, it was a gorgeous overcoat made entirely of stuffed animal pelts, harvested from a child who outgrew them.

Amateur fashion designers young and old will gather Saturday evening in Eureka for the seventh-annual “Trash-2-Flash” recycled fashion show, a display of craftsmanship and creativity in which hoarded “trash” is turned into elaborate costumes and shown off in a live performance at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds at 7 p.m.

The night is a fundraiser for the Creative Arts Center, a facility operated by the 28-year-old, volunteer-run Creative Arts Council.

“It’s a huge production,” Alice B. Elrod, the chair of the council’s board of directors, said. “We have such an incredible pool of volunteers and that’s why we do stuff like this.

“We have so many creative people up here,” she added. “And people who are creative, they get a concept and they just run with it.”

For certain, there is no shortage of creativity at the show. Elrod said past outfits, in addition to the overcoat of stuffed pelts, have included a 1980s-style suit made of onion bags, a suit coat made from rubber tubes and a corrugated iron dress.

There are 12 outfits in this year’s show, with designers coming from all walks of life and ranging in age from 11 to older than 70. Elrod, who describes herself as an “artisan” and not an artist, has entered all seven years. And while she would not reveal her outfit for Saturday’s show, she did shed some light on how one goes about collecting the necessary raw material. The only rule is it has to be something, Elrod said, “that was going to go into the landfill.”

“Once you do this for a while it’s ‘wow, those aren’t mini-blinds, that’s a hula skirt,’” she added. “People will collect things … You get an idea and before you know it you have bags of quartz or bags of something else. One of our designers walks a lot and picks up stuff from the roadside.”

The outfits aren’t just trotted out at the show, either. The models must perform a nearly two-minute routine with a costume-appropriate song. The man in the rubber-tube suit coat danced to The Spinners’ “Rubberband Man” last year.

Tickets to attend are $15 for adults, $10 for students and $5 for children 12 and younger, and are available for purchase that night only. The evening begins with a dinner of pulled pork or vegan kabobs at 5:30 p.m. Dinner is an additional $12 for adults and $6 for children younger than 12. Wine and beer from Eureka’s H.A. Brewing Co. will also be available for purchase.

All of the outfits created will be up for auction after the show, and a separate silent auction of local art will also be held. Proceeds from the evening are donated to the Creative Arts Center.

For more information on “Trash-2-Flash” and the Eureka Creative Arts Center, visit www.creativeartseureka.org.

Entertainment editor Andy Viano can be reached at (406) 758-4439 or aviano@dailyinterlake.com.

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