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2018 Lancaster Printers Fair

  • Lancaster Printers Fair booth
    Lancaster Printers Fair booth
August 27, 2018

Record-setting Lancaster Printers Fair hits streets in downtown Lancaster September 14-15, and the Literary House Press will be there!

The sixth Lancaster Printers Fair will be one for the record books as new events – including a world record attempt – will be added to the Sept. 14 and 15 printing event for all ages in downtown Lancaster.

To launch the fair, “Printing on Penn Square” will feature a number of activities on Penn Square Friday evening from 6 to 8:30 including a demonstration by nationally known Itinerant Printer Chris Fritton, the chance to print a custom coaster with the Heritage Press Museum, print a custom T-shirt with Foxduck, grab a special printmakers’ cocktail at nearby Shot and Bottle and help raise funds for the .918 Club’s education center by participating in a chance auction of prizes donated by local businesses.

Lancaster Printers FairOn Saturday, as a part of the “Printers Fair” which runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the public will have the opportunity to set a new world record for printing with potatoes provided by Four Seasons Produce, Ephrata. The world record attempt between noon and 3 p.m. will be to print with 500 potatoes and is open to all ages. Participants will design and cut their own potato on site prior to printing.

New this year, a beer garden presented by Wacker Brewing Co., will feature a new brew called “Poor Richard’s Ale” using a recipe by Benjamin Franklin, a pioneering printer in 1700s Philadelphia. A percentage of the sales of the ale and other available craft beers will go to finishing construction at the .918 Club’s Heritage Press Education Center on the campus of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Lancaster. 

“The Printers Fair is the largest of its kind on the East Coast,” says Ken Kulakowsky, president of the nonprofit .918 Club, which organizes the annual event. “The fair is a wonderful way to witness history and the future at the same time. Letterpress and other forms of printing are widely popular and examples can be seen everywhere in society.” 

Kulakowsky said this annual celebration of the art of printing wouldn’t be possible without the support of sponsors Jet USA Corp., the 300 Block of North Queen Street merchants, and Four Seasons Produce.

Potato printing!Saturday’s street fair will be held on the closed-to-traffic 300 block of North Queen Street, where all nearby merchants will remain open for business. The street will be filled with vendors from across the region, printing demonstrations, food trucks, live music and the record-setting potato printing.

This year print-related vendors include: American Institute of Graphic Arts, Central PA; Baseman Press, Philadelphia; Blue Canary Press, Chestertown, Md.; Bowerbox Press, Monkton, Md.; Cannonball Press, Brooklyn; Conestoga Press, Conestoga; Crow Designs at The Workshop, Scranton; Everyday Balloons Print Shop, Ashville, Pa.; Fresh Prints of Lancaster; Harsimus Press, Jersey City, N.J.; Jet USA Corp., Collingdale, Pa.; Lancaster Public Art; Lead Graffiti, Newark, Del.; Letterpress Things, Chicopee, Mass.; Literary House Press, Chestertown, Md.; Lucky Mfg. Co., Lancaster; Madcap & Co., Lancaster; Model Citizen Press, Bethesda, Md.; Rexmake, Harrisburg; Russell Earnest Associates, Clayton, Del.; Sea Heart City Press, Philadelphia; Shaw Pens, Cheltenham, Pa.; The .918 Club, Lancaster; Typothecary Press, Lancaster; Virgin Wood Type, Rochester, N.Y.

Six gallery shows also are new this year include Ryan Keates at Foxduck, 11 W. King St.; Valerie Leuth of Tugboat Press at Realm and Reason, 213 W. King St.; Milt Friedly at the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, 335 N. Queen St.; “Print & Labor” by Salina Almanzar, Candy Gonzalez, Josh Graupera, Andrew Perez and Joy Ude at Tec Centro, 102 Chester St.; interactive screenprinting at Annex 24 Galley, 24A W. Walnut St.; and Karen Swallow Prior, author of “On Reading Well” at Square Halo Gallery, first floor at the Trust Performing Arts Center, 37 N. Market St. Swallow Prior will have a book release party on Saturday, Sept. 15.

The letterpress event started in 2013 as a nod to Lancaster’s place in printing history and features vendors and suppliers of letterpress equipment, foundry type, cards, posters, broadsides, ephemera, and more. In addition to the fair, there will also be demonstrations nearby in the Heritage Press Museum’s 1920s print shop, 346 N. Queen St., as well as activities for kids.

The event is free to the public and any money raised will benefit the nonprofit .918 Club’s ongoing efforts to the education and preservation of letterpress printing.


Last modified on Aug. 27th at 4:59pm by Lindsay Lusby.