Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Lowland Block Party

Vendors sell records and photos at the event

The Quad Cities plays host to several interesting cultural happenings and on the overcast and slightly drizzly day of Sunday Sept. 30, local hangouts Rozz-Tox and Laborspace hosted the third annual Lowland Block Party.
The list of vendors for the event, which ran from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., included over 20 local merchants. The Adventure Orange offered handmade goods including piñatas, Lost River Oracle performed tarot readings, and several vendors sold jewelry, art, and prints. The event, hosted in the empty lot between Rozz-Tox and Laborspace, has been described as an antique and punk rock flea market.
The Lowland Block Party also featured live music including Randy Leasman (solo acoustic), Matt Hart’s Poetry Church and Chrash. Overall, eight different performers were scheduled to perform. Food was provided by Rozz-Tox and several local vendors including Bent River Brewing Company and Floyd’s Burgers and Sliders.

Band “Nevernew” plays at Rozztox, with lead vocalist and guitarist Matt Heart, Bassist and backup vocalist Eric Appleby, and Drummer Pete Janidlo on Saturday, Sept. 30. Photo by Ian Murrin.

Benjamin Fawks, the owner of Rozz-Tox, says that Lowland was a name he coined a couple of years ago and they decided it would make a good name for a block party. “They hoped the block party would bring the community together because we feel we have a unique little community within our buildings.” Fawks says that you should come if you would like to “meet people in the community that are doing crazy cool [expletive], have a curious mind, or are into art.”
Patrick Stolley, owner of Laborspace, also says that “the idea came from just wanting folks to hang out and enjoy everything we do in the neighborhood and community.” Stolley states that the block party “benefits the community by celebrating the spirit of fun” and that Augie students would enjoy the different ideas and the freedom from regimen and study. Overall, Stolley’s favorite parts of the event are the piñatas and people’s smiles.
Connor McCarthy, an Augustana junior, says that overall, the party was a “small cozy event, and the people were very friendly.” While it was not the whole ‘spiky-hair jean-jacket punk-rock’ aesthetic he originally thought it might be, it was still enjoyable. McCarthy comments, “I bought two things—one is a print of a cockatoo that I really love and I’m going to put it up in my kitchen because we need more decorations in our house.”  McCarthy also commented that “it was a little rainy, so we got a little pushed out [by the weather].” While the event’s advertisements had listed around 20 vendors, it seemed like there were only around 10 vendors there when McCarthy attended, so he suggested adding more vendors for more variety for next year.
Sarah Persico, also an Augustana junior, commented that the event was very cute and she loved listening to the vendor’s stories. Her favorite story was from a comic maker whose kids also were selling comics that they had drawn as well. Persico also loved the pottery and says “if I had more money I would buy some of it!”
In past years, the Lowland Block Party has seen around 200 people stop by for a visit. While the rain may have put a little bit of a damper on the event this time around, it still came out as a success.
Photo Above: Vendors sell records and photos at the event. Photo by Ian Murrin.

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Lowland Block Party