Downtown Auburn Yarn Bombing

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Article by Emeline Rodenas| KPC News | January 29, 2018
AUBURN — Boom goes the dynamite … or the yarn bombs!
In an explosion of colors, the fiber arts struck downtown Auburn Saturday. For the fourth year, items such as light poles, trees and flower pots were “bombed” downtown.
Sponsored by Auburn Main Street and Downtown Auburn Business Association, the event is becoming a town favorite, with expanding areas to decorate and different assigned themes.
All yarn bombers sign up online prior to the event. Requests are pre-approved by the city, and no private property can be “bombed,” nor can monuments, the courthouse and its lawn. Groups start in the heart of downtown Auburn and work their way north along Main Street.
Each group’s creativity is explosive and knows no limits. The various groups include beginner and veteran knitters. More advanced knitters go as far as to create miniature items or oversize items such as an entire guitar or bicycle.
This year, Sarah Payne is in charge of the event committee. She describes the event “as a way brighten the dreary days of winter and wrap our dear city in a little bit of love.” Payne has been involved with the event since its beginning.
“I remember, it was the first year I’d joined the Auburn Main Street board. We took a look at yarn bombing and said, ‘We should do that. That’s really cool,’” she said.
The yarn bombing movement started in Houston in 2005 when a shop owner decided to spruce up a door handle with a cozy. The movement caught on and grew from there. Many artists view yarn bombing as a way bring art out of the private realm into the public realm.
The event serves as a fun way to decorate downtown during drab winter months and also help promote downtown Auburn businesses. Payne enjoys the wide audience yarn bombing gets.
“The first year, we had kids as young as 4 to people as old as 94,” she added. “When we were decorating, people were driving by, looking at us oddly.” Since then, the committee has gotten used to it.
What Payne likes most about it is “zero talent needed. This event is accessible to everybody,” she said. DeKalb Health will also be “bombed” this weekend.
Payne’s niece and sister usually help with the yarn bombing.
“We get volun-told,” Payne’s sister, Emily Prosser, joked. “Even though I’m not as good at crocheting or knitting as my sister, I participate, too.” The group enjoys it and spending the time together.
Following the installation was “Cookies, Cocoa and Community” at Jeremiah’s, 101 E. 9th St. The event’s Facebook page encouraged people to post pictures of themselves with yarn bombing on social media with the hashtag #weloveauburn, tag Auburn Main Street and enjoy a cup of steaming hot cocoa on the house.
Auburn residents and tourists will have the chance to enjoy the woolly display for the month of February. Yarn bomb removal is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 24, with a “Take It Off Party” to follow at the Auburn Moose Lodge. Tickets for the party are available now at Lyn-Maree’s Boutique, Carbaugh Jewelers and Auburn Moose Lodge.
To get involved, people can register online at . A map is available to show which spots have been assigned and which are open. Any questions may be directed to Payne by email at or Sue Wilhelm at .
Yarn bombing also is taking place this winter in Angola, Fremont and Hamilton. 

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