In St. Petersburg, off of 46th Avenue North, the First Unity Spiritual Campus brought people together once again for Alchemy Fest 8, an annual family-friendly festival with face painting, live music, and vendors galore. It was sponsored by Thank You Momma, Creative Loafing, Number 9 Salon, Enliven Wellness Works, the Sales Source, and the Geraldson Community Farm.
There were a total of five bands that performed at the event: The Gita, Rise of Saturn, Sons of Hippies, Geri X, and Redfeather. The Gita reunited after ten years to play at the event. Geri X was performing when I had arrived, and the lead songstress’ voice was melodic and captivating. Rise of Saturn, the final band to play, featured two drummers, one of which played the saxophone, and the lead singer also played the trumpet. The band reminded me of 311, with the singer sounding more like he was rapping at times, and having instruments that some would not associate with a rock band.
Throughout the church grounds there were seven “Transformation Stations” that were listed on a green card. The circles by the station names had symbols in the center, representing the moon, sun, Mars, Venus, Saturn, Mercury, and Jupiter. The stations featured meditation, coloring, yoga, massages, hula hooping, face painting, and belly dancing. The church held a raffle with stamped green cards, showing that the contestants visited every station.
Origami Owl was one of the anticipated vendors, known for their “living lockets,” lockets that feature charms to tell a story. In the corner of the parking lot past the stage, there was a tent with a chalkboard sign with the words “gypsy junQue.” I met the owner, a woman named Elke, who told me that everything she sells was hand-made. She specializes in unique accessories ranging from necklaces, to bracelets, earrings, and even headbands. She runs her tent at music and art festivals, and also sells her products online. Another vendor I met was named Stephen Oliver, the creator of the “Make it Right!” product line, including t-shirts, hoodies, and tank tops sporting a turned peace sign. He told me that He sees the peace sign as a puzzle, and he could see the word “give” through different sections of the symbol.
The 8th Annual Alchemy Fest was a beautiful experience. I got to see different people; church members, strangers, Christians, Pagans, and other walks of life get together and enjoy a day with music, fun, and family in a friendly, open environment.