PALM COAST, Fla. (October 23, 2022) Proving there’s plenty of room for everyone in Palm Coast, Town Center was host to two headlining events on Saturday bringing arts, crafts, and culture together all within walking distance.

Central Park Welcomes Another First

Central Park was the site of the inaugural Palm Coast Arts Festival, and artisans and crafters took advantage of the cool, sunny day to showcase their handcrafted wares.

Wrapping the stems with floral tape, Kelly Davis shared the story behind her husband Eric Davis’ shell flowers and seaside-themed vases.

Monica and Eric Davis

“He suffered a traumatic brain injury seven years ago rendering him legally blind. At that time, he’d already gone to the Savannah College of Art & Design, and he’d already gone to Douglas Anderson High School in Jacksonville, which is an art school. He wanted to come up with an idea for our wedding last year for the centerpieces and told me to trust him, he would make something,” she recounted.

“He made the beach-themed vases with all different elements such as the shells and the sand, and he decided to incorporate shell roses. He’s made everything here with very limited sight.”

Exploring the offerings by other artisans, Kelly Davis said after learning the inaugural festival would take place, Eric was inspired to create more of the seashell roses for the event. Kelly said creating the art fills her husband with joy, providing purpose in his everyday life.

“Because he went to so many art schools, art is in him. He loves to be creative. He always finds an outlet for creativity,” she said. “It gives him a whole purpose and he has so much excitement from being artistic. I think we’ve sold about six vases and 20 roses individually (at the show).”

In addition to the hand-carved wood works, floral offerings, pet accessories, and cultural specialties were manifestation boxes. The one-of-a-kind boxes, created by Monica Ceresa in her ‘Three Peas In a Pod Studio’ are places to store encouragement, hopes, and dreams with intention, she said.

“All of my boxes I do are manifestation boxes and in them you put things that you want to see happen in your life. You’d put in pictures, a future letter to yourself, any little thing that you want to happen,” she said. “Every box is different, no two boxes alike. I make them all by hand and I feel like that box a person gets it supposed to go to them.”

The popular boxes are sold on Etsy and Ceresa was excited to take part in her first art festival.

“I’ve been in Palm Coast for about three years and I was really excited about this,” she said.

The PCAF Stage

There’s Lallapalooza, there’s Burning Man, and then there’s the Flo.Wav Fest. Not as large as the first two music festivals, Flo.Wav is growing into its skin, making a place for hip young crowds and those who like their beat a little more up tempo than the traditional elevator music.

Devoted Tattoo shop owner Michael Biller said it’s a chance to get together, make connections and grow the community.

“The festival was started years ago and this is our fourth inception of it. Basically it was started to help spread the word about local talent, local musicians, artists, alike,” said Biller.

Devoted Tattoo Studio owner Michael Biller and wife Aria Peligian.

Featuring two dozen local bands on multiple stages, it was a crowd of all ages, including the youngest, out to take it all in.

“It’s positive bands, positive music, spreading happiness and a good, loving connection,” he said. “We try to get a little bit of everything so it all meshes together, to have a mixing pot of everything. I love the connection and being able to give back to the community. Dillon is a musician who’s been involved with the community for years and I own a tattoo studio in the community, and we’re just happy to give back.”

Exhibitors included a celebrity appearance by The Cheese.

Stocked with slices of cheese and plush dolls complete with their own slices of cheese, independent pro wrestler TJ ‘The Cheese’ Rutherford out of St. Petersburg snapped photos with fans and talked about the sport in between music sets.

“I am the gorgonzola of rock and rolla, the sultan of swiss, the amazing asiago, and most importantly The People’s Cheese. I’m a pro wrestler, entertainer, trivia host, radio show host, but the biggest thing I do, the thing that makes me the most happy, is being a pro wrestler,” declared Rutherford.

“I’m the best, cheeziest, good guy you’re going to meet.”

As a triple title holder in three different wrestling promotions across Florida, The Cheese has fans across the state.

“Brawl USA (Brooksville, FL), they have music, food trucks, a car show, but we’re the main attraction. Everybody comes to see us,” he said.

“I’m the current Florida title holder for ‘A Pride of Wrestling’, (Seminole, FL) and they have a really good time there, with a straight up independent wrestling show, and the third is a newer promotion company called ‘Kingdom Pro Wrestling’ and I am the current champion there. If you’re talking indie wrestling in Florida, there’s so much to choose from. It’s all over the place.”

Rutherford says he’s the happiest he’s ever been entertaining crowds at events and music festivals.

“I got recruited for the Flo.Wav Fest after being at the Wrestle Daytona show several months back. They liked me, the kids liked me, and I’m very honored they asked me to be here. It’s a really cool experience,” said Rutherford.

Showcasing Palm Coast’s diverse community interests through events had city officials pleased.

“Both the Palm Coast Arts Festival and the Flo.Wav Fest over the weekend helped to bring the community together to connect our residents by focusing on many different aspects of art in our area,” said Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin.

“Collaborative, community-wide events such as these bring people from all walks of life together, strengthening the bonds between them and creating a greater sense of community.”