Friends and families gathered around an array of mismatched chairs and tables, sat back and enjoyed food and drinks provided by local restaurants and breweries for the Repurpose Project’s Winter Festival on Saturday.
Every year, the Repurpose Project hosts the event, which provides a time and space for local artisans to sell their handmade and recycled goods.
At this year’s festival, attendees were greeted by Green Sustainable Santa (played by the Repurpose Project’s Mike Myers), who read them books donated by the community and posed for photos.
As the sun sat, visitors were welcomed by the sounds of jazz, folk and bluegrass by local musicians.
The Repurpose Project, which some might say looks like a junk yard from the outside, is actually a quirky little store on Northeast 23rd Avenue.
Co-founded by Myers and Sarah Goff in 2011, the Repurpose Project is a non-profit community-based thrift store that focuses on recycling and salvaging. Unlike other thrift stores, it accepts any and all types of recycled items, from trinkets to lumber and everything in between.
Leslie Tharp, a 33-year-old Gainesville resident, spends her time transforming scraps of metal into works of art. When Tharp isn’t working on commissioned projects for businesses, the city of Gainesville and individuals, she’s teaching classes and leading workshops on blacksmithing.