Tattoo show finds a new home

&quotI'm his sketchpad," John Merchant of Rumford said of Christorpher O'Leary as O'Leary tattoos a Japanese woodblockpstyle design of samueai Miyamoto Musashi on Merchant's back at the Down East Tattoo Show at the Bangor Elks Club on Saturday.  BANGOR DAILY NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BRIDGET BROWN
BDN
"I'm his sketchpad," John Merchant of Rumford said of Christorpher O'Leary as O'Leary tattoos a Japanese woodblockpstyle design of samueai Miyamoto Musashi on Merchant's back at the Down East Tattoo Show at the Bangor Elks Club on Saturday. BANGOR DAILY NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BRIDGET BROWN
Posted Jan. 19, 2010, at 8:15 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — After 15 years at the Elks Lodge, organizers of the Down East Tattoo Show are picking up and moving to Hermon.

“We couldn’t serve alcohol, and the public wanted alcohol, and it affected attendance,” event coordinator Al Cook of Howland said Tuesday.

After searching the Bangor area for a locale with a bar that was big enough to accommodate 30 or so vendors, organizers found the Morgan Hill Event Center on Route 2 in Hermon.

“We were looking at all kinds of places … [and] everybody was pretty much booked up,” Cook said.

Then someone suggested Morgan Hill.

“We never even knew it existed and luckily they were open that weekend,” Cook said. “It’s a pretty big, nice place.”

The 19th annual Down East Tattoo Show will be April 9-11.

The all-wood interior of the event center, which is designed to look like an old barn, should suit the tattoo show’s needs perfectly, especially with all the available parking, Cook said.

“It’s beautiful in there,” he said. “It’s going to be a very nice location. People will enjoy it.”

Aside from the location move, the annual tattoo show will be the same as always, Cook said.

“Most of [the tattoo artists] are longtime vendors,” he said. Some tattoo artists come from out-of-state, he said.

The annual show, which draws people from all over the region, has always been a place for tattoo collectors to show off their artwork, and this year’s event will be no different.

The show culminates with an awards show on Sunday where more than 200 honors are given for the best body art on display, Cook said.

The finale is “judged by professors and students from the art department from the University of Maine,” he said. “They don’t know any of the tattoo artists … so it’s completely unbiased.”

As usual, there is a theme, and this year’s event is all pirates. There are even costume contests, one for children and one for adults.

The cost to get into the tattoo show is $10, two-day passes are $15, and three-day passes are $20. Those who want to find out more about the event can go to wiztattoos.com and print off a flier.

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