HERMON, Maine — The 19th annual Down East Tattoo Show kicks off 1 p.m. today at its new home — the Morgan Hill Event Center on Route 2.
“It’s a magnificent location,” event coordinator Al Cook of Howland said Thursday. “It’s a whole new thing. We’re kind of excited about it. We hope it’s going to be better than ever there.”
The tattoo show has been held at the Elks Lodge for 15 years, but show attendees wanted a bar, which facilitated the move.
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 only 4.3 miles different,” from the prior location. “They just get off the highway and go straight.”
To get to Hermon from I-95, drivers should get off at I-395 heading west and go straight onto outer Hammond Street, also known as Route 2.
Aside from the location move, the annual tattoo show will be the same as always.
Some tattoo artists come from out-of-state, and all the longtime vendors are returning.
“We have about 29 booths,” Cook said.
The annual show, which draws people from all over the region, always has 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,” he has said.
As usual, there is a theme, and this year’s event is all pirates. Costume contests will be held, one for children and one for adults.
“We’ve gotten a lot of phone calls today,” Cook said. “The phone has been ringing off the hook.”
The cost of admission to 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 wiztattoo.com and print a flier. The event will be open 1 p.m.-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 10 a.m. –6 p.m. Sunday.