Plaquemine’s River Road Framers Guild hosted Roc Day 2018 Saturday at the St. John Knights of Columbus building Saturday, drawing about 80 yarn spinners and weavers from neighboring states.
Saturday marked the first time the city has hosted the annual event but not the first time its played host to similar events, according to Charlene Bishop of the local organization.
“We formed the guild so we could host the 2004 Southeast Fiber Forum at the Mark Gulatta Riverfront Park,” she said, an event held in 2004. “It was one of the first events that was held at the then new park.”
The local guild is a small, but active group of 10 members, some of whom have participated in the Farmers Market hosted by the City of Plaquemine.
Roc Day is a gathering of spinners that traditionally occurs the day following Epiphany, or 12th Night.
“Our reason for the get together is to spin, knit or use some other portable fiber technique, but we visit, invite vendors so we can shop, ,show off our pieces, catch up on the year’s events and have a leisurely lunch,” according to the Roc Day website.
The event – named for “roc,” the German name for the flat part of a spinning wheel – is, according to legend held after the celebration of the Epiphany because women had put away their spinning wheels and weaving looms for the holiday season’s baking and other Christmas and New Year related chores.
Roc Day, then, is traditionally held on Jan. 7, but the Gulf States celebrate the women’s return to spinning and weaving on the first Saturday afterward.
While vendors had to pay a small entry fee to participate in Roc Day, the event was open to the public for several hours and attracted several dozen people curious about the event and the organization.