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WE Fest offers permanent ink

BRIAN BASHAM/RECORD Krista Voigt of Mandan, N.D., comforts Kayla Boespflug of Lincoln, N.D., as she gets a small star tattoo on her hand from artist Gerald Kettle of Touch of Class Ink tattoos during WE Fest Thursday.

WE Fest offers several ways for you to decorate your body -- whether it be for the weekend or the rest of your life.


For the first time, WE Fest hosted an actual tattoo vendor: Touch of Class Ink out of Chippewa Falls, Wis.

Besides tattoos, the parlor -- which is owned by Lori Crabb -- offers piercing for virtually any place you want them.

For everything it already offers, Touch of Class hopes to improve its options with each successive year. After all, the main challenge -- getting into the highly competitive WE Fest bowl area ---- is behind them.

"This is our first year," said Zach Sack, who works at the parlor. "It'll always get better."

The people at Touch of Class expressed their surprise and delight at driving into a town that claims to have less than 8,000 people, and discovering that it had turned into a metropolis of cowboys and tourists overnight.

"This place is huge," Sack said. "It's been here forever," he added, referencing WE Fests' long history in the area.

But events such as WE Fest are not totally strange to them.

"We enjoy the festivals," Crabb said. "We have been doing festivals in Wisconsin for 12 years."

Touch of Class is confident in its product, and, despite being new, is sure that tattoos and piercing will be a hit at WE Fest.

"It's the real deal," Sack said. "It's good times."


For those not wanting to take on the commitment of a permanent tattoo, there are two temporary tattoo vendors at WE Fest as well.

One of these is owned by Carol McCormick, and has been around for a very long time.

"My husband and I have been coming up here for 21 years," McCormick said.

The temporary tattoos that McCormick offers range from American flag designs to Japanese symbols, and are especially chosen to cater to the WE Fest Crowd.

They typically last a few days to a week, which covers the entirety of WE Fest.

McCormick cites customer satisfaction as one of the reasons she's been in the business for so long, and continues to make the annual ride into Detroit Lakes for a country music festival.

"There's something about the whole experience of having someone putting it on you that our customers seem to like," she said.

"Business is not quite as booming as it was 10 or more years ago," McCormick admits.

Nevertheless, her tattoos continue to remain popular, especially amongst repeat customers.

In fact, people will often walk up to her stand and ask for "the usual," as if temporary tattoos were breakfasts at the corner diner.

Many have come to rely on McCormick's temporary tattoo stand to brighten up their WE Fest experience with beauty and color.

"People never leave without a smile on their face," McCormick said with a laugh. "It just draws a crowd, and people are so happy."