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Pagoda City Tattoo Festival draws a crowd to Berks County

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 08 2014 09:34:58 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 08 2014 10:12:05 PM CDT

Hundreds of people are flocking to Wyomissing this weekend for a tattoo festival.

WYOMISSING, Pa. -

Hundreds of people are flocking to Wyomissing this weekend for a tattoo festival.

But, in the midst of the fun, the FDA is warning visitors to be on high alert after it discovered bacterial contamination in some unopened ink bottles.

The Crowne Plaza is buzzing this weekend as hundreds of people come out to get inked.

"We have some of the best top notch artists in the world," said Joe Johns, co-producer of the festival.

The Pagoda City Tattoo Fest has artists from across the world from Miami to China.

It is drawing people from all over Pennsylvania, like Lisa Zimmerman from Allentown, who has been looking forward to getting a tattooed by a New Zealand artists since January.

"She moved to the United States about two months ago. So I wanted to get tattooed by her because her work is absolutely gorgeous," said Lisa Zimmerman of Allentown.

But the FDA says beware. It recently confirmed bacterial contamination in some at home tattoo kits and say it is very easy to pick up an infection.

Make sure you are getting inked in a clean environment because the FDA warns you could get an infection now or years later.

Signs of an infection include redness, swelling, weeping wounds, blemishes or excessive pain at the site. If left untreated, the infection could spread through the bloodstream.

But event organizers say they are policing the festival and trust the artists there.

"They are pretty much handling everything on their own and doing everything that they need to because we know they are already on that level of professionalism and cleanliness and sterility," said Justin Weatherholtz, co-producer of the festival.

The festival continues through Sunday and they are expecting a few thousand to attend.

"The response has been great. I have seen people in their 80s getting tattooed and I have seen people in their 20s getting tattooed," said Johns.

"See the talent that is around here. Tattoos are not what they used to be anymore. It is artwork," said Emily Reedy.