Students and residents of Ewing Township braved the wind and rain at the annual Community Fest, hosted at the College Saturday. As promised, the festival was held despite the inclement weather. Equipped with umbrellas and ponchos, residents eagerly gathered at this highly anticipated event, contributing to the culmination of communal and seasonal spirit.
This year’s festival was held on Quimby’s Prairie in front of Green Hall. The environmentally friendly theme, “Go Green for Halloween,” was fully embraced by the myriad of local businesses, vendors, organizations and student volunteers.
Students welcomed the opportunity to interact with the community, an occasion that rarely presents itself on campus. Whether volunteering with the many student organizations or merely observing the festivities, students were introduced to Ewing beyond the brief impressions provided by the College.
Though a small campus has many benefits, students often find themselves separated from Ewing Township. It is for this reason that Community Fest strives to maintain the title of “the area’s biggest and best festival of the year.”
The “Community Fest Village,” shielded from the uncooperative weather by a series of tents, provided a variety of crafts, games, pamphlets and other treats for those wishing to retreat from the rain and get a head start on their holiday shopping. There were fun activities geared toward guests of all ages, from pumpkin painting to political discussions.
Frances Foti, sophomore math, science and elementary education major, enthusiastically participated in the festivities.
“This is my first time doing this,” Foti said. “It’s great to see all the people of (the) community coming out and having a good time, and there’s lots of entertainment.”
Accompanied by sporadic rain showers, the area echoed with the sound of Ewing’s finest. Ewing High School, Fisher Middle School, the Lore Elementary School Choir and Parkway Elementary School provided the entertainment. Special musical guests the Sensational Soul Cruisers, Thursday Night Jazz, the Tone Rangers and Miss Amy and Her Big Kids Band also shared the stage.
With the immense amount of activities and entertainment supplied, planning this annual event was no simple task. According to Bert Steinmann, chairman of the organizational committee for Community Fest, preparation for this one-day festival is a yearlong process.
“As soon as this event is over we start planning for next year,” Steinmann said.
This year’s Community Fest required minor adjustments due to the weather. The intended “fun zone,” an area that would have included jugglers, magic shows, a mad scientist and an inflatable fun house, had to be canceled due to the rain.
“I’m pleasantly surprised by the turnout,” Steinmann said. “I feel bad about the fun zone being canceled and for the vendors who are stuck at their stations . but everything seems to be moving well. All in all, everyone’s been receptive.”
Despite slight setbacks, the festival brought the College and community together, which, according to Steinmann, is its primary objective.
“The overall main goal of this event is to show the citizens of Ewing how (the College) and the government works together, by allowing them to visit the campus and come together, they can better understand that process of communication,” Steinmann said.
Judging by the success of Saturday, the message was well-received.