Black Squirrel Festival brings Kent to campus

Jenna Staul

As Jenna Governor sat in the sunlight at the Einstein’s Attic table at Friday’s Black Squirrel Festival, she watched a variety of students sift through the store’s eclectic merchandise, which she described as “vintage and retro.”

“I think it’s cool,” said Governor, a 2007 graduate and employee at Einstein’s Attic. “I saw some people from fraternities and sororities here, and I’ve seen hippies here. And they’re all stopping by the table to look at our stuff.”

Einstein’s Attic was just one of more than 40 vendors, ranging from FedEx to local music store Turnup Records, at the festival. About 4,500 students attended, according to event sponsor Kent State Student Center Programming.

Bands such as Annabel, Lotus Groove, the Speedbumps and Red Sun Rising performed throughout the day in the plaza.

Junior chemistry major David Stakolich came to the event to see Red Sun Rising perform.

“Since I actually enjoy one of the bands, I’d say it’s better than last year.” he said.

Students enjoyed a wide-range of items with everything from wood carvings, knit moccasins, posters and handmade jewelry, as well as free giveaways from some vendors.

Katelynn Boyle, freshman photo illustration major, noticed the numerous art vendors at the festival.

“I came because it seemed like something fun to check out,” she said. “I like that there’s art and that there’s more people getting into art, and they’re trying to bring that out.”

Brooke McNutt, sophomore fashion design major, skipped a class in order to attend the festival.

“We were hoping for free food, but we got free snow cones instead,” she said.

The Black Squirrel Festival originated in 1981 to introduce students to the campus and community, according to A Book of Memories: Kent State University 1910-1992.

Junior philosophy major Kevin Pospichel, manager of the Kent State Student Center Programming Board, was pleased with the outcome of the festival.

“I think the festival went really well,” Pospichel said. “We had a good turn out, and we had a constant flow of students visiting the vendors.”

Contact news correspondent Jenna Staul at [email protected].