FlashFest fever

Ally Melling

Games, diverse bands attract students to tent in Centennial Field

Megan Knotts, freshman hospitality management major, jumps on the Euro Jump during FlashFest yesterday. AMANDA SOWARDS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Anyone who stepped onto Centennial Field yesterday might have wondered where the merry-go-round was. FlashFest had the look and feel of a state fair rather than an annual student event, featuring colored food stands, frog-launching games and a large, white tent.

“That’s what we were going for,” said Ann Aizon, All Campus Programming Board’s executive assistant and senior English and pre-med major. “We thought it through, with the tent, food and these games. Most people want to win them just to achieve it. They don’t care about the prize.”

All those who attended FlashFest were eligible to win a variety of free prizes.

Display tables for sponsors created an aisle for students to browse. Coca-Cola offered the thirsty a chance to win scholarships and hats by drinking its new product, Vault. Toyota gave away key chains and T-shirts while promoting the Scion. BeautiControl hostesses demonstrated products and gave free hand massages. The Apple table gave away an iPod Nano later in the afternoon.

Elizabeth Gaeta joined Kent Chipotle manager Tim Shafer in giving away burrito-shaped stress relievers, coupons for free burritos and T-shirts.

“We love giving back to the community,” said Gaeta, who is a marketer for Chipotle in the Cleveland area. “We know people are stressed out with finals right now, so we’re giving out free burritos to refuel their knowledge.”

Student organizations such as PRIDE!Kent and College Democrats had their own tables woven into the lines and also provided games and gifts. Black Squirrel Radio representatives offered free CDs in exchange for e-mail addresses.

Junior marketing major Samantha Mittler displayed bead-laden paddles, picture frames and other crafts decorated by members of different Kent State sororities.

“We’re not selling these; we’re just showing them and talking about sororities because the formal recruitment is in the fall,” said Mittler, president of Panhellenic Council. “Just because you’re not a freshman doesn’t mean Greek life isn’t for you. That’s what we’re trying to promote to everyone here.”

Around the bend from the display tables, students raced through a large inflatable obstacle course and battled to knock one another off an inflatable ring. A bungee cord also was set up where harnessed students were welcome to their fill of jumping and flipping.

Next door, cotton candy, snow cones, pretzels and other carnival foods were available from brightly colored booths.

Under the shade of the “big top,” 16 students faced single elimination in a Halo 2 tournament.

“I came out to hopefully win the Xbox 360,” freshman computer science major David DeMiglio said. “I didn’t even know they’d be playing music.”

The music under the tent laced the day’s activities from beginning to end, starting at 11:30 a.m. with the jazzy rock of recent Battle of the Bands winner, 1959.

“I was a little disappointed with our scheduled time,” said Maurice Martin, 1959’s lead singer and senior music education major. “But we did have a lot of fun and really enjoyed playing for the audience we had.”

Genres were blended with sounds from rock groups such as Lazy Susan, rap artists such as GZA (of the Wu-Tang Clan) and mixers such as DJ Skribble.

Junior pre-med major Luke Gibson said he came out to see country music artist Buddy Jewell.

“I skipped out on the second half of my class to see him,” Gibson said. “I was excited because they usually never have a country person at FlashFest. There’s few of us here at Kent, but we like our music.”

Contact on campus entertainment reporter Ally Melling at [email protected].