Annual College Fest to be held tomorrow

Kim Rodia

Saturday will mark the fifth annual College Fest in Kent. Started in 2005 by former Kent State students Jacob Meyers, Whitney Dutton and Eric Yingling, College Fest was modeled after Palmer Fest, which is traditionally celebrated by Ohio University students.

“I came up with the idea of College Fest after visiting several OU Palmer Fest parties,” Meyers said. “I saw the concept of an entire neighborhood of residents gathering once a year to celebrate the end of school, whether it is a year’s hard work, graduation, making it through finals or just a weekend to kick back and not worry about anything.”

Fellow co-founder Dutton said they chose to celebrate on College Avenue (aka College Street) because it was home to fewer older residents and exposed to less traffic than other university streets.

“Unique from other streets, College Street didn’t carry a large presence in Kent residents that were not actual students, which is the main reason for its popularity,” Dutton said. “Once College Street became a dead end a few years before 2005, it automatically gained a reputation for parties and fun. The lack of traffic really helped to entice neighbors to roam freely between each other’s homes, whether it be for a party, just tossing a football or launching a potato gun.”

Meyers said the first celebration was unusual because an unexpected snowstorm almost forced them to cancel the event, but in the end they didn’t let a few flurries ruin their fun.

“My favorite part about the first College Fest was the snow,” Meyers said. “After a near 80-degree Wednesday prepping for the party, it snowed that Friday and Saturday. It was so out of the blue, and the police assumed the party was off. But we went out and partied anyways.”

-Kim Rodia