YELLOW SPRINGS – Yellow Springs is displaying what the village is all about at its Street Fair Saturday, and organizers are estimating up to 20,000 attendees.
“It’s about everything Yellow Springs has to offer,” Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karen Wintrow. “There’s food, shopping, entertainment, music, art, people watching – and it’s everywhere. It’s Yellow Springs on a nice Saturday – exploded – to 20,000 people.
The village hosts the Street Fair twice per year – once in the fall and once over the summer months. It has taken place for the last 30 years and has since grown. Wintrow said the Street Fair began as a sidewalk sale, but as more merchants wished to participate, the event changed over time.
“It’s for fun,” Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce Special Events Coordinator Alexandra Scott said. “There’s beer, music, cools arts and crafts everywhere and good food. This town is such a fun and beautiful place to be that you really get a taste of it when you come to the Street Fair – even if you don’t know much about it otherwise.”
The Street Fair will offer entertainment, vendors, food and crafts. In the yard space outside of the John Bryan Community Center, entertainment and two beer trucks, one from the Yellow Springs Brewery with the Fifth Street Brew Pub and the other from Bonbright, will be available. Individuals wishing to participate can purchase a ticket to be exchanged for a drink. Entertainment in that area will take place from noon until 7 p.m.
Local radio station WYSO will host the first Love Run event in conjunction with the Street Fair as well. Individuals can run by themselves or as a team for either two miles or eight miles; a eight-mile-long relay will also take place for teams. Registration for the event begins 6:30 a.m., and the race will conclude by 10:30 a.m.
“We try really hard to keep it as authentic and true Yellow Springs as we can and not commercialize it,” Wintrow said. “We want as many vendors as possible to be producing their own work, as opposed to purchased and whole sale items. We’re making our selection process more discriminating as we move forward.”
During the Street Fair the village hosted in June, 40 volunteers dedicated their time to the event – and Scott said they could have used more. Some will assist with setting up and tearing down, while others will man the information booth. For those wishing to participate in the future, they should contact the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce.
“Volunteers are so important to the Street Fair, it’s not even a joke,” Scott said. “We’ve got people who come in at 6 in the morning to help set up until 9 when it starts. We’ve got two info booths to staff on Xenia Avenue in front of the Little Art Theatre, and one on Dayton Street at the intersection of Corry. Usually we have several shifts throughout the day for those booths … We’ve got road closures that people may need let in for parking, so there’s people staffing that. Of course there’s people to help with tear down, and there’s people floating around to give breaks to people.”
Street parking in Yellow Springs may be difficult Saturday. However, the event offers two shuttles from Yellow Springs High School and Young’s Dairy, who both offer free parking. Other lots may be paid, but proceeds benefit nonprofit organizations. The last shuttle takes off 7 p.m., and bike corrals will be available. The local police departments will direct traffic.
The Street Fair does not allow pets, and Scott recommends bringing cash. It begins 9 a.m. and wraps up at 5 p.m.
“I hope the people have fun, hopefully they’ve grabbed a souvenir or piece of jewelry, art, pottery – something that they can remember the Street Fair and whoever sold it to them by,” Scott said. “I hope they have good food, listen to good music and if they’re old enough, that they had some good beer.”