Music, Food and Freebies at Black Squirrel Festival

Kent State tradition brings together students, faculty, staff and the Kent community

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A Kent State tradition for 33 years, the annual Black Squirrel Festival took place Friday, Sept. 5, from 12-6 p.m. on the Student Green and Risman Plaza. The Black Squirrel Festival, which is hosted by Kent Student Center Programming, attracts more than 3,000 students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the Kent community. The event included live music, inflatables, rock climbing wall, photo booth, food, local vendors, student organizations and thousands of giveaway items.

Get Free Stuff

A Kent State tradition for 33 years, the annual Black Squirrel Festival will take place Friday, Sept. 5, from 12-6 p.m. on the Student Green and Risman Plaza.

The first 2,000 people to the event received a Black Squirrel Festival T-shirt. Other official event freebies included sunglasses, mason jar mugs and chapstick.

“This is the event of the year in terms of free stuff,” said Kent State senior public communications major Alyssa Mazey. “My friends and I will for sure be out there again this year.”

Be Entertained

The Kent State food truck, Fork in the Road, was on site from 12-3 p.m. serving up some festival favorites. Dining plans were valid at the food truck. Local bands and DJs performed throughout the event, each played an hour set. Festival goers enjoyed musical genres ranging from rap to folk and some jazzy-blues in between.

TIME ENTERTAINMENT
12-1 p.m. Beach Boyz Entertainment
1-2 p.m. Ace 500
2-3 p.m. The Gage Brothers
3-4 p.m. The Trunks
4-5 p.m. Mount Ratz
5-6 p.m. The Ohio Weather Band

Learn Something New

The Black Squirrel Festival also offered students a chance to learn about student organizations, explore different university departments and learn more about the Kent community. Local vendors had everything from coupons to clothing, jewelry and, of course, more free stuff. Many of the 300+ student organizations were set up at the event to recruit new members and encourage students to get involved.

Lindsay Wheeler, assistant manager for Kent Student Center Programming, said the Black Squirrel Festival is an excellent opportunity for students to revisit with student organizations, or catch up with some that they didn’t have a chance to talk with during the back-to-school Blastoff event.

“Blastoff was only two hours,” Wheeler said. “The Black Squirrel Festival is all day and gives students the opportunity to visit more of the tables.”

See a Movie

Kent Student Center Programming’s popular late-night movie program, Real Late Reels, showed Disney’s “Maleficent” at 9 p.m. The movie was projected drive-in-movie-style on the Student Green. Watch the trailer here.

If it were to rain during the day, the festival would move indoors to the ballroom on the second floor of the Kent Student Center, and the movie would still be shown at 9 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Kiva.

Learn More About Kent Student Center Programming