Black Squirrel Festival Features Music, Food and Freebies

34th Annual Event Features Music, Food and Freebies

A Kent State University tradition for 34 years, the annual Black Squirrel Festival will take place Friday, Sept. 11, from noon-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 includes music, a flight simulator, caricature artists, food, local vendors, student organizations and thousands of giveaway items.

The first 2,500 people to arrive at the event will receive a Black Squirrel Festival T-shirt. The T-shirts can be used to participate in the first-ever Kent State Color War taking place on Manchester Field from 2-3 p.m. The Color War involves students using dyed blue and gold powder to douse their opponents. Other official event freebies include sunglasses, coffee mugs and headphones.   

“This is the event of the year in terms of free stuff,” said Charlie Wilson, a senior accounting major at Kent State. “My friends and I will for sure be out there again this year.”  

The Kent State food truck, Fork in the Road, will be on site from noon-4 p.m. serving up some festival favorites. Dining plans are valid at the food truck. Beach Boyz Entertainment will spin music favorites throughout the event.

The Black Squirrel Festival also offers students a chance to learn about student organizations, explore different university departments and learn more about the Kent community. Local vendors will have everything from coupons to clothing, jewelry and of course more free stuff. Many of the more than 370 student organizations will be set up at the event to recruit new members and encourage students to get involved.

John Camargo, student manager for Kent Student Center Programming, says the Black Squirrel Festival is an excellent opportunity for students to revisit with student organizations or catch up with some that they did not have a chance to talk with during the back-to-school Blastoff event.

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

Kent Student Center Programming’s popular late-night movie program, Real Late Reels, will be showing Disney’s Cinderella at 9 p.m. The movie will be projected drive-in-movie-style on the Student Green.

Watch the trailer



Rain location

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

Learn more information about Kent Student Center Programming

POSTED: Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - 10:32am
UPDATED: Friday, December 22, 2017 - 2:06pm
Kristan Dolan