Experience the Eclectic

Street Fair Returns to Yellow Springs

By Kate Eviston

It is no mystery that Yellow Springs, a village consisting of 1.9 square miles and a population of around 4,000, packs a mean punch when it comes to attractions. The beautiful neighboring landscape of Glen Helen Nature Preserve, rich in iron-ore, which leaves a yellow tint on its rocks, has a natural spring rumored to contain curing agents in their purest form. That’s how Yellow Springs got its name back in the early-mid 19th century. Since then, people gather in Yellow Springs for many more reasons than the breathtaking views of Glen Helen, nearby John Bryan State Park or Clifton Gorge. One of those many reasons is an upcoming event known as Street Fair.

“Street Fair is more than a show, it is an experience,” states Holly Simpson of the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce, and organizer of the notoriously eclectic mix of food, live music, countless performers and a multitude of vendors. The event captures the hearts of many people, local and otherwise, because it provides visitors with an entire day of visual entertainment and artful aesthetics. If a wild variety of international cuisine coupled with an assortment of live performances offers any notion of a creative way to spend a Saturday, you’ll want to take note and plan accordingly, as this event is quickly approaching. Taking place twice annually, 2012’s Street Fair is set for June 9th and October 13th. Both are Saturdays from 9a.m. to 5p.m.

Dubbed Ohio Magazine’s “Best place to people watch,” Street Fair will spotlight various forms of visual, fine and performing art including handmade pottery, screen-printing, photography and sculpture, among other media. There will be two music stages: the Jackson Lytle & Lewis Stage, which will feature the Egyptian Breeze Belly Dancers who perform at noon and 2p.m. The other stage is located within the Music Festival & Beer Garden and will have a lineup from noon to 7p.m. In addition to the live music and dancing, a variety of street performers will also be roaming the Street Fair. Visiting Yellow Springs is a reason in and of itself to go, but to bear witness to the eclectic mix of entertainment is a good cause to clear your calendar.

“We strive for a good blend of as many unique vendors that we can find, with a mix of new and returning vendors,” says Simpson, who describes the organization process as a 200+ piece puzzle and admits that mapping out the event renders its challenges. Her gratitude lies with the merchants, street crews, local fire and police, schools and volunteers, who all lend their support to ensure Street Fair’s success.

For the active participant, the event even includes a 5K which will begin at 9 a.m. The cost is $25, and when you pre-register you are guaranteed an official Street Fair 5K t-shirt.  Same day registration is permitted but allows no such guarantee for the tee.  The race will begin at Antioch Theatre and continue through the streets of Yellow Springs toward Ellis Pond, where it will then loop back around and end on the bike path near the starting point. Door prizes and refreshments will be available after the race.  Also included in the event is a “Kids Fun Run,” beginning at 8:45a.m., which allows children to participate at the same start/finish point of the 5k at a distance of only 1/2 mile (or less if desired). The pre-registration deadline for the 5k is Tuesday, June 5 at 9p.m., and all proceeds benefit the Yellow Springs Community Children Center.  If “Speedy” isn’t your middle name don’t be discouraged, because walkers are welcome as well.  Don’t miss out on the chance to get active while helping children.

If you’re looking for unique gifts, outrageous entertainment, funky music, delicious eats or even just a great place to sit and people-watch, be sure to visit Yellow Springs on June 9th and witness the Street Fair experience for yourself.

(Street Fair is a free event and is open to the public. While public parking is available, availability will be limited — don’t fret, free shuttle services will be provided.  Sorry, pets are prohibited with the exception of Service animals. For more information on Street Fair, including the 5K registration form, or if you are interested in becoming a vendor, please visit www.yellowspringsohio.org.) 

Reach DCP editorial intern and freelance writer Kate Eviston at KateEviston@DaytonCityPaper.com

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