OH-Fest Street Fair

Lara Murray Sterzel, Staff Writer |

There are many reasons why students love the spring semester, one of those reasons is the OH-Fest fair. This year, Oneonta decided to collaborate with Hartwick University to turn the once-campus event into a local community celebration. Being the last big event before finals week, students were drawn to the wonders of what kind of surprises the fair would have this year.

On Friday, April 29, on Main Street Activities Council members and Hartwick students arrived early to set up the fair before noon. I was among the students going to OH-Fest and got to experience one of the semester’s big events. Arriving took some time as students packed the bus stops in advance of getting to the carnival early.

It wasn’t long until I got to Main Street where the fair was filled with music, students, and families. The street was filled with different activity displays such as Essentials by DK which had Aromatherapy for Wellness, OWL: Oneonta World of Learning which promoted The Children’s Museum Project, an inflatable axe throwing contraction, henna tattoos and face painting, and a free caricature. One of the popular displays was the Quik Shade Expedition set up by A/C where they had giveaways of stickers and shirts. After doing so, you could take a picture with Red the Dragon. Another popular one was the inflatable Oneonta chair they had where many students climbed to take a picture.

On the sidewalk stores, places like Magic Box and Boba Yaga had signs showing active hours and forms of contact to attract people passing by. In the center, a stage was set up with live performances from Oneonta and Hartwick students. People had gotten food and sat by the stage listening to performances. When the show was done, some students took the stage and performed karaoke of pop and rap music. Near the end of the festival, people had disbanded to restaurants like Tino’s and Tokyo Japanese Cuisine, before returning to campus to prepare for the OH-Fest concert.

At the OH-Fest fair, I got to interview Sara Karinsky, the Late-Night Chair at the Activities Council. She expressed how much she liked the idea of including Hartwick and the community in the OH-Fest fair. Karinsky also said it takes months of planning to put the festival together, but through weekly meetings with Hartwick, they were able to stay very active in their planning. When Karinsky was asked what she thinks brings people together at the festival she said, “I think it’s a mixture of everything. I think it’s just having everyone come together and have a good time. I know it’s near the end of the semester, so everyone’s stressed out, but this is a nice way to unwind.”

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