Yellow Springs Street Fair attracts up to 25,000 visitors from the Dayton area.
By Julia Rivera
Two musical stages, a beer garden and hundreds of vendors can be found at this year’s Yellow Springs Street Fair on Saturday, June 10. The annual fair attracts between 20,000-25,000 visitors from all over the Dayton area.
In the 1960s the street fair began as a simple sidewalk sale coordinated by the local downtown shops. By the late 1970s it had grown to expand onto Xenia Avenue and in the 80s the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce became involved in coordinating the event.
One stage, the Soin Stage, will be in the lawn of Jackson-Lytle-Lewis Life Celebration Center and is for smaller, mellower and acoustic acts, as well as the local belly-dancing troupe, Egyptian Breeze. This stage runs from 9 a.m., when the festival starts, until 5 p.m. The music continues at the John Bryan Community Center with larger bands and craft beer until 7 p.m. Musical acts include Erika Hughes and The Well-Mannered, Jeanne Ulrich and The Devil’s Backbone, Nerak Roth Patterson Band and Chris Yakopcic.
Though some of the artists are returning to the fair Yakopcic is a first-time performer. He is an acoustic blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter inspired by pre-war delta and Piedmont players. Although he has performed at major competitions, Yakopcic is looking forward to gracing the stage at the small town Yellow Springs Street Fair. “It seems like a good time. I hope to have half a good time as anyone else does,” Yakopcic says.
While enjoying the sounds of Yakopcic and other musicians attendees will also be able to shop. Yellow Springs event coordinator Alexandra Scott says, “The Street Fair began as a way for merchants to highlight their merchandise and encourage sales. Today, as then, the primary purpose of Street Fair is to attract visitors to Yellow Springs to support local businesses. We endeavor to highlight the breadth of what makes Yellow Springs so unique by focusing on local artists, merchants and performers.”
The fair is a pet-free event. It is a village ordinance that animals are not allowed at the Street Fair and violators will be asked to leave. While ATM’s are available in thearea and many vendors accept credit cards the sheer numbers of devices can make electronic transactions slow so Alexandra recommends having cash on hand.
“I think anyone who has ever been to Yellow Springs would understand when I say that Yellow Springs has a great ‘vibe.’ Yellow Springs Street Fair is the only festival where you really get to experience the heart of Yellow Springs. It really is just a wonderful place to be, or, as some like to call it, ‘a day of small town hoopla,’” says Alexandra.
Because the fair is expected to draw large crowds, a free shuttle service will be offered. The shuttle will run from Young’s Dairy, 6800 Springfield-Xenia Road, and Yellow Springs High School, 420 E. Enon Road, and is available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Attendees can also ride bikes and use the free Bike Miami Valley bike valet service at the corner of Dayton Street and Route 68, adjacent to the Beer Garden. Attendees can also head to yellowspringsohio.org for alternate routes, musical lineups and general information.