Arts, crafts, food and culture may take center stage along East 13th Avenue as the ASUO Street Faire enters its second day today, but the event is also a boon for the ASUO’s coffers.
Though many of the traditional attractions of the Street Faire remain, ASUO Events Coordinator Mariah Kohles said this year’s event will look a little [email protected]@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Mariah+Kohles@@
“This year, I tried to incorporate a lot more student input,” Kohles said.
This includes a preference for student-run companies in the selection of vendors, as well as some new events.
For University students Keeley Tillotson and Erika Welsh, this year’s Street Faire is a big event. Their company, Flying Squirrel Peanut Butter, makes specialty peanut butter in various flavors, and this is their first outdoor vendor [email protected]@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Keeley+Tillotson@@ @@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Erika+Welsh@@
“We always love the Street Faire, so it’s so exciting to be on the other side of it, selling as part of the business side of it,” Tillotson said.
Student response to their product has been enthusiastic so far.
“We’ve given out so many samples,” Welsh said.
Welsh said they were on track to sell all the peanut butter they had brought with them in one day.
“It looks like we’re going to be busier than we had planned,” Tillotson added.
She said the company would be making peanut butter “morning, noon and night” to keep up with demand.
“It’s gonna be insane, but so fun,” Tillotson said.
The Street Faire also saw an increase in student-contributed artwork and events.
“We’re having an artist showcase; we’re having all the a cappella groups perform,” Kohles said.
Kohles said she got the idea for the artist showcase from a music festival she attended in Oakland, Calif.
“They had graffiti artists, people painting and interactive sites, and I really wanted to bring that to the Faire,” Kohles said.
Kohles recruited artists from the University’s art program to create the showcase, which will be located at the corner of East 13th Avenue and University Street.
Another new aspect of this year’s Faire is a better system to coordinate the event’s 60 or so volunteers.
“We have a lot more organized volunteer base. We have shifts assigned and captains, as opposed to people just showing up and not having any direction,” Kohles said.
While bringing in big cash for vendors, the Street Faire is also a significant fundraiser for student government. Each of the approximately 75 vendors pays between $150 and $300 for a space for Wednesday through Friday. Vendors who wish to stay through Saturday must pay another $100. Parking and T-shirts are also additional costs.
“If you add that up … it’s a lot of money,” Kohles said.
Though the ASUO must pay for the parking spaces that vendors use, as well as a rental fee for the stretch of 13th Avenue the fair is held on, ASUO President Amelie Rousseau said the event benefits from its low overhead costs.
Rousseau anticipated the event would raise close to $15,000 for student government. These funds are used to pay for Executive expenses, such as trips and conferences, which are not part of the budget.
“It’s kind of our gift to the next executive staff,” Kohles said.