This past weekend many Oxonians gravitated to the Oxford Square for some good ole family-friendly fun. The Oxford Downtown Council, which is composed of local businesses, sponsored the event. This is the second year the fest has occured and the council plans to make it an annual event.
During the fest, families brought children of all ages out for fun events on the Courthouse lawn. Belles and Beaus sponsored the inflatable bounce, which was a hit among children, as well as face painting, snow cones, cotton candy and popcorn. The council even had a balloon artist making balloon animals and hats.
“So many people were able to enjoy the face painting,” said Will Hunt, head of the town council. “The balloon artist was also a big hit. It was really nice to see so many families to come out and enjoy the different festivities.”
Each business in the town council had a staff member working the different stations as well. Not only was the fest a fun day for children but many people also had the chance to shop and eat. Many businesses held sidewalk sales with bargain deals.
The fest had multiple purposes, not just fun and shopping. Philanthropy seemed to be the biggest part. While all of the events were free, the council had a dunking booth that featured notables around Oxford with the proceeds benefiting the local Boys and Girls Club. Some of the people featured in the dunking booth were Jill Moore from Squarebooks Jr., Brian Harvey, the superintendent of Oxford City schools. Last year the council was able to raise $825 for the Boys and Girls Club.
“It was very successful, we are very thankful for all the people who were able to be in the dunk tank. It was a lot fun just like it was last year,” Hunt said.
The council decided not to charge for the activities because they wanted to stress the importance of the family friendly environment.
“The council wanted to provide just a wonderful environment on the square and make it inviting to all. With the different businesses sponsoring certain things we were able to do that,” said Hunt.
The Oxford Visitors Center sponsored the Double Decker bus ride and sold discounted Double Decker Merchandise, which attracted not only locals but many visitors as well.
“We just moved to a new office three weeks ago,” said Mary Allyn Hedges, tourism manager. “This used to be Olivia’s, but it was good way to get us exposure. We had a really great turn out. People were able to take a historic tour on the Double Decker Bus,”