Street Fair to return Saturday, new focus on waste reduction (2024)

Street Fair to return Saturday, new focus on waste reduction (1)

Yellow Springs Street Fair, 2017 (Photo by Aaron Zaremsky)

Street Fair returns Saturday, June 8, in downtown Yellow Springs — this time, with a heightened focus on sustainability and waste reduction.

The YS Chamber of Commerce announced this month that it had received a $43,600 Recycle Ohio grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. The overall purpose of the grant, according to a press release, is to “bolster the environmental sustainability initiatives of one of the largest economic events in all of Greene County.”

Street Fair Coordinator Joslyn Miller told the News this week that the grant will, in part, fund a partnership with Hocking Hills, Ohio-based Zero Waste Event Productions. The company got its start in 2011 as a waste reduction initiative specifically for the Southeastern Ohio Nelsonville Music Festival. Over the years, the company has grown to provide similar services to other large Ohio festivals, including Bounty on the Bricks, the Ohio Pawpaw Festival and The Athens Harvest Festival, according to the company’s website.

Miller said the partnership will include an evaluation of the current waste reduction efforts of the twice-yearly Street Fair via an observation of the upcoming June 8 event, and guidance on how to expand those efforts.

“[Zero Waste Event Productions] will have people come on-site and do a review of how we function and see where we can implement better strategies across the board,” Miller said. “For [the Street Fair] team, it’ll be nice to have professionals in to see what we’re doing well, what we’re not doing well and what we can adjust.”

At present, Street Fair encourages waste reduction through reusable cups at its beer garden, and the sale of reusable tote bags to encourage those perusing vendor stalls to eschew plastic bags for their purchases. At the same time, Miller said many existing Street Fair vendors have already stopped using nonrecyclable plastic items such as bags and cutlery.

In addition to the partnership with Zero Waste Event Productions, the EPA grant has also funded three-stream recycling stations, which the Chamber of Commerce intends to place throughout the downtown area and at the Bryan Center, where the beer garden is held, during Street Fair. Miller added that these recycling stations will continue to be used at future Street Fairs and other local events.

“The Chamber works in coordination with the Village for everything, so the Village will have access to them, too — YS Pride will have access to them, as well as other events in town,” Miller said.

Also funded by the grant for this year and moving forward are two water stations, where attendees will be able to refill water bottles for free rather than purchasing plastic water bottles.

Miller said the Chamber is striving to “go green in the long-term” for its events, and added that the Chamber is confident the EPA grant will aid in that goal.

“The reusable cups and the totes seem like smaller factors toward that goal, and it will be good to know if there’s something big we’re missing,” Miller said.

Outside of the EPA grant and related initiatives, Miller said Street Fair attendees can look forward to a few other changes this year. For starters, this year’s lineup will include not only legacy performers from past events, but also quite a few new acts; according to Miller, the Chamber of Commerce received applications from more than 50 performers and groups eager to join the lineup — such that the performance roster has already been solidified for the October Street Fair, too.

The lineup across the festival’s two stages includes longtime favorites and mainstays such as Yellow Springs-based Devil’s Backbone, country and western performer Kyle Eldridge and the Egyptian Breeze Belly Dance Troupe. Acts new to Street Fair this year include Dayton emo/punk band Recklessness and Dayton-based pop singer and DJ Arianna Holiday, whose debut album was released last year.

“We’re excited to get some new voices across the board this year — lots of different styles,” Miller said.

Also new this year will be the placement of several food vendors near the beer garden on the Bryan Center lawn. In the past, those enjoying the beer garden would need to finish their drinks — which are not allowed outside of the boundaries of the beer garden — and walk into the wider Street Fair event to enjoy the food options on offer.

“We expanded the beer garden to incorporate some of the parts of the Bryan Center parking lot, so that way we can have some food vendors nearby,” Miller said.

Street Fair will be held Saturday, June 8, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; the beer garden, with accompanying performances on the main stage, will be open 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Free parking will be available at Young’s Jersey Dairy and YS High School, with shuttles to Street Fair running until 7 p.m. For a full lineup of music and performance events, as well as a vendor guide, go to

Street Fair to return Saturday, new focus on waste reduction (2024)
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