This article covers Saturday’s Spirit of Shrewsbury festivities. To see Sunday’s Spirit of Shrewsbury Parade, click here.
SHREWSBURY – The 27th Spirit of Shrewsbury Fall Festival was one for the books.
Roughly 80 vendors – and hundreds of event attendees – assembled at Oak Middle School on Saturday for great food, exciting activities, hours of fun, and community togetherness.
“It starts with the motivation to have fun and get the community involved and meeting each other,” said Spirit of Shrewsbury President Mieka Davis. “I don’t think we do that enough, so we’re really dedicated to making sure there are cultural events.”
The event featured food trucks, bounce houses, alpacas, and giveaways from numerous local companies. The sun never came out, but community members didn’t let the overcast weather and spitting rain dampen their spirits.
“We love Shrewsbury – that’s what it’s all about. Anything we can do to improve Shrewsbury is what our mission is – how can we get this town to be better in any way? … You’re meeting friends, you’re meeting churches, you’re meeting help. There’s so many vendors out there that are here to help other people,” Davis said.
When asked what makes Shrewsbury so special, Davis was quick to respond.
“The people. It’s a fun town… It’s a great culture, and we’re just trying to keep it that way,” she said.
Highlights from the festival include:
Shrewsbury Robotics Team 467
Shrewsbury Robotics Team 467 brought their robot out for the community to see. The robot tooled around the front entrance of Oak Middle School, picking up and stacking traffic cones.
“How often do you see a 150-pound robot? Not often, right? It’s pretty cool to see,” said robotics team member Akhil Narahari. “The kids love it. It promotes STEM in the community – I think it’s really important.”
“Building the robot is challenging,” said Dillon Harrington, Narahari’s robotics teammate. “I think it’s great to show it off to the community to share what we can do. We don’t have a ton of tools, but we can build something like that.”
The members of the robotics team also hoped the community would help the program.
“Bringing the robot allows us to display to everyone how we can help the community and how the community can help us,” said robotics team member Clark Singh.
Shrewsbury Cultural Council completes electrical box project
The Shrewsbury Cultural Council (SCC) used their Spirit of Shrewsbury booth to advertise the town’s latest public art display. After months of coordination, the SCC finally installed their electrical box art on September 22.
Five electrical boxes around town have been adorned with local art.
“We were very thoughtful and intentional about which piece of artwork went in each place… I think you can see from the five designs that they’re very different but very cohesive together,” said Lauren Blumberg, the SCC co-chair.
Blumberg, fellow co-chair Jane Siebels, SELCO, former SCC Chairperson Sarah Lividini, and myriad other SCC members helped the project come to fruition. The SCC encourages people to check out the new colorful electrical boxes.
“Make it a scavenger hunt!” said Blumberg. “Go out, find the five designs, post it. We’d love to get pictures and showcase people finding our designs in the wild.”
Community members – ranging from “tiny tots” (those under eight) to “awesome artists” (contestants age 20 or older) – participated in the Spirit of Shrewsbury Talent Show. Over 25 people shared their talents with the crowd; the show featured dance, piano, singing, and other unique performances.
Dozens of community members tried their luck at the Spirit of Shrewsbury Pie-Eating Contest, which challenged contestants to eat one Table Talk Pie without using their hands. Competitions were held in three categories; Reema Tyhei emerged victorious in the adult contest.
“I just tried to enjoy the competition. It had been so long – so many years – since I participated. I thought, ‘let’s participate, let’s be a child again.’ It was messy, but I’m just enjoying what I’m doing here today,” Tyhei said, admitting she didn’t expect to win the competition.
Three dogs competed to win the Spirit of Shrewsbury Dog Show. Cata, the two-year-old canine who wowed the crowd with her jumping stamina, was crowned the winner by Spirit of Shrewsbury Grand Marshal Missy Hollenback.
“She’s a nice dog,” said Cata’s owner, who wished not to be identified. “I’m so happy she won.”
What’s happening tomorrow?
Spirit of Shrewsbury continues tomorrow (Sunday, September 24) with the annual Spirit of Shrewsbury Parade. The parade will start at the old Maj. Howard W. Beal School at 1:00 p.m. and travel 1.1 miles to Oak Middle School. Food trucks will be at the end of the parade route.
The Community Advocate will have continuing coverage of Spirit of Shrewsbury.