Clubs, orgs, businesses inform during Neighbor Fest


Photo by Karissa Berg

Alex Quinnett makes cotton candy at Neighbor Fest.

By Ivy Nall, Eagle Life Editor

Hundreds of EWU students and faculty joined representatives from local organizations and businesses in the crisp autumn air to celebrate Neighbor Fest on Sept. 25 in the campus mall.

Neighbor Fest, also known as Neighbor Day, is an annual event sponsored by Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL), the Office of Community Engagement and ASEWU.

This year the festival featured a performance by a Seattle-based band called Down North. The band has been together for four years and had previously performed at EWU. Anthony Brisloe, the lead singer of the band, said the biggest crowd they had performed for was around 20,000 people at a music festival, so the campus mall was cool because it was more intimate.

Neighbor Fest started in 1999 and has only grown since. Over a 150 local business and EWU organization tables filled the campus mall this year.

Some of the EWU program participants include the Pride Center, intramural sports, the Forensic Science club and various sororities and fraternities.

Christina Sosa Lara, who is in charge of SAIL event programing, said “We’ve seen an increase in both programs at EWU as well as local businesses. People understand what a great opportunity it is for them to inform students about what they do as well as advertise to over 1,000 students at once.”

Lara said the purpose of this event is to give students, faculty and even community members a chance to see what the school, departments and local businesses can offer them such as resources, entertainment and so much more.

“In some manner it is like a resource fair but less formal and more community based with a fun, upbeat atmosphere,” said Lara.

State Farm was one of the tables that’s main focus was to advertise. It was their first year at Neighbor Fest, but were still able to attract a lot of buzz from students when discussing renters insurance.

“Students have so many valuable things, such as laptop computers,” said Allen Kapofu, a State Farm representative. “Our goal is provide inexpensive insurance for the regular college student.”

Village Centre Cinemas, GNC, Best of Broadway and Goodwill were just some of the other Spokane businesses that made an appearance at this year’s festival.

Cheney-based businesses like Owl Pharmacy and the Mason Jar were a part of the Festival as well.

The Mason Jar, which won the Best Display Award, had its table filled with sweet treats and a sunflower-filled vase. EWU senior Shawntelle Moncy was running the table and took the opportunity to record video of students expressing what they like most and later posted them to the Mason Jars Facebook page.

Free gifts and food were the highlight at the Festival. Popcorn, cotton candy and mini hot dogs, to name a few, were available to all students and staff. Many tables also had spinning prize wheels which allowed students to win earbuds, lanyards, candy, t-shirts and much more.

One of the more health conscious tables that participated this year was Rockwood Clinic. Doctors were on site to give EWU students free flu shot.

Student Health coordinator Carol Gahl was one of the physicians working the table and said college students are just as susceptible to influenza as newborns and the elderly.

“We’ve attended Neighbor Fest for about seven years and usually vaccinate between 300 and 400 students,” said Gahl.

Rockwood Clinic physicians will be on campus again Oct. 14, 28 and Nov. 18. and Gahl insisted that every student take advantage of their free flu shot.

All in all, Neighbor Fest allowed new students to get a first-hand feel for Cheney and Spokane and current students to see what’s new around Cheney and on campus, as well get the word out to students about opportunities like the free flu shots.