Vintage Days expected to be in-person despite virtual start to semester

Attendees visit the Crafts Faire during 2019's in-person Vintage Days festival. (Jose Romo Jr./The Collegian)

The Vintage Days planning committee is moving forward with plans to celebrate the festival’s 48th anniversary in-person. The team hopes to give a memorable experience after two years of virtual festivities.

The three-day festival is set this year for April 29 – May 1.

With Fresno State extending virtual instruction amid omicron concerns, Shawna Blair, adviser, said that the student committee continues to meet virtually and work on preparing for Vintage Days.

“At this time, the team is focused on planning for an in-person event. If there becomes a need to switch to a virtual event, we have the experience and knowledge to be able to transition to that quickly,” Blair said.

With festivities set to be in-person this year, attendees can expect a “comeback,” said Jazmyne Barron, student director.

“We are hard at work reinvigorating various elements of the festival and [providing] students who have not had the opportunity to attend Vintage Days a memorable experience at this campus tradition,” said Whitney Ballard, graduate assistant.

“Everything at the core of Vintage Days is making a comeback [from] the Crafts Faire, Kids Zone, live performances, to the amazing food and fun for everyone. We hope to welcome new guests who may have missed out in prior years and welcome back our fans from across the Central Valley,” Barron said.

The Collegian previously reported that 2019’s last in-person festival before the pandemic struck featured the return of the fan-loved car show, a mechanical bull and obstacle courses.

Prior to the pandemic this spring event was known to attract over 50,000 people throughout the weekend. Student-run food booths, a fun-packed Kids Zone for little ones and beer and wine gardens for their parents meant there was fun for the whole family.

The student committee responsible for planning Vintage Days said the previous two years of virtual festivals proved to be difficult.

“Initially, it was challenging to shift from an in-person event to the virtual format in the span of just over a month. However, our team is taking it one day at a time and is optimistic and energized by the positive reception,” Ballard said.

Ballard said that the format from 2020 was a success and that it helped their team prepare for the 2021 Vintage Days virtual festival.

“The virtual format from last year was successful as our team made sure to plan out the virtual format for the Vintage Days 2021 festival far in advance. We learned so much from our first attempt at a virtual festival and had the benefit of more time to anticipate this change in format than we did in April 2020,” Ballard said.

Barron said that they hope the identity of this student-run festival lives on as a celebration that is “accessible, inviting and, particularly this year, safe for our whole community to enjoy.”

Blair said that the Vintage Days team is also monitoring and responding to the latest guidance from the university and public health officials in order to provide a safe event for those who attend.

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