By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
The Village of Oxford Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is hosting a whole slate of events this fall. From new events to returning classics, there will be something for everyone.
The first event on the calendar is Decorate the Town, a new event scheduled for Thursday morning.
“Since we have the streetscape this year we really wanted to decorate it nicely,” DDA Executive Director Kelly Westbrook said. “I feel like so many more people are walking around town and to be able to decorate for the seasons and make (downtown) feel more homey, that’s what I want for our downtown area.”
Westbrook and volunteers will place mums bought from the Oxford Band, bales of hay, pumpkins provided by Homegrown Brewery and other seasonal items around the downtown area. The Department of Public works will attach corn stalks to light posts throughout the week and about 15 downtown businesses will decorate on Thursday.
Next up is the pop-up concert and farmer’s/artisan’s market on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 23. While this event is largely unchanged from prior years, the DDA will move both the market and the concert to Centennial Park. Past years saw only a concert take place in the park.
“Some of the vendors that came out to the farmer’s market this summer will be there but we also have some new ones too,” Westbrook said.
Moving into October, the Scarecrow Festival returns on Sunday the 17th as does Witches Night Out on Saturday the 23rd. While the premise of each event remains the same, a few changes will be made to each.
“We’re still gonna have the chili cookoff but it’s gonna be a little larger,” Westbrook said about the Scarecrow Festival. “But then we’re going to do face painting and hay rides.”
Magician Anthony Grupido will perform at the festival, and businesses will take part in a storefront decorating contest.
“The Scarecrow Festival is going to be bigger than it has been in the past,” Westbrook said. “There’s going to be more going on throughout the town … (The festival) runs from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. so expect to be able to bring your family down and be busy that entire time.”
Witches Night Out makes its return after being suspended in 2020. The biggest thing to keep in mind this year is that social districts are in effect.
“If you want to grab a drink and walk around the streets, look in the windows and just hang out with your girlfriends on the tables and the chairs and the benches outside, you can,” Westbrook said. “We have eight out of the nine establishments that serve alcohol in Oxford that are a part of social districts, and the new maps (showing social districts) are going into the informational (kiosks this) week.”
Washington St. separates Oxford’s social districts, so attendees must take care of any drinks before crossing the street.
Another change to this year’s Witches Night is a dance party which will take place in Centennial Park. New speakers along Washington St. will play a selection of seasonal music.
More information about the DDA’s fall events can be found online at www.https://www.thevillageofoxford.org/downtown_life/events/index.php.