By Emmy Liederman and Miguel Gonzalez
Features Editor and News Editor
Between clubs, schoolwork and social obligations, it is common for students at the College to become so wrapped up in campus life that they forget to engage with the larger community. This is where Ewing Community Fest — an annual festival featuring music, food trucks and representation from local businesses –– comes into play.
Ewing and Trenton locals of all ages united with students on Saturday, Sept. 29 in celebration of community diversity, and there was a lot of activity to soak in. Children eagerly waited in line to paint pumpkins, get temporary tattoos and play trivia games.
“It’s cool to see people come out,” said Brandon Barge, a senior criminology major and senator of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Student Government sponsored most of the activities for the children. “I think this event is great for students to interact with local Ewing and Trenton residents.”
Celine Mileham, a senior secondary education and chemistry dual major, showed children how to make ice cream using dry ice as part of a science experiment.
“I love interacting with all the kids and the community,” she said. “It’s really cool to teach them about science and everyone loves ice cream. I think it’s really important to know where we go to school and how we can help the community members.”
The Mighty Monkey Wrenches, Ewing High School’s robotics team, demonstrated two devices they created — a catapult that shoots a yoga ball several feet into the air, and a large slingshot that shot colorful streamers. The team is affiliated with the competitive league, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, and travels around New Jersey to compete with other participating high schools.
“We want to spread awareness about the stuff we’re doing,” said Sterly Deracy, a senior at Ewing High School. “We’re building skills that will help us later on.”
Students from many different fields of study were eager to present their work and seek volunteers. Larissa Woods, a junior elementary education and psychology dual major, represented the College’s Cognitive Development Lab. The lab’s station featured a variety of toys and seeked children to volunteer for research.
“We study babies and children in learning and memory,” she said. “We take participants from the Ewing community and surrounding communities. We try to communicate with families so we can work with them in our research.”
As a new business in Campus Town, Frutta Bowls was eager to participate in the event and connect with the Ewing community. Representatives gave out free samples while Jamaican music played from a nearby booth. Brooke Gagliano, the Chief Executive Officer of Frutta Bowls, started the franchise at age 23 and she has watched her business grow ever since.
“It’s super important to engage,” she said. “No one will know about Frutta Bowls unless you engage with everyone. For us, it’s super important to let everyone know what we’re all about. We’re a healthier alternative compared to a fast food restaurant.”
Gagliano has high hopes for her new location in Campus Town. She was eager to share her excitement about both the festival and her newfound affiliation with the campus community.
“We are very excited to be here, especially on this beautiful day,” she said. “All the parents and kids are out there. There’s food trucks and live music— it’s going to be a great day.”