UConn’s Homecoming Fan Fest brings free food and activities to Fairfield Way

Students gather on Fairfield Way to celebrate the Homecoming Tailgate on Friday, Oct. 18. Food trucks offering various free foods lined the driveway from noon to three.  Photos by Maggie Chafouleas / The Daily Campus.

Students gather on Fairfield Way to celebrate the Homecoming Tailgate on Friday, Oct. 18. Food trucks offering various free foods lined the driveway from noon to three. Photos by Maggie Chafouleas / The Daily Campus.

A number of Huskies braved the first seriously chilly day of autumn to attend Fan Fest, formerly known as the Homecoming Tailgate, a celebration of what makes UConn “UConn.” Attending students were treated to a selection of university-subsidized noshes from food trucks, various lawn games and even a shirt tie-dying booth.

Attending trucks this season included the ever-popular UConn Dairy Bar, drawing in a large line to tempt students from their diets with their classic luscious and addictive flavors. Up by the Student Union, “Fryborg” returned to Storrs, enticing a plethora of students with fresh fries and a bunch of sauces. Everyone’s day got a little bit happier from their selection of 25ish types of fries, except for the girl in front of me who asked politely for cheese fries to no avail. She went with ketchup, if I remember correctly. 

Students were charmed. “I always appreciate it when they have free stuff, especially food,” Maggie Hausman, a third-semester UConn student said. “I wasn’t even planning on getting lunch today but now that this is here, I’m very happy I stopped in.” 

Vendors were more than happy to help out the UConn community. “I like events like this because it gives us first person exposure to the student body,” Rob Kadrle of Wings Over Storrs said. “They can see us, they can try our chicken, which is the same chicken that we’d sell to them on a delivery so they can get an idea of what the product is before they buy it. We use events like these to give out menus and coupons as well, and do our best to raise the student body awareness of what we do.” 

Compared to previous Fan Fests, this semester’s iteration seemed to bring less of us out of our study holes than usual. I was there pretty early in the four hour celebration, but the longest lines I saw for a truck or activity couldn’t have been more than a ten minute wait, paling in comparison to the hour-plus lines seen at similar events. For my salt, this comes down to a combination of two factors. One, it’s midterm season and many people are spending their time crunching down to make sure their essay, test or project is the best it can be. Two, it was pretty brisk out, and even free food might not tip the scales to get a student to leave their heated dorm and trudge out to center campus. Even so, less participants just meant shorter lines for those who decided to come out. Faster scoops of ice cream, quicker fries fried and more smiles per minute, if you will.

Fan Fest was a success in reminding people why we’re here at the university that we love. It was a sign of support from the college that houses us, teaches us and sells us $300 textbooks, and I can’t wait for the next one!


Daniel Cohn is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.cohn@uconn.edu.