Setting fire and flame to homecoming weekend

Grizzzly is set to headline Fall Fire Fest. Photo courtesy of Julian Ford Photography

By Jessica Stamp

Youngstown State University will be celebrating fall with its annual Fall Fire Fest Oct. 13 in the M-71 parking lot near the YSU Tennis Center. The event opens at 7:30 p.m. and lasts until 11 p.m.

Ryan Flemming, a junior communications major and the talent and hospitality lead for Penguin Productions, said there’s a lot to look forward to.

“We’re really excited,” Flemming said. “It’s once again kind of our usual format of nice vibes, good music and a wonderful bonfire to help kick off homecoming week.”

Flemming said Penguin Productions appreciates seeing returning faces in regard to musical acts. 

Opening the event is music artist Riley Burke who also performed in Federal Frenzy earlier this year. She was voted the Listeners Choice Award on Spotify and has recently released her new single, “MTV”. 

Clarence Gordon Jr. or stage name Grizzzly with DJ and music producer John Blinsky, are headlining Fall Fire Fest. Gordon has performed before at Fall Fire Fest in 2019 and loved the experience of the event.

“I’m extraordinarily excited, honestly. This is a big deal for me,” Gordon said. “I played the Fall Fire Fest a few years back before the pandemic and opened up for Topaz Jones. So after that experience, it was awesome.”

Gordon said students can look forward to having a fun time at the event. One song Gordon is excited to play is “Oak Trees” which is from his last album, “Couch”.

Hannah Koon, a junior management major, is the event and business lead for Penguin Productions. Koon’s job is to handle a variety of tasks such as overseeing the individual teams of Penguin Productions’ progress and staying on track, making sure the timeline is going accordingly, setting meeting agendas and sticking to the budget. 

Koon also has to fill out permits for Fall Fire Fest with the Youngstown Fire Department and the City of Youngstown. 

“The permit with the city [is] to kind of tell them that we’re having an event on campus and … just telling them that we need to close on some of the streets to have it,” Koon said. “I kind of have a permit working with the fire department to let them know that we’re actually having a bonfire.” 

Koon said students can look forward to having a variety of food trucks like the Majestics and at least 10 student organizations at Fall Fire Fest. Some organizations that plan on being at the event are Student Government Association and Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

Koon said students can anticipate student athletes, cheerleaders and the marching band to be at the event.

“This event kind of showcases what YSU is about and, like, school spirit and how we appreciate our different organizations that we offer,” Koon said. 

President Jim Tressel will also be attending the event to speak and show support for YSU. 

The free event is open to anybody in the Youngstown community. 

If interested in listening to Gordon’s and Burke’s music, check them out on Spotify at Grizzzly and Riley Burke.