Annual ZPN Fest Includes Bouncy Houses, Free Food, Activities for Students

This year’s event brought in over 1,000 students as a way to keep the excitement for the new school year alive.


Megan Parker

These two inflatables stationed outside of the Jean Hower Taber Student Union drew a large crowd.

By Megan Parker, Editor-in-Chief

“I found out about ZPN Fest by [Zipmail] and what attracted me to it was the snow cones, the food and the inflatables,” freshman Noah Parker, an applied theatre and business entrepreneurship major, said.

As a way to welcome students back to The University of Akron,
Zips Programming Network held its annual ZPN Fest in the Coleman Common from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 29.

ZPN hosts the fest every year to kick off the semester for all students and as a way to introduce new students to the campus and what the organization is.

Megan Parker

Former ZPN Traditional Chair Josh Villers, a junior biochemistry major, said it has been one of their more successful events due to the excitement for the beginning of the semester.

“It’s not too far into the school year,” Villers said. “So people are still excited about stuff. In past years, we’ve had petting zoos and stuff like that.”

This year, there were several activities for students to participate in, including  music from
DJ Smoov, various inflatables, custom street sign making, a caricature artist, a giant version of mock beer pong and much more.

Megan Parker
DJ Smoov played several popular songs that could be heard across campus.

Current ZPN Traditional Chair Evan Wasen, a junior sales and marketing management major, believes the events during the first few weeks of the semester are great for all students.

“It’s really based on anyone here at the University because people have classes on campus and they’re walking all over,” Wasen said. “It makes their day.”

While ZPN Fest was promoted to all students through
Zipmail, several students stopped by after classes when they saw the large crowd of students and various activities.

Junior Symone Blackwell, an education major, said while she hadn’t attended ZPN Fest in the past, this year the event looked like it would be a fun activity after her class ended at 1 p.m.

Megan Parker
While no alcohol was involved in this activity, students gathered to watch different games of giant mock beer pong.

Other students who stopped by for the same reason include sophomores Grace Walker and Erica Kaufman, both interior design majors.

“I just saw it when I was walking from class,” Kaufman said. “I was really excited for the inflatables and also the cotton candy.”

This is one of the first of many events hosted by ZPN, as there is an estimated 40 more planned throughout the fall semester alone.

Megan Parker
A flyer on the first floor of the student union promoted the event to those walking by.

According to Wasen, these include bus trips to Indians Games, the HalloWeekends at Cedar Point and a Pittsburgh Penguins game, as well as a tailgate event with alumni for homecoming and family weekend.

“Lots of different events and if you need more information, look for us on our socials and come see us on the first floor of the student union,” Wasen said. “We’re just a bunch of friendly college students trying to make it out here.”

For students looking to
get involved with ZPN, the organization meets every other Monday in room 316 of the Jean Hower Taber Student Union at 4:30 p.m. The next meeting will take place the week after Labor Day.