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Although the calendar says otherwise, Oshkosh residents know that autumn starts with a traditional Friday-night fish fry and dragonboats floating on the Fox River.

The ninth-annual Fall Fest on the Fox, Sept. 25-26, will combine enduring favorites with new activities, including an exhibition featuring art by University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumni.

The two-day, family-friendly festival celebrates the campus community by building bridges between the public and the University’s students, staff and faculty. The weekend kicks off with Fish Fry on the Fox. The buffet-style, all-you-can-eat dinner will be served 4-7 p.m. Friday at Blackhawk Commons, 725 Algoma Blvd., and will feature live music and horse-drawn tours of campus.

“Fall Fest on the Fox is the University’s way of making our neighbors in the Oshkosh community feel a little bit more at home when they come to campus,” said Randy Hedge, director of Reeve Memorial Union/University Dining and Fall Fest Committee co-chair. “With such a variety of events, we’re confident that there truly is something for everyone.”

Fish Fry on the Fox tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for children age 3 to 11, and free for children 2 and younger. To order tickets, call 424-0344 or visit

New to the festival is an art exhibition comprised of works created by UW Oshkosh alumni. The Artists’ Talk and Reception will be held 6-8:30 p.m. in the Steinhilber Gallery, Reeve Memorial Union, 748 Algoma Blvd.

The Dragon Boat Paddle Party, featuring food and free music by Road Trip, returns at 7 p.m. Friday at Leach Amphitheater and Riverside Park in downtown Oshkosh.

Breakfast with the Chancellor will be served at 9 a.m. Saturday. The old-fashioned country breakfast allows families of current and prospective students as well as members of the community to interact with University administrators. The cost is $7 for adults, $6 for University students, and $4.50 for children 11 and younger.

Fall Fest finishes with a splash, when the Oshkosh Community Dragonboat Race and Festival returns for its third year. The race will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with other entertaining events for the whole family and food available at Leach Amphitheater. The race and festival will raise funds for the UW Oshkosh student leadership and involvement scholarships and the Oshkosh Community YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign.

“Events like the Oshkosh Community Dragonboat Race and Festival help showcase the opportunities that are available in our downtown area and waterfront,” said Jeff Schneider, Oshkosh YMCA vice president. “However, the event could not take place without the generosity of our sponsors.”

On Saturday, parking will be available on campus in Lot 7 near Kolf Sports Center, 785 High Ave., with free shuttles leaving from Kolf to Riverside Park on the hour and the half hour from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. A complimentary bike check also will be available on the festival grounds.

  • For more information about the Oshkosh Community Dragonboat Race and Festival or to form a team, visit

Other on-campus Fall Fest events include kayaking, Salute to Scholarship and a football game.