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Forget color-changing leaves and cool weather; at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, autumn’s arrival is heralded by a traditional Friday fish fry and dragon boats floating on the Fox River.

The eighth-annual Fall Fest on the Fox, Sept. 19 and 20, will combine the enduring, favorite events with new activities, including a Friday night Dragon Boat Paddle Party.

The two-day, family-friendly festival celebrates the campus community by building bridges between the public and the University’s students, staff and faculty. 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.

“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.”

The festival will begin with Fish Fry on the Fox, a staple of Fall Fest. 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. 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

The Dragon Boat Paddle Party, featuring food and free music by Boogie and the Yoyoz, will be held from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Friday at Leach Amphitheatre and Riverside Park in downtown Oshkosh. The gates open at 6:30 p.m.

“In the past, paddlers would gather Friday evening, after a day of practice, to share a meal and prepare for the Saturday’s races. This year, we are inviting the community to join the teams in this prelude to the Dragon Boat Races,” said Debbie Gray Patton, assistant dean of students at UW Oshkosh and Fall Fest Committee co-chair.

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 Dragon Boat Race and Festival returns for its second year. The exotic rowboat race will be held 8 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 UW Oshkosh and its cosponsor, the Oshkosh Community YMCA.

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

Other on-campus Fall Fest events include kayaking, biking, an art exhibit and reception, Salute to Scholarship, a comedian, and soccer, tennis and volleyball matches.