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As students clear out for summer, townies celebrate Nothing

By Tim Weideman

It’s not entirely accurate to say nothing happened in Aggieville on Saturday, but that’s what was celebrated as part of the first-ever Nothing Festival.

Promoted as the “The Townie Holiday,” people who visited Aggieville found it quite easy to partake in the activities — because there really weren’t any.

According to signs posted in the area, the festival’s point was to “celebrate having a little more free time.” The signs suggested people take the family out for a donut, meet friends for coffee or just chill in Triangle Park.

Diane Meredith, owner of the screen-printing shop Thread in Aggieville, came up with the idea and led the charge to make the festival happen.

“I just love the idea to plan a day to take a break,” she said while preparing to open the store.

Thread was offering T-shirts to commemorate the inaugural festival, but that’s all the store was doing, as far as special offers or sales.

“We are literally planning on doing nothing,” Meredith said. “We talked about hanging balloons, but that would be doing something.”

Unfortunately, Meredith and many other Aggieville businesses had to do something as some folks already were out and about (celebrating nothing, of course).

Before it even opened Saturday morning, Thread was buzzing with excitement inside. Outside the store, Kansas State University graduate student Mary Warburton and her friend Brittani Shank, a former-student-turned-townie, were waiting to purchase shirts.

Though they didn’t come to Aggieville that morning with celebrating in mind, the two were putting on an excellent display of nothing as they stood outside the store.

“We’re going to buy a T-shirt, so it kind of counts as celebrating,” Warburton said. “And we’re doing nothing.”

Shank said the timing of the festival was perfect with most Kansas State students gone for summer.

“It’s a good day to do nothing,” she said. “It’s perfect.”

Sitting outside Jimmy John’s, Dan Walter and his son, Jim, were providing passersby with acoustic tunes — which to some may have seemed like something.

“Oh, we’ll play a little nothing, here,” Dan Walter said, breaking into a beautiful song on his mountain dulcimer with Jim following his lead on an acoustic guitar.

Dan said the festival just seemed like good fun.

“I think the Aggieville merchants have a good sense of humor,” he said. “And this is just a fun way to enjoy a Saturday.”

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