Independents' Day 2009 was an especially inspired entertainment-heavy Downtown street fair that incorporated the colorful sidewalk chalk art of Via Colori with econo-priced Dine Original food stands which allowed tasters to sample snacks from the likes of G. Michael's and The Refectory for a paltry $4!

I had to laugh at the deranged expression of this giraffe, which looked like it was moving in to bite my face off

There were also drink-'em-in-the-street beers (PBR always tastes better when walking around outside) and lots of live music, like from The Patsys, who always bring the smile-inducing, snarling goods

I think the "Art Squatters" movement, wherein vacant Downtown storefronts get juiced up into temporary galleries with the works of energetic OSU MFA students, is an absolutely brilliant idea. (There's another "open house" on October 3--be there or be square)

In case you missed out on all this "hoopla", know that local artist and noise musician Aaron Hibbs tried to break the Guinness world record for hula-hooping. What's more, he was getting his hoop-athon on in a building smack-dab in the middle of the festival. Though he managed to twist the days and nights away for an unbelievable 60 hours -- without benefit of sleep or toilet breaks--he fell short of the record. Worry not, he plans to give it another shot as soon as trunk--and consciousness--is up to it again.