Grocery Carnival brings prizes, crowds
Gretchen Burns | reporter
Tuesday night was filled with carnival music, putt-putt, a cake walk, prizes, food and new greetings.
The Residence Hall Assembly (RHA) held Grocery Carnival, the second program of a planned six for the Banana Bash in the opening weeks of school.
More than 160 residents and non-traditional students showed up to partake in the festivities.
Kelly Hentzen says she believes that the event was a lot of fun and that she was glad that it was presented to students.
“There was a lot to do. They had a good array of prizes,” said Hentzen, sophomore in history. “I liked how you could enter the raffle more than once. It flowed pretty good, everyone got to do whatever they wanted to and there was different food at every station.”
Kelsey Neiger, RHA programming coordinator and senior in elementary education, says she believes the event was a success.
The Grocery Carnival has been a program for the last three years, but this year seemed to outdo the rest of the years put together, Neiger says.
The carnival itself is run by RHA volunteers who set up carnival-esque games and give away everything from food and tickets to bigger prizes.
These included Blu-ray players, printers, restaurant certificates and mini refrigerators.
In previous years, the carnival has been held in the spring during Dead Week to give students a venue for relaxation.
This year, the carnival was moved outside, to Lindburg Plaza, where it buzzed with activity for the two hours it was available.
“We moved it outside for the first time this year and that added more numbers because people could actually see what was going on,” Neiger said. “I think based on the numbers this year, it would be beneficial to do this as an opening program in the fall every semester. It gets out organizations’ names to the students and gives us a platform to tell students about our organization.”
Neiger says that the success of the Grocery Carnival seemed to show that the kinks had finally been worked out and that it could become a very successful program every year.
Banana Bash is a new event that is open to residents during the first two weeks of school. The RHA held an event called the Glow Dance on Saturday, Aug. 17. About 136 residents showed up to the dance.
Bethany Harris, RHA president, says she believes that the Grocery Carnival was a good way for new students to meet each other and older returning students.
“I think it’s great that we’re welcoming the students to campus this way,” said Harris, senior in political science. “I know sometimes as freshmen, we aren’t used to accompanying people in this way. It’s a great way to socialize and get people to meet each other.”
Harris says she believes that the Banana Bash will continue to be successful. She added that she would love to see it continue in the future for opening week.
Hentzen says that she will keep attending the Banana Bash activities because it is a great way to include residents for fun activities.
“(The activities) included everyone and gave people good reasons to come and stay,” she said. “It was great that everything was free for students. It was a great opportunity for new students to meet not only each other, but returning residents as well.”