This year’s homecoming week kicked off with Blast from the Past on Oct. 11, sponsored by the homecoming committee, University Program Board (UPB) and the Pride Center.
Almost 300 students checked in and even more attended, according to Bailey Carden, UPB’s director of university events.
Carden said the theme was chosen based on vendors and what they could bring to the table. She was reminded her of her childhood in the 2000s, and she wanted to bring that childhood enthusiasm to campus.
Vendors offered a variety of activities for students during the event. These included a photo booth, spin art glasses, sand art, wax hands, musical chairs and goody bags to fill yourself. Goody bag materials included a variety of candy, Smencils, Silly Bands, animal erasers and stress relievers.
There were a total of three rounds of musical chairs. Two of the winners were Aeryana Dunham and Aiden Donnelly, who won $10 Starbucks gift cards.
Informational tables were on display as well. One encouraged students to register to vote, and another educated passersby about the Pride Center and their upcoming events.
Additionally, there were inflatable games like Hungry Hungry Hippos, Quarterback Bliss and the classic Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Man.
The events were based on budget, potential interest and cost effectiveness. UPB votes on the activities at their committee meetings and incorporates those with the most votes.
“The games and events had a lot of us sharing little stories from doing stuff like that when we were kids,” said Harley Wolfgang, a sophomore who attended Blast from the Past.
The most popular event was the goody bag table, according to Carden and UPB president Amanda Reilly, as students had complete control over what went into the bags and the amount.
“It was a really creative way to get students involved while also having fun doing the games, creating sand art in a jar and seeing what different clubs had to offer,” sophomore Caitlyn McHugh said.
Carden and Reilly said they heard amazing feedback on the event. Reportedly, students could be heard saying this was the happiest they’d been in 20 years, while they walked around the event and enjoyed all it had to offer.
“It’s a really good event to destress especially during midterms and being able to go back into our childhood memories,” junior Cherie Martin said.