"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Night Years, food trucks headline Homecoming Festival

Student Union plans an event geared toward students in an alumni-focused weekend
Evan Harris
Students and alumni mingle at the Homecoming Festival.

To give current students an opportunity to participate in Homecoming festivities — a campus tradition that is often catered to alumni — the Student Union and the Office of Student Engagement hosted a Homecoming Festival on Oct. 19.

“In the past, Homecoming hasn’t really been student-centered, so the point of this event is to cater Homecoming towards students,” President of the Student Union Daryna Lapomarede said. “We’re really just trying to hone in on giving students the opportunity to come out here and enjoy their time, have fun with [other] students, get Wake Forest merch, get hype for the [Homecoming football] game and really center around students having fun and enjoying themselves in a space that’s outside of typical homecoming events.”

The festival featured a variety of food trucks, crafts and other activities on Davis Field. The band Night Years provided live music for the duration of the event. Throughout the night, students enjoyed the activities and sat on the lawn to eat, socialize and listen to the music.

Kevin Nguyen, director of culture and community for the Student Union, said the organization recognizes the appeal of food trucks, providing options to students that are not normally accessible on campus. Four food trucks came to the festival, including Que Viva! Latin Street Grill, Frios Gourmet Pops, Wired! Cafe Coffee BUS and Zeko’s 2 GO.

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“I know food trucks are definitely always a driving force for student engagement. [Student Union] always gets the best food trucks, in my opinion,” Nguyen said.

Festival activities included creating spin art discs, getting spray paint temporary tattoos, designing and printing drawstring bags and getting a Wake Forest Homecoming t-shirt. There was also an inflatable obstacle course, an inflatable Wipeout Eliminator game and a Hang Time stand where students could test how long they could free-hang from an elevated bar.

Brandon Lokey, adviser for the Student Union, said that one of the organization’s main goals was to make the event enjoyable for all students, having a range of activities that would appeal to different interests.

“One of the things we tried to be intentional about is having a little something for everyone,” Lokey said. “So there’s artsy things and things [for] somebody who may not necessarily want to do an obstacle course. We made sure we had vegan options in our food trucks, and we made sure we had vegetarian and kosher options. We were very intentional about wanting to cater to every student.”

Nguyen echoed Lokey and said that the festival also catered to students’ schedules. 

“I feel like it’s very accessible to all students,” Nguyen adds. “You can stop by and get a bite of food if you want and go about your night. Although it’s for homecoming weekend, I feel like it welcomes all students.”

Freshmen Caroline Gottsman and Jenna Hauser agreed, saying the intent to be inclusive to all students was reflected by the festival and other events hosted by Student Union. 

“You have the food and the activities and the entertainment, so you have everything you need,” Gottsman says.

Hauser added, “The student union events are really well put together. They have a lot of fun activities that students can enjoy and it’s a really fun thing to do — to go out at night with your friends. I have a lot of fun.”

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