Valleypalooza brings students together with music, food and games

Kevin Allen

Some students came to dance, eat and enjoy the nice weather Thursday afternoon at Valleypalooza outside of McCormack Hall.

The theme was “Maui in the Valley,” and it was meant to be a way for students to get out into the sunshine, relax and socialize, said Minnette Huck, a coordinator for Housing and Residence Life and one of the organizers of the event.

But it’s the tradition of Valleypalooza, which has been an annual event for 18 years, that most impressed Huck.

“The program is almost as old as our residents,” Huck said.

Activities at the event included an inflatable slide, bungee run, a dunk tank, a hula-hoop contest and tables for making necklaces, bracelets and stress balls.

It was the combination of the people, events and cost that appealed most to Nashville freshman Brianne Husari.

“It’s fun, you meet a bunch of different people,” Husari said. “Free food and it’s very entertaining. Free and fun.”

Tim Gray, a hall director who has deejayed the event for the past three years, said he played a variety of music to appeal to all students.

“I want students to understand that music in itself is a huge part of who we are, in culture and in general,” Gray said. “I want students to feel like there is something for everyone.”

Dozens of people danced in front of the stage throughout the day to songs ranging from “Everybody” by the Backstreet Boys to “Wobble” by V.I.C.

Ami Neighbors, a freshman from Paris, said she’s definitely coming back next year.

“I could hear it as I was coming from class, so I knew everyone was excited,” Neighbors said. “I wish we didn’t have class so I could’ve gotten here sooner.”