Rain forces celebration inside

Jocelyn Robinson

The aroma of barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs drifted down Big Red Way from the fourth floor patio of Downing University Center on Friday.

For the second year in a row, rain and thunderstorms forced the annual Valleypalooza celebration inside.

But rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the students who made their way to DUC for free food, games and music, including a performance by the Muckrakers.

“It’s one last hoorah before finals and school gets out,” said Tehanee Ratwatte, coordinator at Rodes Harlin Hall. “Students can hang out and have fun.”

Five resident hall councils put Valleypalooza together this year: Rodes, McCormack, Gilbert, McLean and Schneider.

Campus Activities Board, Residence Hall Association and Housing and Residence Life funded the event, while the hall councils also helped raise money.

About 250 students attended Valleypalooza throughout the day. Some competed in games like Twister, while others sat back and relaxed, eating hamburgers and hot dogs as they listened to music.

“You don’t always get the numbers indoors that you get outdoors,” Ratwatte said. “Outside, it gets into the thousands.”

Several competitions were offered throughout the day, including a pie eating contest and water balloon contest.

Several students also gathered on the patio to tie-dye free T-shirts.

“I think it’s really neat to have something like this to offer to students,” said Russellville senior Judy Brooks.

In addition to participating in games, many students came to see the Muckrakers play.

“It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the Mucks,” Hamilton, Ontario senior Mike Pemberton said. “All my friends were coming down, so I thought I’d join them.”

Jackson sophomore Joshua Collins, a student volunteer, said Valleypalooza was a great way to wind down at the end of the year.

“It really is an enjoyable thing to do,” he said. “Everybody needs a break.”

Collins said he thinks Valleypalooza would have been better outside but that it went well for being indoors.

“It really says a lot about our hall governments that were able to pull all this together,” said Collins, who also volunteered. “Hopefully, next year we can choose a day that it’s not going to rain.”

Other volunteers agreed that the day was a success.

“I think that it went very well,” Georgetown freshman Shayla Overstreet said. “At first, we were afraid no one was going to show up because of the rain, but it turned out great. We appreciate that.”

Reach Jocelyn Robinson at [email protected]