Step right up!

The returning charm of First Friday’s night lights

Uriah Aguon, Staff Writer

Students line up for various concessions and attractions at Seattle Pacific University’s first First Friday event of the year. This event is a campus tradition that happens at the beginning of every quarter. (Devin Murray)

After a year-and-a-half of staying inside and staring at screens, Falcons old and new were welcomed back with an atmosphere full of face painting and funnel cakes. 

This quarter, students are not just starting off a new school year or celebrating their first week of classes. This past First Friday was in part a welcoming back event, as students were finally able to experience such festivities in-person following an 18-month lockdown. 

On the first Friday of every quarter, the student administration teams, Student Union Board (STUB) and Office of Student Involvement and Leadership (OSIL), organize an event to set the Falcons off on a fanciful flight. 

Set up in Tiffany Loop and the Ross Lot, the First Friday fairgrounds featured classic carnival games, activity booths, and thrilling rides. The activity booths specifically spoke to the art-loving little kid within every young adult, gifting students balloon animals and customized face painting. 

From caricatures to cotton candy, there was an enjoyable activity for every student to enjoy. In addition, Wonderful’s Fair Foods and the House of Funnel Cakes catered the event, and hot dogs were served right off the grill by members of STUB. 

As expressed by sophomore programmer Devonte Hudson, there were doubts amongst the STUB organizers about how successful the event would be.

“We didn’t think this many people would actually love it,” Hudson said. “I was scared people were going to be worried about COVID restrictions, and I was scared we were going to be limited on COVID restrictions.”

This event was well received by the student body. Students gathered through the field at Tiffany Loop while the lines for rides and activities stretched the near-length of the Ross Lot.

If not showing off their prizes from game booths or posing for pictures with friends, many of the students participated in group caricatures and face painting. 

“[The event] went amazing compared to anything we could’ve done last year,” Hudson revealed as the crowds amassed over the fairgrounds.

Hudson’s opinion that the event went ‘better than expected’ was shared by freshman Carson Anderson. Although arriving late into the night, Anderson felt that his experience at the event was more than what was promised in the flyers.

“I really wasn’t expecting much… I was surprised by how much there is here to do… I’d say it’s, like, slightly exceeded my expectations,”Anderson said. “I especially liked that hammer game.”

Even while waiting in lines, students were either enjoying the tasty carnival treats or socializing with friends and classmates. Students left the event with their arms full of balloons, posters, and other goodies. 

Following the success of the fair rides and games, the night ended on a high note with a dance in the center of Tiffany Loop. This was the highlight for a number of students, including freshman Henry Moe, as they showed off their moves to hundreds of encouraging cheers. 

“It was a good way to end the night. The energy was so high,” Moe said. “It started off slow, but quickly people circled around and it went crazy.”

If First Friday was an indication of autumn quarter’s success, the students of SPU should look forward to a fun and refreshing start to the school year.