Student Programming Board offers free admittance to TigerFest

Let the Fest commence! TigerFest, that is. A beloved Trinity event, this wannabe homecoming dance is guaranteed to be bigger, better and more hip than in years past. Staged at one of the nicest hotels on the River Walk, the Westin Hotel, buses will  run to and from Trinity from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. from the Bell Center. Admission is free, and the theme this year is Studio 54. Side note: for those deprived of cultural history, Studio 54 was an immensely popular and stylish New York disco nightclub in the late ‘70s.

The biggest improvement to TigerFest this year is the prime location. The Westin Hotel downtown is situated on the River Walk and has a fantastic view of the river itself. Not only is the ballroom in the hotel beautiful and classically elegant, but students will also have access to the second-floor balconies overlooking the river, where they can take pictures and maybe even steal a smooch or two in the cool September air. In addition, there will be food catered by the head Westin chef if you find yourself calorically depleted after dancing.

“The theme is going to be one of the best parts of the night. While many students may not choose to dress for the ‘70s, Studio 54 theme, the decorations and atmosphere of the evening should be super fun and funky.  CCI and Student Programming Board have also worked with the DJ before, and he’s really good at playing a great mix of music, especially good dance music for the college crowd,” said Becka Bovio, coordinator of student programs for Campus and Community Involvement.

As SPB’s biggest event of the year, TigerFest has caused members of this organization to step up their game. They have poured blood, sweat and tears into TigerFest to ensure that this year’s will be the best yet.

Deborah Kilpatrick, associate director of traditions for SPB, explains why everyone should make an appearance at the dance this year.

“It’s free! We’re so lucky that we were able to make this happen for our students, and I’m hoping this will mean an even bigger turnout,” Kilpatrick said.

Junior Whitney Fournier will attend TigerFest for the first time this year.

“I have never been to TigerFest before. This year it is free, though, so I had a bigger incentive to go,” Fournier said.

For an event this large, there was a tremendous amount of thought and careful planning put into the Fest. In fact, SPB started making arrangements for the dance last semester.

“Basically, as soon as I got this position [as associate director of traditions] in April, I started looking at venues. We primarily planned the theme, buses, food, decorations, security, etc. in the summertime, and got most of our loose ends tied up when I got back to school,” Kilpatrick said.

While Kilpatrick has received lots of help from her fellow program managers in organizing the event, Bovio recognizes Kilpatrick’s efforts in pulling together one of Trinity’s biggest and most successful events.

“Deborah Kilpatrick has been in contact with the venue, decoration company, DJ company, lighting company, TUPD, students and staff.  [She] is entirely responsible for the event. She has to coordinate all of the moving pieces to make sure a venue is booked and that all additional vendors are ready and setup by ‘go-time.’ This takes meetings and walk-throughs at the venue, countless emails and phone calls and showing up early on the day of the event to ensure success,” Bovio said.

There will be a cash bar for those over 21 and free food for all.

“A lot of heart and soul has been put into planning this year’s TigerFest,” Kilpatrick said. “It’s going to be a blast for everybody.”