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Foam, flowers, and fun: PackFest flourishes with returning students

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By Madison Hildebrand

CSU-Pueblo Today Photo/ Madison Hildebrand
Freshman, Aubrianna Bosely, makes the leap off of the top of the “Jump Off.”

The fall 2017 semester at Colorado State University-Pueblo was kicked off Friday, Aug. 25, with the second annual Packfest celebration, featuring live music, an inflatable obstacle course, a beer garden, a barbecue and numerous activities.

The free event, which took place at the Hasan Amphitheater on the west side of campus, entertained a wide range of students of every age and major from 5 p.m. until midnight.

Packfest was sponsored by the CSU-Pueblo Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL) committee using student tuition fees. Noelle Sansouci, the assistant director of SEAL, was the brains behind many of the unique ideas featured at the event.

The festival had something to offer for everyone. Daredevils were drawn to the roughly 50-foot-high “jump off” inflatable that graced the parking lot of the Art/Music building or the mechanical bull. Some prepared for up-coming music festivals by creating their very own flower crown using hot glue guns, faux flowers and glow sticks. “My favorite part, hands down, was the bubble pit,” biology/chemistry major Marisa Regalado said, referring to the enormous foam that billowed across the event and gave attendees a chance to frolic.

“The best part was the tie-dye!” Ahna Masek, a junior in the nursing program, said. Artists such as Marcos Robles also showed Packfest-goers how to create tie-dye shirts with a Colorado flag design.

No matter the activity chosen, all of the attendees were bound, at some point, to hear the melodious sounds emanating from the amphitheater, thanks to musicians like Angie Keilhauer, the Rej3cts and Beyond Bridges. The latter act especially enjoyed its chance to perform at Packfest. “We loved our experience at CSU-P and thought that it has gotten an awesome face-lift compared to how we remembered it,” said a member of the Pueblo band, which consists of Tony Garcia, Kai Furuto, Adrian Hernandez and Kyle Spinuzzi. “We especially enjoyed the atmosphere and liveliness of the students in attendance.”

CSU-Pueblo Today Photo/ Madison Hildebrand
The flower crown booth was one of the most popular activities at the celebration.

For those wishing to attend Packfest in style, a VIP booth was available, complete with inflatable furniture, rugs, and a concierge service from the beer garden. The winner of this event, Lissy Gallegos, earned her status by participating in a Facebook contest that involved liking, sharing and interacting with the My CSU-Pueblo Facebook page.

For those who missed out on this year’s event, Packfest will return in fall 2018. SEAL is also constantly planning events to engage the university’s student body and will be hosting a blacklight party at the rock wall on Sept. 7.