The second annual Quadfest took place Wednesday in an effort to help students relax the week before finals.
Andrew Thiel, the former president of FUSE, a Christian outreach group on campus, started Quadfest last spring in hopes of attracting other student to the group, but mostly just to serve the campus. “Last year was a blast to be able to help students relax and take a break from the stress of finals. We had the incredible opportunity to once again put on QuadFest for a second year in a row,” Thiel said. This semester, however, the Activities Program Board (APB) collaborated with Thiel and FUSE to help support the festival with materials and workers.
Quadfest offered all types of snacks and even the chance to win pet goldfish. More than 850 hot dogs and almost the same amount of drinks, if not more, were handed out over the event’s four-hour duration. Volunteers at the tables like Ashlee Fickel were happy to be involved and see the positive impact the event was having on the students that came. “Everyone was so happy. I don’t know how many times I heard ‘Quadfest is the best’ or ‘This is my favorite part of the year.’” Even in only its second year, the event is becoming known around campus.
An interesting part of the day was when one of the hot dog grills caught on fire. The grease on the grill reportedly became so thick on the bars that the fire just spread all over the grill and burned all the hot dogs. Fickel witnessed the fire firsthand and said, “The highlight of the day was definitely the grill fire. Even though we lost some dogs, it got people’s attention for sure.” More people definitely came over after seeing the smoke pouring out of the grill. Thankfully, there were two grills at Quadfest so students were still able to get free hot dogs.
The most popular stand at the event was a game ironically named “Fishbowl.” The prize for winning the game, which involved getting a Ping-Pong ball into small fishbowl-shaped cups, was a live goldfish. Shawn Rapp, the current vice president of FUSE, ran the table. “It was great seeing all the students out on the quad having a great time,” Rapp said. The attraction ran out of goldfish about halfway through the day, as the line for the game was constantly full. Students were still lining up to play and they had to be turned away.
Thiel is a senior and will be graduating on Saturday, but he believes that Quadfest will be fine without him. “Our hope is that each year we can grow the event, with the vision staying the same.” APB intends to continue helping organize the event every year after seeing the success it had this year. FUSE leaders, including Rapp, have said that they will take over for Thiel and be responsible for the majority of the planning for Quadfest.
It was a very successful day overall, as the number of students that stopped at Quadfest greatly surpassed those that came last year. Thiel hopes that with the help of APB and more involvement from students at FUSE, Quadfest will become a staple of the spring semester at Shippensburg University and will continue to be a short break for students before finals week. “QuadFest is all about creating a place where all students, teachers, faculty and pretty much anyone on campus can come to enjoy free food and games. It's so great to see the Quad filled and hearing statements like, ‘This is one of my favorite days of the year.’”