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Hot air balloons rose from Hill Field at Skimmer, a Penn tradition resurrected by the 2013 and 2014 class boards on Friday. The event was intended to honor the football team, which had its first home game Saturday against Lafayette.

Photo: Mirela Zaneva / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Last Friday, the 2013 and 2014 class boards kicked off the weekend with the resurrected Skimmer tradition that featured hot air balloons, free food and plenty of long lines.

Turnout for the event “exceeded our wildest expectations,” Wharton and College junior and Class of 2013 President Jonathon Youshaei said. He added that around 1,315 people attended Skimmer, based on wristband and T-shirt giveaway counts.

Complaints about lines were common throughout the afternoon. “The lines are too huge,” College sophomore David Aronia said, referring to the dozens of students who lined up to sample food from Qdoba, Don Memo and Rita’s Water Ice.

“We love the food we can’t eat,” Aronia added.

Youshaei acknowledged the complaints about the lines and said next year, the boards would “try to pour more funding into expanding the attraction” as well as come up with creative ways to make the event better. “The fact that people were lining up for Skimmer and wanting to come out is something that we loved,” Youshaei added.

Despite the wait for food, Skimmer appeared to be an overall success in bringing the junior and sophomore classes together.

College junior Susan Yang said that it was “nice to see everybody again,” especially since “it’s only been a week” since classes started.

The event also featured The Grey Street Band, a Dave Matthews tribute band that garnered mixed reviews from the crowd. College sophomore Chris Kampmeyer said the band was “a little old,” though some students showed their support with impromptu dancing during some songs like a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.”

Students were also able to watch a performance from the Quaker Girls, have a cartoon sketch of themselves drawn and come away with a free class T-shirt, though these ran out after the first hour.

Youshaei felt that Skimmer achieved its goal in promoting support for the football team and other athletic groups, despite the Quakers’ disappointing loss against Lafayette College the following night. “Our boys will get through this,” he said. He added that the boards “hope that there is a correlation” between the turnout for Skimmer and school spirit.

Regarding future Skimmers, Youshaei wrote in an email that “the 2013 and 2014 boards will be meeting together with administrators and other relevant parties to determine how we want to channel this positive momentum — whether that means moving to an all-school format, a two class format, or back to a one class format as it was immediately before this transition year.”

“Wherever this goes, the boards of 2013 and 2014 will have a part in helping the tradition grow next year,” he added.

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