Free food, free T-shirts, Free Energy.
College Green buzzed with energy Saturday afternoon as students, campus-goers and a Ben Franklin impersonator milled around Skimmer Fest, a combination of Skimmer and Fall Fest intended to get people riled up about Penn Athletics. This year’s Skimmer Fest was held before the football team’s first home game of the season against Villanova.
Skimmer Fest required “months of work, both in planning and in idea generation,” said Senior Class Board President and College and Wharton senior Jonathon Youshaei.
“During the UA budgeting period, we really pushed to have a bigger event—especially seeing the success of Skimmer last year.”
And it certainly was bigger. Based on T-shirt and food distribution, Youshaei estimated that 1,800 people attended the event, up from last year’s 1,300. The event also saw the introduction of a number of new activities, including moon bounce blow-ups, face painting stations, caricatures and a slew of food vendors doling out snacks like Rita’s Water Ice.
The issue of long waits persisted from last year, though. “There’s so much awesome stuff to do here, the lines are just too long,” Wharton freshman Enoka Kawika said.
Nonetheless, throngs of students populated the Green all afternoon. For some, the main attraction was the giveaways. Nursing freshman Teresa An said she was most looking forward to “free T-shirts and free food.” Many other students interviewed agreed.
A music stage in front of College Hall hosted a powerhouse musical lineup throughout the day. Students heard performances by Off the Beat, the Mask & Wig Band, Free Energy and Kenn Kweder.
College junior and Junior Class Board historian Dylan Petro said this year’s Skimmer Fest had “more entertainment and the best talent,” largely because the class boards were able to collaborate with the Social Planning and Events Committee to plan the event.
Although the overall energy was positive, not everybody was enamored of the merger between Skimmer and Fall Fest.
Wharton junior Tonjanika Smith thought Skimmer was “better last year when it was separate. There was more meaning behind it when Skimmer was just for sophomores and juniors, especially because there are no special events just for sophomores.”
As Skimmer Fest wound down, though, it was clear that many students enjoyed the afternoon. “Skimmer Fest was a lot of fun,” College freshman Rachel Buff said. “It was great to see so many familiar faces all in one place.”