On Oct. 3, Penn Park will buzz with energy as students celebrate the fourth-annual Skimmerfest. A hallmark Penn tradition featuring free food and live music, the event will feature headliner and electric music duo AlunaGeorge and opener Blind Prism, a student duo from Penn.
Organized by the Class Board, the Social Planning and Events Committee and Penn Athletics, Skimmerfest will be held after the first home football game against Dartmouth.
This year, the planning committee hopes to revamp the vibe of Skimmerfest by focusing more on live music.
“We want to try something new and focus more on the talent. People aren’t going there for a moon jump — they’re going to see a show,” Junior Class Board Historian Daniel Roberts said.
The event will not have as many carnival attractions as in years past, but Senior Class Board Nursing Chair Ally Lutfi added that there would still be a photo booth and three food trucks — Mister Softee, Buttercream Cupcake Truck and Mac Mart Food Truck.
The planning committee also hopes that the focus on music rather than carnival events will combat extremely long lines, which have been a problem at previous Skimmerfests.
SPEC Film Co-Director and College senior Sabina Spigner said that the food trucks may lead to shorter lines.
“We wanted to focus more on things with higher turnover rates,” SPEC Secretary and College senior Roshni Amin said.
Although Skimmerfest has undergone many changes, it has been around in some form for more than 60 years.
Skimmer began in 1949 in an effort to raise student interest in the men’s crew team races. The event was named in 1951 for Penn crew coach Rusty Callow’s signature straw “skimmer” hat, according to the University Archives.
After being replaced by Spring Fling in 1973, Skimmer was revived in 2011 and then later combined with Fall Fest, an event showcasing student groups, in 2012.
“I’m a senior now, so Skimmerfest has changed a lot since I was a freshman,” Lufti said. “But it’s just a great Penn tradition, and that carries through every year.”
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