Originally posted on the-standard.org on April 19, 2016. Photo by Miranda Roller.
For the second year in a row, the Traditions Council extended the celebration of turning on the John Q. Hammons fountain by putting together a festival complete with food, rides, crafts and giveaways on Friday, April 15.
Students took a break from their hustle to-and-from class to dip their toes in the water for the first time this year and participate in the $6,000 carnival put on by Traditions Council Spirits Chair, Ashley Thornton.
This time around, the festival required more effort due to the lack of success last year’s carnival had, Thornton said.
“The first time, it was raining and a lot of students didn’t want to stop by so it wasn’t really high in attendance,” Thornton said. “I tried to add a lot more things like the crafts and carnival rides and I tried to spread it all out (on the quad) behind the fountain to make it look like a party atmosphere.”
And according to Megan Bauer, sophomore logistics and supply chain management major, the hard work paid off.
“We really don’t see a lot of big events like this on campus that brings everyone together,” Bauer said. “Plus it makes our campus look really good when people are walking by on tours.”
Even Thornton said that although they had minor hiccups such as having few volunteers and running out of supplies for crafts and prizes, the festival was still popular among students.
“Attendance was really high and consistent throughout the day,” Thornton said. “It was a little slower when classes were going on but when they let out, there were a lot of people here.”
The festival was paid through the Bear Fee, a $50 payment per semester by students. Part of this annual total goes toward Traditions Council for activities around campus, including the fountain party. According to Tessa Campbell, freshman design and illustration double major, it was money well spent.
“I’m okay with them spending the money because it helps everyone have fun, and it comes at a good time when everyone is stressing about finals,” Campbell said.
The event was partly sponsored by Chartwells and Papa Johns, who provided the food. As for the giveaways, members of Traditions Council handed out yellow tickets randomly; those who received the tickets would then sing the fight song or prove they completed at least two traditions of Missouri State before picking out their prize.
The craft station was run by the Advisor for Traditions Council Victoria Price; there, students could create a make-a-wish bottle where they choose a glass bottle, fill it with glitter, sand and a slip of paper with their personal wish on it.
“Once people fill their bottles, we pour authentic fountain water inside,” Price said. “The legend is that once your paper dissolves, your wish will come true, and that kind of symbolizes that Missouri State can help fulfill your dreams.”
As an attendee of the festival, freshman and hospitality major Rachel Liley said she enjoyed the festival and liked how it helped unite students.
“I remember when I toured campus, they really emphasized on the fountain and how it brings all of Missouri State together, and since it has been here for a long time, it’s just here to remind us how much it means to all of us,” Liley said.