The University Christian Fellowship, at 514 Saint John St., held their fifth annual carnival to welcome incoming students.
It was held on Monday, and the variety of activities surprised some students. “I think the different events brought in a lot of different people that otherwise wouldn’t have come to this place,” said Cincinnati native and Eastern Michigan University freshman Lilah McAllister. “Once they were here, they stayed and talked because they felt comfortable and had a variety of things to do.”
The UCF carnival had a bouncy castle, rock wall, laser tag, a disc jockey, tug-of-war, air hockey table, petting zoo, henna tattoos and other games.
EMU freshman Justin Tummel is a psychology major and said he didn’t hear about the event until he walked past the UCF house Monday night.
“We saw some writing on the sidewalks and then we spotted a bouncy castle from the street,” Tummel said. “We saw there was a carnival going on, and who doesn’t love a carnival?”
Sarah Krage is the pastor of UCF and the director of the student organization. She said the carnival is intended to steer new students towards a crowd that makes good decisions.
“We worked to provide a clean, fun and safe environment for students to have fun,” Krage said.
She said there were two reasons the event was successful.
“First, we had a lot of hard work from many different people that came together to make this happen,” Krage said. “Local businesses contributed a lot to help us provide all the different fun activities. Second, we had the amazing power of Jesus Christ shedding his love and grace over us as we had a great time tonight.”
Krage said the carnivals have had an attendance of more than 450 students every year, and her goal for the event has always been the same.
“I want people to walk away and say, ‘I just had a whole lot of fun,’ and I want these students to meet new people and feel connected,” she said.
Little Caesar’s donated 25 pizzas and there were hot dogs and refreshments also available.
EMU student Chardae Jones said her favorite part of the experience was the music and deejay.
“It was cool the way they got the crowd involved and hyped up,” she said. “I liked how they included everyone around the stage.”Jones was also impressed by the different people that attended, she said.
“It was a very diverse crowd, but everyone was very accepting and had an open mind,” she said.
“There were Christians and non-Christians, Greeks and non-Greeks. It was just cool to see everyone come together and unify and have fun.”
Beverly Elcock is a graduate student at EMU and a member of UCF. She assisted students with the harness to climb the rock wall and said she the carnival was intended to welcome students back to school.
“I mean, yeah, we are Christians, but we still know how to have fun, and it is in a safe environment,” she said. “We had a lot of people walk through here today, and everyone was having fun in a safe way. I think it was a success.”
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