We hope you all had a great time at Arts Fest 2014, which came and went way too quickly, as always.
Arts Fest is a great time every year, without a doubt. But is it the best party weekend Penn State offers? Four of our writers picked their favorite Penn State weekends and took part in our latest Onward Debate to tackle that very question. Keep in mind, we’re only considering weekends that take things that happen every weekend and add something special if you will, so THON weekend wasn’t in the running. Without further ado, what’s Penn State’s best party weekend?
Blue-White Weekend – Noel Purcell
All of the other weekends are wonderful, sure, but everyone knows that nothing truly tops Blue-White weekend. Allow me to explain.
First of all, it has the first football game since the fall. Sure, it’s a glorified intrasquad scrimmage, but there’s one real reason you’re going and it’s the tailgates. When you think about it, tailgating is arguably better than actually attending the game. You get to get to drunk, grill, play Kan Jam and cornhole, and you can do it for the entire length of the game if you want. You’ll never be worried about missing the actual game because, well, nobody but the beat writers and coaches care about it! If you do want to attend the game, however, you get to see how next year’s team is shaping up firsthand, and if you’re a senior, it’s one final game in the student section, unimportant as it may be. And it’s free!
Beyond that, alumni coming back to town is always great. Seeing family, friends, and a host of others who graduated and joined the real world is awesome, and making them shotgun in the parking lot of Beaver Stadium is even better. Blue-White is also typically the turning point in the semester. For some people, it’s the latest weekend they’ll really party hard before cracking down for the last weeks of class and finals. For some, it’s another excuse to spend an entire weekend throwing down. The beauty of Blue-White is that you can do whatever the hell you want with your weekend, and you’ll have a ton of options. It’s like Homecoming without the hassle of stupid float pomping. It’s a football weekend where it has a chance to be 85 degrees and sunny like it was this year. It’s a weekend of opportunity.
Plus, Blue-White either signals the beginning of or is in the heart of daylong season depending on who you ask, and daylong season is the most wonderful time of the year. Blue-White is the best because it’s not as hyped up, but still has all the upside of all the other great weekends, even if the line at the Waffle Shop will be absurdly long Sunday morning.
Arts Fest — Tim Gilbert
You know that feeling of unquenchable excitement that kept you awake on Christmas Eves as a kid? That same feeling is the one I had on Wednesday night, and it was because of Arts Fest. Of the many fantastic weekends we have at this great place, Arts Fest is absolutely the best.
Let’s start with the obvious: It’s summer. The weather, generally, is amazing, and even if some of Arts Fest is rainy like it was Sunday, it’s still better than the shit we deal with most of the time. Penn State is beautiful this time of year (minus construction), you can drink on balconies, and you can sit outside at Cafe. Doesn’t get any better. But the weather is but a sliver of Arts Fest’s greatness. One of the best things about the weekend is the relaxation it provides. Chances are, you’re doing one of the following as you read this:
- Working at home
- Working at school
- Working somewhere else
And when you found out about the fact that you would be working in one of those capacities, you requested to have Arts Fest off as soon as you could, didn’t you? Arts Fest is Penn State’s great summer vacation, if you will. Everyone knows when Arts Fest is, and everyone looks forward to it as soon as they leave town for the summer.
Those points, however, pale in comparison to the most pertinent of them all: The reunions. I sat in this apartment by myself for two months without seeing the majority of my friends this summer. Arts Fest is the only weekend that brings everyone together right in the middle of a long summer break. There’s something about that fleeting nature of Arts Fest’s fun that makes it so special, I think. When you’re here for Arts Fest, you know it’s something of a preview for next year, and that taste of what it will be like is thrilling.
Sorry if these points are too philosophical to describe why a weekend filled with daylonging is so great, but I’m a huge Arts Fest Douche. When I did LEAP, it was the first weekend where I got to see what Penn State was like during the school year, so those memories stuck. People scoff when I say I’d rather be at Arts Fest than the tropics, but it’s true. Only 361 days until the next one!
Fall Syllabus Week — Maddie Lippincott
We’ve all seen it. The first weekend back in State College – downtown is buzzing with the pent-up sexual frustration of thousands of drunk kids in jorts and freshmen with lanyards. We haven’t seen any of our friends, benefits or not, since maybe Arts Fest, and what better way to celebrate being reunited with your true blue than to get belligerent?
Of course, this sounds kind of like any other weekend in Happy Valley. Let me tell you what makes it rise above all other weekends, especially State Patty’s, Arts Fest, and the like. First of all, it’s still hot. As much as I love frackets, I can tell you they’re still more a pain in the ass than anything else. But it still beats Arts Fest because it’s not the dead middle of summer when you sweat in places you didn’t even know existed. Second, the living dynamic changes. Mostly everyone has a different living arrangement, so it’s easy to meet completely new people. I know that sounds weird, but how many cool randos have you met at parties solely because they lived near there? Maybe there’s a hottie down the hall of one of your friends’ future apartments just waiting for future you. Third, and probably most importantly, you have no academic obligations yet. Zero percent homework equals one hundred percent intoxication. With Penn State holidays like State Patty’s and Halloweekend that exist in the middle of a semester, you have to worry about failing an exam, possibly a mid-term, or forgetting to do a homework assignment.
This lethal combination has only good things to offer (for the most part), especially because everyone is tan and sexy.
Halloweekend — Yuka Narisako
Halloween. Back in elementary school, we’d sing a song every October that went, “It’s October, it’s October/Halloween, Halloween/See the Witches Flying/Hear the Ghosts a-sighing/OoOoooOooooh.” Everyone would dress up like princesses, go trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. The simple life.
Now, Halloween is quite a bit different in college, and at Penn State (and I’m sure at many other respectable universities) Halloween isn’t just celebrated on Oct. 31, but is usually celebrated for a duration of 3-5 days giving it the nickname Halloweekend. There is no trick-or-treating (unless your dorm has a playful floor), but there is a hell of a lot of dressing up.
Halloweekend is a remarkable time for Penn State students because of the opportunity to dress up in costume for a few rambunctious nights. From “Edgar Allan Hoe” to “Kids on a Rope” to “Sexy Penn State Lives Here Sign,” Halloweekend is a grand display of the creativity of Penn State students.
Planning for Halloweekend is always a blast if you coordinate costumes with a group of friends, which makes it the perfect bonding experience for all students. You’ll witness anything from freshmen-turned-cats who travel in their litters to Frat Row to Gru’s entire minion crowd, minus Gru.
For those 21 and over, the week surrounding Halloween is always packed with costume contests every night, which means multiple creative costumes to wear. And what’s more, several establishments hold costume contests to award the most outrageous of costumes. Read: You get paid to dress up!!
If you’re not one to dress up yourself, the mornings following Halloweekend are the ABSOLUTE BEST to people watch along Beaver Avenue. Halloween always seems to get the best of us, because it quite frankly is the best of Penn State weekends.
Who’s right? Is State Patty’s Day better? What about Homecoming? Or something else? Comment away!