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Boulevard Maintains Strong Stance As First Org To Light Up THON Letters

Earlier this weekend we published our top three favorite light-up THON letters, representing what we believed were the most lit letters around the Bryce Jordan Center. We soon heard back from Collin Masterson, a member of Boulevard, who was not the least bit impressed with our ranking.

For the record, these are hot takes, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

BUT we pride ourselves on being the voice of students, so when we found out Boulevard was the first organization to light up its letters for THON 2013, we knew we had to ask more. I journed over to Section 117 to chat with Boulevard and interview these infamous letters.

Boulevard first decided to rig its letters with an LED system in 2013, when we interviewed dancer Brian Sanvido about the hook-up. With advice from a professor, the org set up the LED system just a day before THON that year.

Those original letters were just green with green lights around the edges, much like many of the light-up letters you see around the BJC this year. But before THON 2017, Boulevard stepped up its game and debuted an entirely new set of letters.

Current Boulevard president and THON dancer Luke Roman basically spent all of last year making the new set of letters, which have two layers of plastic and lights inside that reflect throughout.

Boulevard even let me try to hold one, and they’re relatively heavy as far as giant letters go! (A thought: Are these giant letters seen anywhere besides THON? Is this why people think Penn State is weird?) Luckily, the organization gets the bottom of the section, so they’re able to rest the letters on the ground for most of the weekend. They pick them up when things start to get wild.

Each letter uses eight batteries, and every set only lasts about eight hours, according to Boulevard’s Erik Demotta. Even in my strange THON haze, I did the math. That’s 384 batteries for THON weekend. One thing’s for sure: Boulevard isn’t messing around when it comes to getting lit. After doing a line dance in their section, I can confirm this.

Though it hasn’t been updated this year, you can follow along with the BLVD letters on Twitter at @BLVD_Lights or tweet your own updates on the letters using #LightUpTheBJC (though, admittedly, it seems likely this hashtag will be jacked by all of the other orgs who also have light-up letters this time around).

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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