Crowds of students surrounded Helmick Commons as the sky filled with fireworks celebrating Homecoming Week and the kickoff of the distinctlyDrake alumni campaign. Following the display, more than 400 students filled with homecoming spirit moved to the large tent to take part in the Live Band Karaoke.
“The fireworks were a perfect opening to our act,” said first-year Cody Basch, a health sciences and marketing major from Indianapolis who joined his FYS in kicking off the performances with a spirited rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Over 100 students gathered under the tent, enjoying cookies, cupcakes, marshmallow rice bars and popcorn while dancing and singing along to popular karaoke favorites like “Hey Mickey,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “Dancing Queen,” “Summer Nights,” “Jessie’s Girl” and even a performance of “Build Me Up Buttercup” by homecoming court nominee Robb Krehbiel.
“This event was incredible,” said Vice President of Student Life and newly crowned Homecoming King, Byron Spears, (Senior, History/Poli Sci.) “I was impressed, first of all, by the tent and the fireworks. What the singers lacked in sound quality, they made up for with lots of enthusiasm and the band was great at helping people by singing backup and engaging the crowd. This was a great event for SAB.”
The karaoke event, which took the place of the traditional Yell Like Hell event for the first time this year, benefitted from a collaboration with the Alumni Office, which had originally arranged to have the tent on campus for a separate event.
“The collaboration effort with the Alumni Office on the tent really helped to take this event to the next level.” said junior Greg Larson, vice president of student activities. “Working together helped us to make a good event even better. We saw an opportunity with this event to find a middle ground between a declining Yell Like Hell tradition while bringing in the excitement that we were hoping for to round out a great week.”
Homecoming co-chairs juniors Ashley Seidel and Megan Browning were excited about the success of the event.
“We had over 400 students in the tent,” Seidel said. “It was a new event so we didn’t know what to expect, but were really pleased with the turnout. I think the fireworks helped a lot, and the band was awesome.”
The band, which is based out of Chicago, offered students the opportunity to sing along to hundreds of songs while they played and sang backup.
“The band manager thought the turnout for our event was great,” Browning said. “There were people still signing up to sing songs well past 11.”
Photos: Heather Boone