Photo by Connor Finholt
BY HALEY HODGES
Ahead of Friday’s Dogtown After Hours event, the planning committee is in its final push to ensure that every aspect of the event goes as they hoped.
Ryan Hultman, a junior studying entrepreneurial management and creative writing, is a part of the marketing team for this year. He is currently occupied with the final publicity pushes via word of mouth and on social media.
“It’s definitely giving me a ton of experience both in posting to social media accounts and maintaining the marketing stuff for Dogtown After Hours while still doing my school-load,” Hultman said. “There is a lot going on next week. I’m excited, but I’ll sleep very little next week.”
The event, which is planned year round by about a dozen committee members, will take place Friday, March 31 in Olmsted Center starting at 8:00 p.m.
According to Hultman and Dogtown co-chair Emily Norton, the night will include a DJ, prizes, Henna tattoos, a caricaturist, Iowa Wax Hands, a movie by Free Movie Friday, a band and salsa dancing by El Ritmo Latino, performances from Drake groups, service projects, laser tag, a mechanical bull, an ice staking rink, and a lot of free food.
What’s particularly special about this year’s Dogtown After Hours is the closing event at midnight: a silly string fight that will compete to set a world record.
“We’ve done it in the past. They did the world’s largest Nerf Gun battle (in 2015),” said Emma Haselhuhn, Norton’s Dogtown co-chair. “This year we wanted to go back at it again and break another world record. … It will take place at the end of the night, at midnight, and it will take place at Helmick Commons and we need about 650 people to break the record.”
Haselhuhn said preparing for the fight has taken a lot of planning on the committee’s part to make sure Dogtown can fulfill the Guinness World Records’ guidelines including a certain number of volunteers, witnesses, evidence and media coverage. For participants however, all they need to do is show up and fire silly string at their peers.
For the committee, the night won’t end with the silly string fight. Their team, plus about a hundred volunteers, will stick around to return Olmsted to its normal state.
“We typically are here until usually 3:00 in the morning because, almost every year we’ve done this, there’s always a meeting or banquet in Olmsted the day after so we have to have it in completely immaculate condition,” said Norton, who has been a part of the committee for four years and co-chair for the last three.
Haselhuhn is new to being a co-chair, but was on the marketing committee last year and believes she received a lot of good feedback that she has tried to accommodate in 2017.
“It’s going to be bigger and better than ever, and it’s free,” Haselhuhn said. “Our budget for food is out of this world. We’re going to have so much free food, so much quality entertainment and for most students, it’s literally two minutes out their backdoor.”
One of Dogtown’s goals is to offer varying activities and involve other organizations so that anyone can find something they want to do. With so many options this year, the committee hopes it will continue to bring in more students.
“It’s really fun. It’s talked about on all the campus tours. A lot of people who have been there in the past definitely come back. It’s just a fun atmosphere with lots of different things,” Hultman said. “It’s probably one of the most versatile events that you see on campus all year. It’s one of the largest events on campus all year. It brings a lot of people together and a lot of different clubs on campus together. It’s not just the committee’s event; it’s an event that is everybody’s and I think that’s something we also really need to continue to bring our campus together and unify us over a night of fun.”