Fire returns to Fire Fest, ignites excitement for Battle of the Piney Woods
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012 01:10
Excitement is stirring on campus as Sam Houston State University gears up for the return of the annual Fire Fest pep rally tonight.
With this year’s event, students will see the return of the Fire Fest bonfire and fireworks display, a tradition on campus to boost student spirit for the rival football game against Stephen F. Austin State University.
Last year, the event was moved to the LSC Mall Area and there was no bonfire or fireworks due to restrictions of the Walker County burn ban as a result of the severe drought.
Students are hoping the return of the pyrotechnics will make the pep rally better than last year’s event, but there were still people who went last year that decided the pep rally was worth going to, even without the fireworks and bonfire.
"Since the football team was doing so well, it was a really exciting experience," Ian Hamlin, senior finance major, said. "School spirit was at an all-time high. I will definitely be going tonight."
Hunter McKee, a Junior Finance major, went for the first time last year and cannot wait to go again based on his experience. His one regret was that he did not go when he was a freshman.
Other students did not feel that the 2011 Fire Fest was an exciting experience. Matt Borum, a senior Biology major, did not enjoy the event and thought it was "sloppy and disorganized."
Despite student opinions, campus officials are looking to change student attitudes with the traditional Fire Fest.
Brandon Cooper, the Associate Director of Student Activities, recognized that some students were displeased with last year’s Fire Fest and attributed the majority of complaints to the difficulties the burn ban imposed.
Cooper urged people to attend tonight because not only are the fire activities returning, but other attractions will be present for student entertainment.
"Coach Willie Fritz, the football team, men’s and women’s basketball teams, the band, the cheerleaders, the dance team, and Sammy will all be in attendance," Cooper said. "There will be free food, henna and airbrush tattoo artists, the Alumni Association and Recreational Sports will both be giving away free shirts at some point during the event, and several additional vendors will be there."
Linsey Jones, a sophomore Mass Communications major, was excited to attend again this year for all the activities for students.
"Fire Fest is pretty awesome," Jones said. "The cheerleaders are super peppy and there are lots of really cool free giveaways and fun things to do."
The 2012 Fire Fest will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Intramural Field 3. The pep rally will be at 8p.m. and will last approximately 20 minutes.