First-ever block party a success

Former and current Geneseo students were invited for the first time to a homecoming "block party" on Saturday, coming together to celebrate connections in the college community.

According to volunteer Tracy Gagnier, the event, which was organized by the offices of Geneseo Special Events and Alumni Relations under the guidance of Andrea Klein and Patricia Hamilton-Rodgers, was an attempt to "find a unifying event for alumni and students," since the traditional homecoming parade is no longer taking place.

Students attending the block party had the chance to participate in numerous games and activities, ranging from wine tasting for guests over 21 to a three-legged race. Other activities included a giant inflatable obstacle course, a henna tattoo station, "Whack-A-Freshman," and a balloon animal artist that freshman Sarah Cantatore described as, "Really awesome."

Students and alumni alike said they enjoyed the event.

"In previous years they did a parade, so this year was experimental," said freshman Stephen Roff. "Considering that, I think the turnout was pretty good. It's a lot of fun. I'd come back next year."

Ronald and Catherine Drake, from the classes of '93 and '94 respectively, brought their young children to the party. Although both said they would return in coming years, Catherine said the turnout could have been better.

"They should do more publicity for this next year," she said. "All the 10-year alumni heard about it, but the only reason we knew is because I'm on an e-mail list, otherwise we'd never have known the date."

The event also gave residence halls the chance to show off pride and creativity in a banner competition that was decided by visiting alumni. Ontario, Onondaga, and Allegany took home cash prizes.

President Dahl said he was optimistic about the block party becoming a staple of the fall semester. "It's a great new tradition we're starting here," he said at the reception.