New students have seen special entertainers, concerts on the lawn and free food on campus this week during the university’s traditional Week of Welcome events. And on Saturday, Packapalooza, the week’s last event, will transform Hillsborough Street into an all-day block party.
The event will take place tomorrow from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but everyone is encouraged to bring a can of food for the NC State’s new food pantry, which will provide assistance for families in need at the university.
Packapalooza is a new event this year. Lauryn Collier, president of the Union Activities Board, believed the concert that formerly took place at the end of Welcome Week did not fully encompass the excitement and pride that comes with the university’s 125th anniversary. So the Union Activities Board, NC State 125th Anniversary Committee and the Hillsborough Street Community Service Corporation teamed up to develop the festival.
“The other student leaders and I felt it was important to not only have a concert, but a festival to celebrate NC State’s 125th anniversary,” Collier says. “The event conceptually began to develop in the spring, and the Union Activities Board voted on the name ‘Packapalooza’ as the event components came to life.”
Throughout the day, Packapalooza will feature local bands performing on two stages located next to the Bell Tower and along Hillsborough Street. Headliners include Carolina Liar, Liquid Pleasure, Leela James and Mama’s Love. NC State’s co-ed a cappella group, Acappology, will also be performing.
There will be six zones at the event, including a Green Zone, Arts Zone, Wolfpack Zone, Sports Zone, International Zone and Public Safety Zone. Each zone will have a variety of different activities, including Bell Tower tours, a 40-foot inflatable water slide, and opportunities to meet and get autographs from NC State athletic teams.
During the afternoon hours, there will be close to 160 vendors from NC State and Hillsborough Street. Through the use of various sponsors, the Union Activities Board, NC State 125th Anniversary Committee and the Hillsborough Street Community Service Corporation hope to raise awareness and get students and alumni more actively engaged.
“We hope that Packapalooza will not only provide entertainment and information to everyone in attendance, but serve as a way for people to learn more about our organizations and the great things we are involved in planning,” Collier says.
After the event, select Hillsborough Street vendors will have extended hours and feature food specials and live entertainment.