by Elizabeth Brei, Daily Vidette Staff Writer
Students came out in droves for the ISU Homecoming Carnival Wednesday night.
The carnival, which was circus-themed, spanned the first floor of the Bone Student Center. The central focus of the carnival was the Gamma Phi Circus, who performed throughout the evening in the Brown Ballroom. Along with the circus, the carnival offered face-painting, balloon animals, caricatures and RSO-sponsored carnival games.
“I think the focus of this year’s carnival has been kind of creating an atmosphere for everyone that’s really inviting, getting as many ISU students to be able to attend as possible,” Kelly Mitchell, University Program Board Spirit Chairperson, said.
“The whole concourse is decorated,” Mitchell said. “There’s red and rainbow everywhere. The atmosphere in here is a lot more thematic. It’s all one concourse, one carnival, everything.”
Sixteen hundred students attended last year’s carnival, when the event took place only within the Brown Ballroom and the Circus Room instead of the entire first floor, and at least 2,000 were expected to be in attendance this year.
“We never know what to expect, considering that last year we were expecting 500 and we had over a thousand,” Mitchell said.
The carnival is meant to share the ISU Homecoming theme of “Get in the Game.” Mitchell said that this went beyond just football.
“It’s also about taking your own life in your own hands,” she explained.
“Don’t sit on the sidelines. Get in the game of your own life. Go to all the things that are happening during the week. Get involved, make friends, meet new people. See what the school has to offer,” Mitchell added.
Mitchell enjoyed the decorations the UPB put together inside the ballroom, which included streamers and hundreds of balloons.
“Usually, it’s just brick and brown and historic pictures, and it’s a lot more colorful right now,” she explained. “I like seeing it with life in it, ‘cause sometimes it’s just a lot of people studying and stressed out, and right now it’s just a really fun atmosphere.”
Students seemed to agree.
Freshman nursing major Megan Bice said that her favorite part of the carnival was the food.
“The funnel cakes, most importantly,” she said jokingly. “Just the overall feel and the fun and just getting to hang out and talk to people.”
Melissa Moersch, a senior history major, said the carnival “was really fun.” She said she was sad she missed the Gamma Phi Circus perform.
“I was in line for face-painting, which was sad because I really like the circus.”
“I liked the acrobats,” Jeff Burta, junior marketing major and transfer student said. “I’ve just been watching them.”
He said he also played some of the carnival games in the RSO games room.
“I played the game where you pop the balloons,” he said. “I managed to pop one!”
Overall, Mitchell said that the carnival was everything she hoped it would be.
“It’s been really great to see it all come together,” she said. “I really have been enjoying it.”