Inaugural Big Fish Festival awaits


Danielle Livingston, Managing Editor

Many Lakeland students have been wondering: What is the Big Fish Festival?

According to Kym Leibham, manager of corporate relations and special events, the idea came from Beth Borgen, interim vice president for advancement. At Borgen’s alma mater, there was an event to show school pride and she suggested a similar concept. A committee was created that held monthly meetings to ensure the event (and everything it entailed) would run smoothly. It was ultimately decided that the Big Fish Festival would be tacked onto homecoming to expand that day but not have to create a whole new day for school spirit.

Thus, the Big Fish Festival was born.

The Big Fish Festival will be occurring Sept. 26 this year. Leibham shared that she expects this event will happen year after year, so that when current students graduate they will be able to experience this event as alumni.

Preview day happened to fall on homecoming weekend this year, so prospective students are welcome to the event as well. If this year runs smoothly with preview day coinciding with this event then future preview days will be planned on Big Fish Festival.

There are activities this week put on by the student success engagement team. The bulk of the activities will be held Saturday Sept. 26.

Leibham stated that, “there will be no exclusive events, but there may be some events that do not interest some.” For example, many current students may not be interested in attending the Emeritus Club event, where alumni that graduated 50 (and more) years ago are celebrated.

Other events that will be occurring Saturday will be: the 5K fish out of water trail run, a beer tent that will be featuring the new 1862 lager, hands-on activities from some departments, the Cantus performance and much more. There will also be family/kid activities which include: a bouncy house, face painting, guests from the movie Frozen, small giveaways and more.

The event that Leibham believes will bring in the largest crowd is the tailgate. A lunch will be held in Wehr where alumni, students, and prospective students will be able to eat lunch together. Lunch will include “normal tailgate fare” of brats, hamburgers, hotdogs and more.

Leibham states that at the tailgate, the current students, prospective students and alumni will “see the family that is present here, and I think it will be a very positive opportunity.”