The first Celebrate Festival kicked off in 1996 to commemorate the anniversary of Armstrong receiving university status.
“Students, faculty and staff thoroughly enjoyed the event and President Burnett asked that it be continued annually,” Al Harris, former director of student union and activities and a current program consultant, said.
On Thursday, Oct. 22, the Campus Union Board sponsored the Celebrate Armstrong Festival on Burnett Boulevard Lawn. The celebration featured student organization booths, food and music, bringing Armstrong’s faculty, staff and students together.
Third year Celebrate participant, Emily Mallory, said, “My favorite part of Celebrate would be all of the booths and activities that Armstrong offers its students. It is the one day I look forward to in the fall semester.”
The festival also helped different organizations raise money for various charities. The proceeds from Tri Sigma’s booth went to support Children’s Play Therapy, which helps children stay interactive while in the hospital.
“We give children things that help them cope better in the hospital, whether it just be a note, a teddy bear, or a package,” Tri Sigma sister, Elizabeth Swords, said.
Tri Sigma was just one of the Greek organizations that attended Thursday’s festival.
Pi Kappa Alpha brother Tyler Easterly said, “My favorite part is getting to see all of Armstrong together, having fun and celebrating the students.”
The proceeds from Pi Kappa Alpha’s booth went towards Christmas presents for boys at the Bethesda Academy in Savannah.
Recent Armstrong transfer Miranda Phillips said, “Celebrate gave me the chance to meet new people and see everything that Armstrong offers its students.”
Thursday’s festival also allowed Armstrong’s faculty and students to gather outside of the academic atmosphere.
“It’s a good opportunity to mingle with students and see faculty outside of the office,” Administrative Assistant, Erin Hinely, said.
Leopold’s Ice Cream was in attendance and featured an Armstrong themed flavor, Pirate Treasure, a Lemon Custard with Raspberry Puree. The flavor was created specifically for the festival.
The Celebrate finale featured a pirate costume contest, a treasure hunt and a photo scavenger hunt for younger attendees.
“One of the [Planning] Committee’s goals in recent years has been to promote outside community involvement with the Armstrong community,” Harris mentioned. “Following each festival the Planning Committee meets to evaluate the individual events and develop recommendations for the following year.”
Excluding fireworks and the Saturday meal from this year’s Celebrate festivities allowed the Planning Committee to add more family events to the finale.
The President’s Office and the Office of Advancement sponsored Saturday’s community wide celebration. The ultimate success of Celebrate Armstrong was evident Saturday night when the campus and surrounding communities came together in celebration.