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Block Party kicks off school year

August 29, 2011 : Allison Cundiff/Liberty University News Service

The effects of Hurricane Irene didn’t stop Liberty University students from enjoying the annual Block Party on Saturday, Aug. 27. About 5,000 people braved the rain to check out the games and vendors and to see some well-known Christian musicians in concert -- Dave Barnes, Andy Davis and Mute Math.

Some games were moved indoors as cloudy skies threatened to put an early end to the event, but all three artists were able to perform and the night’s fireworks display went as planned.

Senior Jennifer Ratkovich said she didn’t mind getting wet if she could see Dave Barnes in concert. “I think it’s a great opportunity for students to come together and experience the first big event of the school year,” she said.

The Student Activities Office has been organizing the Block Party to kick off fall semesters for more than 15 years. Planning for each Block Party begins in the spring semester as bands are booked and businesses and vendors are contacted.

“It allows us to say ‘welcome back’ to the whole student body and set the tone for what our department wants to provide for the rest of the semester,” said Director of Student Activities Chris Misiano.

Student Activities provides on- and off-campus events for students throughout the year, many of them free or at discounted prices.

Upcoming trips include horseback riding, tubing, canoeing and kayaking on the James River, an overnight whitewater rafting trip on the Gauley River in W.Va., and an outdoor adventure trip at The Master’s Inn, a nearby retreat facility. More information is available here.

Student Activities also works hard to bring up-and-coming musical acts to Liberty's campus.

“I like that most of the concerts are free or cheaper for students – it gets the bands’ names out there and it gives us a chance to know more about them without spending a lot of money,” said senior Tabethia Cosner.

The next free concert is Anberlin, featuring special guest Caleb, on Sept. 23 in the Vines Center.

Students can buy tickets at a discounted rate for the Sounds of Hope tour on Sept. 30, featuring Building 429, Leeland and Royal Tailor, and for The 7 Tour on Nov. 4, featuring David Crowder Band, Gungor, Chris August and John Mark McMillan.

Campus Artist Series and Open Mic Nights in the Tilley Student Center throughout the year give students a chance to show their own talents.

For a full list of musical events and ticket information, click here.