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Block Party will help incoming students find their groove

August 13, 2014 : Liberty University News Service

Students enjoy festivities from Block Party 2013 in the LaHaye parking lot.

Students are invited to experience a sampling of many of Liberty University’s extra-curricular offerings at the Aug. 23 Block Party, an evening of entertainment hosted by Student Activities from 5 to 10 p.m.

The annual extravaganza — highlighted by live music from NEEDTOBREATHE and featuring a variety of carnival rides, games, food vendors, and giveaways — provides a much-needed breather after the first week of classes, which start Monday, Aug. 18. The night’s festivities will be capped off with a fireworks display lighting up nearby Liberty Baseball Stadium.

Faculty and staff are also welcome at the event, held in the LaHaye parking lot between the newly expanded LaHaye Student Union Recreation & Fitness Center and the LaHaye Ice Center.

Following Fall Welcome Week, geared toward incoming freshmen and transfer students, the Block Party will set the stage for what promises to be an exciting school year, filled with many opportunities for students to relax and recharge.

“The event is our big kickoff for the entire university family,” said Stephanie Ward, associate director of programming and promotions for Student Activities. “It is open to Liberty students, faculty, and staff. We welcome off-campus residents and online students. It’s a great way for students to get acquainted with departments on campus and to get everybody acclimated to Liberty.”

Representatives from Liberty’s various departments and student-led clubs will set up booths and displays, where they can meet new students and help them get plugged in.

“It’s a big dorm activity,” said Jessica Postell, a rising junior who works with Student Activities and attended her first Block Party as a freshman. “A lot of the RAs will bring their whole hall, and it kind of connects the students. It gives them a chance to meet new people and interact and get involved in what’s going on at Liberty.”

The Block Party is just one of the more than 80 events Student Activities puts on throughout the semester, including concerts, movie nights, trail races, trips, and the twice-annual Coffeehouse held in the Vines Center. Many of the events will take place in the new LaHaye Event Space, adjacent to the Tilley Student Center.

In recent years, the Block Party has attracted national recording artists such as Switchfoot, Reliant K, and Red. NEEDTOBREATHE, based in South Carolina and led by brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart, released its first album in three years, “Rivers in the Wasteland,” in April and is in the early stages of its world tour. The Oh Hellos, an eclectic folk rock band from Texas featuring siblings Maggie and Tyler Heath, will be the opening act.