Students enjoy carnival rides and concerts at After Party event

Liberty University’s Student Activities gave students a way to relax from finals for a few hours Saturday night by hosting After Party in the LaHaye parking lot.

After Party is the end of year event put on before finals week to boost student morale and reward them for finishing the semester with rides, food and live music. The event started at 5 p.m. and went until 10 p.m. Students slowly trickled in until the entire parking lot was packed full of young adults anticipating a night of excitement, with a final attendance of 8,000 students.

Activities and food trucks were spread throughout the parking lot. The stage was decorated from top to bottom with huge After Party banners. Activities included bouncy houses, games, a swing carousel, a Ferris wheel and a bubble station where students could blow bubbles as big as themselves. In the center, a chalkboard cube provided prompts on each side where students wrote their own responses about summer plans, what got them through the semester, their favorite classes and college memories.

Photo by Noah Seidlitz (@noahsdslr)

Food trucks from businesses like The Bagel and I, Rookies, Moon Tea and Domino’s Pizza were parked near the entrance supplying the crowd with a variety of snacks and drinks to choose from.  Vendors selling handmade jewelry and accessories lined the perimeter along with merchandise tables for the singer/songwriter Josiah Queen.

Live music started at 6 p.m. with Valentines Dei, which is a student band led by Maria Anderson, a senior majoring in commercial music and songwriting. Valentines Dei performed on campus in this year’s Coffeehouse: Animated.

“I told everyone today was like Christmas for me,” Anderson said. “I have been dreaming about this all semester. (Performing) is my favorite thing in the world to do, and I’m so blessed that I got to do it.”

Following Valentines Dei, Emma Jordan, another Coffeehouse performer, entered the stage sporting her trademark cowboy hat and strong vocals.

Photo by Noah Seidlitz (@noahsdslr)

Next on stage was Josiah Queen. Students ran to the front to hear him perform his most popular song, “The Prodigal,” along with others that left the audience buzzing with excitement.

According to Queen, this was the largest crowd he had performed in front of in his entire career. The singer described it as being the best feeling of his entire life, aside from being saved and marrying his wife, Trinity.

“Every time I come out here, it feels like family,” Queen said. “I can tell y’all are amazing people, and I’m definitely coming back. You’re gonna see me again.”

Closing out the night was Jordy Searcy, who took his act into the crowd and sang for the last few minutes surrounded by a captivated audience.

After Party 2024 brought the student body together for music, food and community. Now students can take final exams with less stress after a night spent at this event.

Barber is the off-campus news editor for the Liberty Champion

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