Editor's note: This story was originally published on June 16, 2014.
"Come one, come all" was the phrase to describe the welcoming environment as the Rosen College Old Time Carnival opened its doors for a limited time on Wednesday.
Featuring games, prizes and entertainment, there was something for everyone to do at the carnival hosted by hospitality students from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management and it was a way for students to get away from classes.
"The carnival was great entertainment," said Wade Foster, a senior hospitality major. "Playing games gave you something to do and meet people and you got to compete against friends."
The carnival was the senior capstone project for the event management class led by professor A'Rion Raymond. The Rosen Carnival was a brain child conceived in four short weeks. Despite only having a month to prepare from scratch, the event exceeded expectations.
"We prepped for 250 but our goal was 150 people and [we] hit over that," Raymond said. "We had moms, grandmas, little kids, people who don't even go to the school out here so it was a success."
Attendees were treated to games such as a ring toss, carnie bowling, blast off, balloon pop and a ping pong ball toss, which provided tickets for prizes and wristbands to permit eating food. Cheeseburgers, carnie chili, which was a mix of Fritos and chili in a bag, fried Oreos and twix, as well as funnel cake french fries were just some of the snacks offered.
"The food was great and I loved playing the games," said Ryan Cole, a senior theme park management major. "I would have just been sitting in the library anyway so this was a great way to get out and do something."
Based on classic portrayals from the 1920s, this event featured a wide variety of entertainment including a singing mermaid with hula-hoop performers, a fortune teller and a bearded lady.
"I really liked the dance show and the bearded lady, especially because we had something in common," said Austin Archer, a senior restaurant management major.
This attention to detail seemed to wow attendees and cover every aspect of a carnival from start to finish.
"It was a fun and interactive experience for students to take a break from their busy academic day and I liked seeing that everything was put together," said Robert DiGiovanni, a senior event management major.
One of the marketing tools implored was the use of a specific hashtag for anyone who took pictures at or of the event and posted them on Instagram to connect with others and view their experiences.
"My favorite part of the event was actually looking on various social media sites after the carnival at the "˜RosenCarnie14' hashtag to see how many of our fellow classmates and attendees enjoyed all the activities," said co-lead and event management senior Vanessa Carey. "There is nothing better than seeing all your hard work pay off and others enjoying what you've worked so hard on."
Throughout the day, Instagram was flooded with different pictures taken of the event, from the entertainment to carnival goers walking around and taking in the atmosphere.
"The marketing worked," Raymond said. "I think we ended up with over 115 pictures on Instagram posted."
A main focus of the class was to create a carnival vibe that took advantage of the surroundings and used its resources to enhance that.
"The fact that it was consistently coherent from the front gates to the back exit [is proof that] we created a homogeneous environment with all those aesthetics," said Joel Perez, the lead for the event as well as a senior majoring in events and hospitality management.
Generally, these events are not done annually and are only held once but because of the success of the carnival there may be a chance for a repeat or re-imagining in the future.
"Hopefully next time we can use more of the campus because we're always just stuck in a room," Raymond said. "Because of the way things went we could do the event again so we will see."