DalFun at DalFest
Katherine Wooler - September 20, 2013
A little tropical storm didn’t deter DalFest last weekend, and (despite a few venue changes) students were still able to discover Dal’s diverse selection of extra-curricular groups, catch the Tigers football team’s first victory of the season and enjoy five amazing — and free — musical acts.
This year the Society Fair, which used to be a separate event, received a face-lift becoming the Society Carnival. With over 280 student clubs and societies in the Dal community, DalFest organizers designed Society Carnival, which took place Friday, to provide a more interactive sampling of these organizations.
Despite the rainy weather, the carnival atmosphere was still present as students crowded into the Student Union Building to explore the many societies on display. From anime to immunology, and volleyball to global charity work, there was something for every interest and taste.
Some organizations took taste quite literally when trying to entice new recruits. The Dalhousie African Student Association offered tea, the Chemistry Society dazzled spectators with a smoke show caused by making liquid nitrogen ice cream and the Greek Council handed out candy to anyone who was willing to take a guess at one of their trivia questions.
Students with the Chemistry Society at the Society Carnival.
Like any good carnival, there was also no shortage of fun and games, with inflatable basketball in the SUB lobby, a video game booth provided by the Computer Science Society, Taekwondo demonstrations and a jumbo Jenga game created by the Dalhousie Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship.
A new kind of active-living club
The DalFest Society Carnival revealed a growing trend with extra-curricular groups: student activism. South House (formerly the Dalhousie Women’s Centre) had a booth set up beside Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group (NSPIRG) as both groups promoted Rad Frosh.
On their brochure, NSPIRG describes Rad Frosh as a “month-long alternative orientation series [that] seeks to connect campus community.”
Rad Frosh is ongoing until the end of September and welcomes students from all years and degree programs, as well as non-students. Activities include events hosted by a variety of other Dalhousie societies including free food cooperative The Loaded Ladle, LGBTQ activist group DalOut, campus radio station CKDU and South House’s Bad Bad Book Club.
Additionally, NSPIRG and the DSU hosted two workshops during DalFest with art-activist group The Beehive Design Collective, which visited from Maine to educate students on pursuing grassroots activism and using art to spread the message.
A top-grade entertainment lineup
After students took in the diverse opportunities at the Society Carnival on Friday, they were able to take shelter from the storm in the Grawood for the evening and enjoy three great bands.
Willie Stratton and the Boarding Party took the stage first, warming up the crowd with a folk blend of melancholy narratives and lively kitchen-party-style jigs. The band provided some relatable subject matter for many audience members, singing tunes about Dartmouth, the Sackville River and the Annapolis Valley.
Next up was Billy Dre & The Poor Boys, who turned up the intensity with their raw and energetic rock and roll. Their lively stage antics had the crowd chanting Billy’s name and then shouting out “D-D—D-A-L! H-H—H-O-U! S-S—S-I-E!” as beach balls and balloons were passed above people’s heads.
After Billy Dre & The Poor Boys closed out their set with one of their raging rock tracks, “Mambo 666,” Born Ruffians served up a selection of Indie pop-rock music. Students packed the dance floor to get as close as possible to this Toronto-based band, which began its 2013 fall tour four days later.
Photo essay: DalFest Day One
Festivities picked up again on Saturday when the Dalhousie Football Club won the first game of its fourth season, defeating the UNB Fredericton Red Bombers 25-6.
After the victory on Wickwire Field, Dalfest attendees moved to the Quad to watch concerts by Saskatoon-based rockers The Sheepdogs and Halifamous Indie musician Rich Aucoin.
Celebrating student hobbies, cheering on the football club and rocking out to free concerts equaled a recipe for success for this year’s DalFest. Check out the photo essay to see more on how Dalhousie kicked off the new school year.
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