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DUU launches ‘Football Fest’

Students now have another reason to celebrate football—aside from Tailgate.

At their meeting Tuesday night, Duke University Union members announced the launch of the Bull City Football Fest Sept. 24, as part of an effort to collaborate with North Carolina Central University as well as involve the Durham community to celebrate Homecoming this year.

“There’s never been an event, a pep rally, any sort of collaboration with Central,” said Special Projects Chair Christie Falco, a senior who is organizing the event. “Its very rare that we program off campus and cater it to Duke students. We give students an opportunity to, in this very youth-centric environment, to get out into Durham.”

Last year, the event started as “Roadblock,” an attempt to block off a street in downtown Durham solely for Duke Students to celebrate. But the event was canceled due to concerns about how the community would react to a Duke-exclusive event held in the city center. After a year of development and revamping Roadblock, “Football Fest” will take place in Durham Bulls Athletic Park as a collaboration between two rival universities and the community in which they reside.

DUU’s interest in setting up an event focused on community and collectiveness in a location that is historically identified with Durham made the ballpark ideal, Falco said. The DBAP is expected to be filled with tables and chairs for students to come together, and activities ranging from local crafts to rock climbing will be offered. The event will also boast a stage featuring local performers and student groups, as well as a pep rally with both Duke football and N.C. Central football coaches present.

The difference between Roadblock and Football Fest is the amount of support and sponsorship coming from the community and the city of Durham, said Vice President of Communications Karen Chen, a junior.

“We’re doing a lot of collaboration between Duke athletics and [N.C.] Central athletics as well as with the Durham Chamber of Commerce and Durham Police Department. That’s different from last year,” Falco said.

Falco added that not only will the Bull City Football Fest involve the community in a University event, but it will also serve as an opportunity for N.C. Central students and Duke students to have a shared experience.

Both Falco and DUU President Zach Perret, a senior, said they hope that with the hype of the football game and the collaboration of two universities in the same community, the event will be popular.

“It’s going to be great for the University, for the Union, for the whole community. And it’s very different from the Duke-focused event of last year,” Perret said. “It’s going to be huge.”

The Duke-N.C. Central collaboration will culminate in the first-ever Bull City Classic—a football game between the two universities in Wallace Wade Stadium Sept. 26.

In other business:

DUU will host a Homecoming scavenger hunt for four days during Homecoming week. Registration will begin next week and teams must have six to eight members. Scavenger hunt activities will be focused on Duke Spirit, Falco said.

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