Tag: Celebrate

“Celebrate” Theme of Annual Cultural Expression Event

Lawrence University’s annual Cultural Expressions event, part of the college’s celebration of Black History Month, will be held Saturday, Feb. 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center. Designed to enhance cultural awareness through exposure, education and empowerment, this year’s theme is “Celebrate.”

Hosted by the Black Organization of Students (BOS) and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the celebration features a buffet dinner and entertainment by BOS members, including praise dancing, an authentic step show, musical performances by a soul singers group and poetry readings.

“Our traditions and roots are what make us special. We must continue to remember and embrace our heritage,” said Pa Lee Moua, assistant dean of students for multicultural affairs. “We encourage the community to share and be a part of this wonderful celebration.”

Tickets, $12 in advance, $15 at the door for adults, $7 for children 6-12 and free for children five and under, can be purchased at the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749, or through the Office of Multicultural Affairs, 920-832-7030.

Celebrated! Lawrence University’s Annual Spring Festival Ending

For the first time in nearly 30 years, Lawrence University will not host its annual Celebrate! spring festival of the arts.

Citing a growing student interest in other campus events in the spring along with the increasing difficulty in recruiting Lawrence students to serve as volunteers to plan and work the festival, the student committee charged with organizing Celebrate! has decided to cancel the event. Diminishing attendance in recent years was also a factor in the decision.

“We’re extremely proud of the fact we’ve been able to host a community-wide event of this scope and quality for all these years,” said Paul Shrode, associate dean of students for activities at Lawrence. “But for a variety of reasons, students have gradually shifted their attention away from Celebrate! in recent years and have put their energies and interests into other activities. From its inception, Celebrate! has been a student-initiated and student-organized campus event and we respect their decision to focus on other activities that they believe better serve the current interests of the student body.”

Celebrate! planning committee chair Sandra Marks, a Lawrence junior, observed that while the festival has undergone many changes through its history, “The past few years have been particularly challenging with the advent of the mid-term reading period (an academic period that coincides with Celebrate! designed to allow students concentrated time to focus on their coursework), poor weather, the increase and growth in other campus spring events and competition from other area festivals and fairs.”

“Planning for Celebrate! 2004 began in the fall of 2003, with meetings centered around changing the festival to meet the interests voiced by students through a survey,” added Marks. “Unfortunately, with limited student involvement, lost revenues and in the face of declining community support, it proved difficult if not impossible to continue the event.”

Celebrate! began in 1975 as a successor to the Renaissance Fair, a campus event that featured students dressed in Elizabethan costume. Traditionally held on the Saturday before Mother’s Day each May, Celebrate! offered a variety of live musical entertainment, dozens of arts and crafts booths, activities for children and an assortment of food vendors. At its peak, as many as 25,000 people and more would roam the Lawrence campus during the day-long festival, but in recent years attendance had fallen to about 7,500.

In recent years other student-organized spring events, including the Earth Day festival, which has taken on a broader family-oriented theme, and Shack-a-thon, a fund-raising event that seeks to raise awareness of the plight of the homeless with proceeds going to the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, have grown in scope and student interest.

“While it is regrettable in many ways, Celebrate! is a campus tradition that has simply run its course,” said Shrode. “While Celebrate! is no longer, I want to reassure the Fox Valley community that Lawrence will continue its involvement in other local events that utilize the campus such as Art-off-the-Park and Octoberfest.”

Celebrate! Lawrence University Festival Marks 30th Year of Family Fun and Entertainment

Celebrate!, Lawrence University’s popular annual spring festival of the arts celebrates its 30th birthday Saturday, May 10. The family-oriented celebration of community life in the Fox Cities runs 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Lawrence’s downtown Appleton campus and is free and open to the public.

Celebrate! 2003 will feature its usual array of live music, a lively family area with a diverse mix of kid-friendly performers and attractions, more than 160 arts and crafts booths of hand-crafted and fine arts items for sale along with food and beverage concessions featuring international treats as well as Wisconsin favorites.

An eclectic mix of popular music groups from throughout the Midwest will be featured on the Wriston Stage, located in the amphitheatre between the Wriston Art Center and the Lawrence Memorial Union.

The Madison-based band German Art Students opens the Wriston stage at 11:15 a.m. The New Wave rock quartet plays mostly original material, crafting songs with lyrics that are witty without being smug, intelligent without being pretentious.

At 1:15 p.m., the five-piece acoustic group Paradise String Band performs American and Irish folk music, bluegrass and old-time traditional folk music.

Wisconsin’s Tasty Wanton, which is drawing national attention for its original music full of infectious grooves, soaring harmonies and stunning melodies, takes the stage at 2:45 p.m. The five-piece blues, funk and rock band recently signed with Head West Records.

Closing out the Wriston stage at 4:30 is the Oshkosh-based band Road Trip, one of the state’s hardest-working musical groups. The six-piece rock band regularly plays more than 150 shows each year and has opened for several national acts, including Sheryl Crow, Stir, ZZ Top, REO Speedwagon, Ted Nugent, Fleetwood Mac and Foreigner.

The Shattuck Stage, located on the Conservatory of Music porch, will feature a day-long blend of the best new and seasoned jazz performers from the Lawrence campus and beyond.

Back by popular demand, Lawrence’s percussion ensemble Sambistas kick things off at 11 a.m. with their infectious Brazilian rhythms.

The nine-piece tour de force Phat Phunktion takes the stage at 12 noon, combining the polish of Top 40 with the smoothness of ’60s soul and the raw energy of ’70s funk.

At 2 p.m., the Sullivan Trio brings jazz riffs to the stage, followed at 3:45 p.m. by Recycled Percussion, the four-piece band that turns recycled and salvaged items into choreographed percussion. Music veterans of concerts in more than 40 states, Recycled Percussion has performed with such notables as LL Cool J, Godsmack, Staind and They Might Be Giants, created halftime shows for the NBA and NFL and been featured on numerous television shows, including “Crook and Chase,” “Talk Soup,” and CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Appleton’s own Big Band Reunion rounds out the Shattuck stage at 5 p.m. with its trademark repertoire of jazz tunes and big-band classics.

The Family Stage, located on the lawn north of Ormsby Hall, plays host to a range of artists and activities aimed at the younger festival goers. Dick Stader, a certified dive master and retired U.S. Navy master chief machinist mate, opens the stage at 10:30 a.m. with a scuba diving demonstration geared especially for children.

Ventriloquist Dave Parker with Skippy and all his friends will entertain at 12 noon, followed on stage by caricaturist Paul Merklein and his “Great Big Faces” at 1:30 p.m. Merklein also will be available for free caricatures throughout the rest of the day.

Rick Kelley brings rock and roll with a message for children of all ages to the stage at 2:45 p.m., and local favorite Chad Harkins presents his unique puppet show at 4:30 p.m.

In addition, the family area will feature a petting zoo, pony rides, carriage rides, inflatable attractions, a climbing wall, a mechanical bull as well as numerous children’s games, exhibits and activities. There will be roving artists throughout the day, including a special appearance by the “Renaissance Man,” a wandering bard who presents Shakespeare to passers-by and Dizzy D. Clown making free balloon creations for the kids and clowning around.

For more information regarding Celebrate!, contact the Lawrence University Campus Activities Office at 920-832-6600.