By Erik Elmer
Kyle Nichols, Mikey Bramble and Rickey Goupille got out on campus and checked out some of the main events for UMPI’s 2023 Homecoming Week. Students and faculty turned out in good numbers to enjoy bingo night, the lip-synch battle, the Unexpected Food Festival and the beer garden.
Bingo night drew quite a crowd. Dr. Lowman pointed out that bingo isn’t just for older people. It’s popular with younger people as well. Ricky was there running a concession stand to raise money for the golf team. He was pleasantly surprised at the turnout. He said, “People just kept coming in and coming in the whole night. There’s something about the luck of the draw the people like, and you win prizes. It was just really, really well attended by staff and a lot of students, too.”
It all worked out well for Ricky and the UMPI golf team. Many of the bingo players bought food from the concessions stand. Ricky said, “I was really surprised at how many people wanted to support us and how many people just wanted to eat something. We had a good selection. There were hot dogs, deserts, treats and things.”
This year’s lip-synch battle was only the second UMPI has had. Ricky said the crowd was great. It took place in the multipurpose room. Ricky said, “I think people heard about it but didn’t go last year and were like, ‘We’re going to go this year.’” The multipurpose room was packed. Ricky said, “People were standing at tables in the back. It was a good atmosphere. It felt like a high school winter carnival. People were cheering for different people, different acts.”
Mikey compared the crowd size at the lip-synch battle this year to last year’s. He said, “The crowd was about the same in size and (had) the same amount of energy. But the one thing I noticed was that there were fewer performances this year than there were last year.” They awarded the winners of the various categories differently this year because there were fewer performances. Even though there were fewer acts, Mikey felt that the acts were higher quality overall.
The Unexpected Food Festival was held in the cafe. Ricky and Kyle attended. Kyle thought the many Homecoming Week attendees represented the school well. He said, “There was a good amount of people in there. The president was there, so that’s always nice.”
The meal was free. That could be one of the reasons for the good turnout. Kyle thought it was a plus. He said, “It was nice because I didn’t have to go in there and pay for anything.”
The beer garden had live music and an outdoor area for people to enjoy. The selection of beer is reported to have been good as well. The outdoor section acted as an overflow of sorts for the crowd. Kyle enjoyed the outdoor section. He said, “We got to go outside when it started to get a little stuffy, once they had around 10 people in there.” He clarified that, to be admitted, they checked your ID and stamped your hand.
The lip-synch battle, Unexpected Food Festival, beer garden and bingo night were each a success because of all the students and staff who came out to enjoy them. There were plenty of other events and activities this year. If you missed those events, be sure to support UMPI and show your school spirit next year.