SHSU annual Firefest lacks popular bonfire

Sam Houston State University held its annual Firefest pep rally on Thursday to get students excited for the Battle of the Piney Woods against Stephen F. Austin on Saturday.

Firefest has been held annually at the intramural fields with a variety of activities for students to enjoy, a free t-shirt, student and faculty speakers, performances by the cheerleaders and dance team, and a bonfire. However, this year’s Firefest was a slightly different than the norm.

Due to the rain which accumulated in Huntsville last week, Firefest was held in the parking lot of the football stadium instead of in the intramural fields, and additionally, there was no bonfire but instead a firework display.

Another difference in this year’s Firefest was that in order to get a t-shirt, students had to donate a canned good item to the charity food drive.

Because the Firefest coincidentally fell on Halloween night, many students dressed in costumes to attend the pep rally.

“It was really fun,” sophomore mass communication major Holly Kons said. “I like that I got a free t-shirt and I like the canned-food idea to get the t-shirt, although I would’ve liked an actual fire.”

Activities at the pep rally included an inflatable obstacle course, a mechanical bull, a caricature station, a photo booth, an inflatable Twister game board, an airbrush t-shirt stand and food. Students were also able to get free orange glow sticks and head phones from Rec Sports. A DJ played music throughout the night.

A common theme students brought up was the fact that there was no fire at the Firefest.

“It was a lot more organized than last year, but I still think it can be improved upon with shorter lines and more fun,” junior marketing major Cody Rosenbalm, said. “I want to know where the fire’s at, if they need me to start a fire for them I can, I was a boy scout.”

SHSU President Dana Gibson spoke with high hopes that the football team would win against the SFA Lumberjacks for the third consecutive year.

“The great thing at the end of this week is that Reliant game with the Battle of the Piney Woods, and we are going to bring home that trophy once again,” Gibson said.

All-American defensive end Andrew Weaver also addressed the students encouraging them to attend the game.

“I appreciate all of y’all coming out here tonight,” Weaver said. “Saturday at 3 p.m. Sam Houston will be taking on SFA, and we need all you guys out there wearing orange and being loud and proud, so Eat ‘Em Up Kats.”

SHSU beat SFA 56-49 on Nov. 2.

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