ExtravaGRANDza returning to campus

GVL / Emily Frye
President Thomas Haas, Ella Fritzemeier, and Sarah Daniels toast with the class of 2017 on Wednesday April 19, 2017.

GVL / Emily Frye President Thomas Haas, Ella Fritzemeier, and Sarah Daniels toast with the class of 2017 on Wednesday April 19, 2017.

Ita Tsai

With the end of the winter 2018 semester coming soon, the Grand Valley State University Office of Student Life will once again host ExtravaGRANDza. This event will take place from Saturday, April 14, to Friday, April 20. 

ExtravaGRANDza consists of a series of events crafted for GVSU students to close the year with a bang. The week-long event will have different activities every day, including the Grand Finale 5K, Pancakes with the President, Tropical Getaway, Toast with T. Haas, a hypnotist, Lakerpalooza and the Laker Showcase.

“A lot of the events center on seniors, but they’re mainly focused to de-stress students before finals week,” said Melaura Rice, a member of the Laker Traditions team. “We’re just trying to give students a fun time before they all leave for summer.”

Rice believes the event brings the GVSU community together one last time before the school year ends.

“This tradition, much like the Presidents’ Ball, is focused on giving the student body a good time and also to send off the senior students,” she said. “Hopefully it can help make the students’ days brighter and give seniors a nice farewell gift from Grand Valley.”

Grand Finale 5K is a race hosted by Campus Recreation. It will take place Saturday, April 14, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Recreation Center. The race will provide professional timing and immediate results by PrimeNRG. Race winners will also receive medals and prizes, and there will be refreshments, giveaways and music. The race requires registration in order to participate. 

GVSU President Thomas Haas will give a speech at Toast with T. Haas on Wednesday, April 18, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the DeVos Center downtown. The event is exclusive for this year’s soon-to-be GVSU alumni. 

A hypnotist show performed by Sean Bott will be held Thursday, April 19, from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Grand River Room of the Kirkhof Center. Lakerpalooza will be the first annual end-of-the-year music festival where different bands will be performing; food, games, human hamster balls and obstacle courses will be a few of the things that students can expect. This will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at the Cook Carillon Tower.

“I’m looking forward to the end of the year, but honestly, we’re both pretty stressed,” said Ian Arnold, a folk punk singer and guitarist for Free Food, one of the bands that will be performing at the festival. “The festival will be a good way to unwind before finals week.”

To wrap up the week, the Laker Showcase will take place Friday, April 20, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center. This will be an open mic night mixed with a Saturday night dive, inviting students to come and flaunt their talents. Walk-ins are welcomed throughout the event organized by Spotlight Productions. 

“As a Laker, we take pride in what we do at Grand Valley and want to support, encourage and appreciate our fellow Lakers. ExtravaGRANDza is just one event in which this can happen,” said Collin Soltis, one of the coordinators of ExtravaGRANDza, via email. “This event brings students joy, pride, relaxation, fun, and a sense of appreciation and recognition for an amazing year to the Grand Valley community.”